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Baked seabass with harra sauce

Recipe from Than Htike Aung, Chef de Cuisine of La Mer, Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche.

  • Serves

Ingredients

  • 10g large garlic, peeled
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 15g fresh red or green long chilli peppers, seeded
  • 30g small onions, cut into pieces
  • 2 large tomatoes, peeled and de-seeded
  • 1 tbsp Thai red curry paste
  • 4g sweet basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp freshly ground cumin seeds
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 4g fresh green pepper corn
  • 1 whole sea bass (about 1 kg), cleaned but left whole with head and tail on
  • 40ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ½ red capsicum, chopped
  • ½ green capsicum, chopped
  • 1 spring onion, chopped
  • 30g fresh cilantro, chopped
  • FOR THE SAFFRON QUINOA
  • A handful of sunflower seeds
  • 50g quinoa
  • 3g saffron

Method

  1. In a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic and salt together until mushy. Put the chilli peppers and onions in a food processor and chop finely. Add 1 large tomato, the Thai red curry paste and sweet basil to process. Remove and stir in the crushed garlic, tomato paste, fresh green pepper corn and cumin, to make the chilli pepper sauce.

  2. Preheat the oven to 180C. Rinse the fish and pat dry with paper towels. Score the fish in three places on each side and cut the centre in half (not all the way through). Lay it on a baking tray and coat with olive oil on both sides. Season and cover with the chili pepper sauce. Bake the fish for 1 hr, basting with the olive oil in the baking pan. Remove and fill with the chopped tomato, capsicums, spring onions and cilantro.

  3. Toast the sunflower seeds in a medium large pan for 3-5 mins and set aside.

  4. Soak the quinoa in cold water for 4 hrs and boil with the saffron for 15 mins. Strain the water and mix with the toasted sunflower seeds. Season and serve with the fish in the middle of the table – and let everyone spoon out small portions for themselves.

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