Sea Bass with Caper and Lemon Dressing

When wrapped tightly in a soaked paper parcel, the sea bass will cook in its own steam. Serve it with some steamed vegetables and baby potatoes.


  • 1 unwaxed lemon
  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 whole sea bass, scaled and gutted (450g each)
  • 15g flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tbsp capers, rinsed and drained
  • 1 garlic clove, very thinly sliced


  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas 7. Grate the zest from the lemon into a pestle and mortar, add the fennel seeds and 2 tbsp olive oil. Season and pound to make a rub.
  2. Place each fish near the front of a large, double-thickness sheet of greaseproof paper. Smother each fish inside and out with the rub; drizzle with ½ tsp olive oil. Fold the paper over the fish to enclose, then fold the sides over the ends. Roll the fish up to form a parcel. Tie with string, then soak under the tap. Cook in the top half of the oven for 15 minutes.
  3. Cut off the lemon pith and discard; cut the flesh into ½cm cubes. Unwrap the fish onto a dish; scatter with the parsley. Heat the remaining olive oil in a frying pan on a high heat; fry the capers and garlic until crisp. Stir in the lemon and pour over the fish.

Drinks recommendation

White burgundy will echo the lemon here.

  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 20 minutes
  • Total time: 40 minutes 40 minutes

Serves: 4

Nutritional Info

Typical values per serving:

Energy 2045.976kJ
Fat 24.2g
Saturated Fat 3.7g
Sugars 0.5g
Salt 0.8g

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3 stars

Average user rating Based on 3 ratings

This recipe was first published in Sat Dec 01 00:00:00 GMT 2007.