Sea Bass with Fennel, Lemon & Dill

The European Sea Bass is the sophisticated star of the south coast! With a glittering silver skin and firm flesh it is not unlike a white version of salmon. It is particularly sought after because it is easy to fillet and can be cooked with the skin on which is delicious to eat.

Serves: 4


  • Olive Oil for greasing and drizzling
  • 4 Sea Bass, small, whole; each about 300g after gutting, cleaning and head and tail removed
  • 2 Fennel Bulbs, halved, cored and thinly sliced
  • 2 Lemons, thinly sliced
  • 25g bunch Dill
  • 25g bunch Parsley, flat leaf
  • 4 Thyme sprigs
  • 4 Bay leaves
  • 200ml White Wine


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C Gas 6.
  2. Smear the base of 1-2 large roasting tins with a little olive oil. Season the inside of each bass and then place in the tin.
  3. Fill the cavity of each fish with fennel and lemon slices then tuck in the dill, parsley, thyme and bay.
  4. Scatter over any remaining fennel and herbs and pour over the wine. Drizzle with a little oil and season well.
  5. Cover with foil and bake for 25 - 35 mins, basting the fish with pan juices halfway.
  6. The fish is ready when the fish is firm, meat opaque and moist.
  7. Carefully transfer to a board, cover loosely with foil to keep hot.
  8. Make a quick sauce with the pan juices - Place the tin over the hob and boil for a few minutes, until the juices are reduced slightly. whisk in a couple of cubes of butter to thicken if required. Strain into a jug.
  9. Transfer the fish to warmed plates and pour the sauce over each fish, then drizzle with extra oil.
  10. Serve with crushed new potatoes.


Sea Bass is generally available from March until late in the year.

South East Seafood launched a tagging scheme in 2009 to promote sustainably managed inshore fisheries. The tags bear an identifying number, individual to each participating fishing boats.

This recipe has been provided by South East Food Group Partnership Ltd.