Pan Fried Sea Bass with beans and Fennel Broth

This light and easy to cook dish I normally start to putting on a menu late spring, summer.

Use any white beans of your choice. If you don’t have time to soak and cook them, use cooked ones. In a restaurant I avoid doing that though.

Same with green beans – long beans, haricot verts, and even purple beans. I used beans called perona, flat ones. You need to adjust cooking time accordingly. Some of them will be cooked faster than others.

To find out their cooking times – just use chef’s method – taste one after cooking in for about two minutes.

Ingredients (for 4)

  • 600g fillet of sea bass
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 300 ml of fish stock
  • 80g dried white beans
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 string of thyme
  • 150g green beans
  • 1 handful of fresh herbs (dill, tarragon, parsley etc)
  • 0.5 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


1. Wash and soak dried beans in cold water, and place them in the fridge. After 24h change the water and place beans back to the fridge for another 24 hours.

2. Cook beans in fresh cold water, adding thyme and bay leaf. Cooking time depends on size, type and freshness of the beans. Between 30 minutes and 2 hours I would say. Taste, taste, taste 😉

3. Next we are cooking fennel in a fish stock. Cut fennel on quarters an cut away the stem in the middle. Then cut fennel on bite size pieces. Place them in a pot with cold stock, fennel seeds and a pinch of salt.

4. Bring stock to the boil and cook for about 5-7 minutes. Then add green beans and cook for few minutes till cooked. Last add white beans, salt and pepper to taste. And just before serving add chopped herbs.

5. At the same time let’s cook the fish. Season it with salt and pepper. Place frying pan on a stove, and when pan is hot, add oil and seabass skin side down. Fry until skin is golden, then flip fish over to other side. Alternatively you can finish cooking fish in the same stock with beans.

6. Just before serving add to stock chopped herbs. Plate the dish and enjoy!

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