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Sea Bass Recipe with Spiced Rice From Feasts from the Middle East

Inject some Middle Eastern promise into your seafood supper with this simple and delicious sea bass recipe from the Feasts from the Middle East Cookbook.


For the sea bass

– garlic cloves, crushed
– juice of 1 lemon
– 1 tsp cumin
– small bunch of coriander, chopped
– 25ml olive oil
– ½ tsp salt
– good pinch of black pepper
– 6 large sea bass fillets – ask the fishmonger for the bones
– small handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley
– pomegranate seeds, to serve

For the rice

– 25ml olive oil
– 2 onions, finely chopped
– 500g basmati rice
– 1 tsp salt
– 1 tsp cumin
– juice of 1 lemon

For the stock and sauce

– 50ml olive oil
– onions, sliced
– 1 garlic clove, chopped
– 500g fish bones
– 1½–2 litres boiling water
– 1 lemon, chopped
– 1 tsp cumin
– 1 tsp cornflour


1. Start by making the stock. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onions until they turn a dark golden colour. Scoop out a spoonful (about a third) to use as garnish later.
2. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the fish bones, the boiling water, the lemon and the cumin, and cover the pan with a lid. Bring to the boil and simmer, half-covered, for 1 hour.
3. Next, marinate the sea bass. Put the garlic, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, oil, salt and pepper into a shallow container. Stir everything together. Add the fillets and toss to coat. Cover and chill until you’re ready to cook them.
4. When the stock is cooked, strain it into a bowl. Now it’s time to cook the rice. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and sauté the finely chopped onions until golden. Stir in the rice, the salt and cumin and cook for 1 minute. Pour 1 litre of stock into the pan and stir everything together.
5. Cover with a lid and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat down very low and cook for 12 minutes. Turn off the heat, squeeze over the juice of a lemon and leave the rice to steam.
6. While the rice is cooking, heat the grill until it’s very hot. Take the fish fillets out of the marinade, lay them on a baking sheet and grill until the flesh is opaque, 5–10 minutes.
7. Pour the rest of the stock into a clean saucepan and place over a low heat. Put the cornflour into a small bowl and stir in a couple of tablespoons of the cold stock. Stir this to make a thick sauce, then pour it back into the stock to thicken it slightly.
8. When you’re ready to serve, spoon the rice into bowls, top with the fish, then spoon over the sauce and finish with a few of the reserved onions and a sprinkling of parsley and pomegranate seeds.


Feasts from the Middle East is a celebration of authentic Middle Eastern food and is packed with over 100 deliciously fresh, fragrant and flavourful dishes, inspired by the souks of Lebanon.

Whether you’re after breakfast with a twist, a quick-fix lunch, or a sumptuous spread fit for a gathering of your loved ones, this gorgeous cookery book, featuring vibrant food photography throughout, is packed with recipes you can easily make.

Feasts from the Middle East by Tony Kitous is published by Harper Collins and is available to purchase here.