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Crispy sea bass with roasted cauliflower pilau and yoghurt

Crispy sea bass with roasted cauliflower pilau

When people say they can’t cook fish, they aren’t telling you the truth. Well, they think they are, but they are mistaken. I thought that too! But it’s really simple. Start with a fillet that is very easy to cook, like sea bass. Then simply get a good quality pan really hot (ours aren’t even non stick anymore) and add a little oil. Season the fish and pop them in, with some room to breathe. Then leave it – actually don’t touch it; don’t fiddle or prod. Simply wait – about 5 minutes or so, you’ll see around the edges the skin is crisping up – do not flip it until you think it’s really brown and crispy and (this is your biggest clue) the flesh side (facing up) is almost cooked. Then, turn off the heat and flip it, letting the flesh side cook in just the residual heat of the pan. Pop on paper towels if you aren’t keen oil. That’s it – you can now cook fish!

I was asked by Crisp ‘n Dry (what I used in this recipe – a great oil to choose when pan frying fish) to create a recipe celebrating the RNLI’s Fish Supper event which is due to take place between 13th – 15th October. The annual fundraising event encourages people to host their own fish supper for family and friends, and aims to raise money to support the charity’s lifesaving work.

The idea is that you get your family and friends together and have a fish supper – check out all my fish and seafood recipes here for some inspiration – and then everyone chucks some money in the pot that goes towards the brilliant RNLI. Sounds good doesn’t it? And I don’t know about you but I could do with a reason to get together with loved ones more often. Now is your chance. What about making a big fish pie instead of a Sunday roast? Or making homemade fish fingers for an after school play date? Or maybe serve up this sophisticated number for some mum friends of a Friday night? It looks complicated but it is really very easy.

We had it for dinner last night – and the kids really liked it. That rice, though – it was a proper hit! Yes, I AM using microwave rice again, what of it??! (I’m obsessed if you hadn’t noticed already – they are a quick dinner lifesaver…). Turns out kids love crunchy nuts and sultanas in rice – Arthur left his cauliflower but we won’t dwell on that will we? (Beatrix ate hers so I am taking that one as a partial victory…)

Do have crack at this recipe and let me know your thoughts – and please do think about hosting your own fish supper – if nothing else, it will make you look charitable and virtuous; what’s not to love?

Makes: enough for 4 adults

Takes: 25 minutes


  • 4 sea bass fillets
  • 1 tablespoon Crisp ‘n Dry oil (or another vegetable oil)
  • Salt

For the cauliflower pilau:

  • 1 head of cauliflower, leaves too if in good nick
  • 1 tablespoon Crisp ‘n Dry oil (or another vegetable oil)
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
  • Handful of flaked almonds
  • Handful of sultanas
  • 2 x microwave rice pouches (I use wholegrain pilau)

For the yoghurt sauce:

  • Greek yoghurt (or natural)
  • Small clove garlic, grated or crushed
  • Pinch salt
  • Glug of extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch ground cumin
  • Pinch ground paprika


  1. Turn oven on to preheat – about 180c.
  2. Break up cauli’ into small florets (cut up big ones so they cook quicker) and slice up leaves into small pieces. Drizzle with oil, season (add cumin if using) and roast for about 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, toast almond flakes in a dry pan – watch them as they burn SO quickly! Set aside.
  4. Make yoghurt sauce: mix all ingredients together – I serve it with a sprinkle more spice on top to look nice.
  5. When cauliflower is roasted, tip in the rice sachets (don’t micro first) and mix well. Back in oven for 5 minutes.
  6. Heat a frying pan until very hot, add a little oil and add fillets skin side down (pat them down with paper first so they are dry). Follow instructions in first paragraph – don’t touch them until they are crispy. Turn off heat and flip. Let them cook in residual heat for a minute. Remove, pat with paper to remove excess oil.
  7. Serve rice on a plate and pop fish on top.
  8. Add a blob of yoghurt sauce on top of fish.

Disclaimer: this is a sponsored post. As such I was paid to promote it. All links are no follow as per Google guidelines.


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