Sea bass with caramelized shallot purée & pomegranate dressing

Turkish Cypriot Chef, Selin Kiazim has recently become very well known in the UK, as she takes traditional recipes and ingredients from her native Northern Cyprus and modernises them. You can find the this recipe in her book Oklava (which is the long thin rolling pin used in Cypriot and Turkish cooking and is also the name of her restaurant in Shoreditch, London.

Sea bass is one of the most popular fish in Turkey and Cyprus, usually served simply charcoal-grilled with a wedge of lemon. Other popular Eastern Mediterranean fish such as sea bream, turbot, grouper, clue fish and red mullet can be used instead of sea bass.


Sunflower oil for frying

2 banana shallots, unpeeled and halved lengthways

4 sea bass fillets, scaled and pin-boned

For the caramelized shallot puree

2 heaped tbsp unsalted butter

6 shallots, sliced

50ml double cream

Freshly ground Salt & Pepper

For the Pomegranate Dressing

3tbsp pomegranate seeds

3tbsp pomegranate molasses

1 banana shallot, finely chopped

6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 small garlic clove, finely grated

1 tsp thyme leaves


Preheat the oven to 210oC (400oF fan), Gas Mark 6

First make the purée: melt the butter in a medium saucepan and add the shallots. Cook over a low heat until golden brown – this can take up to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in an ovenproof frying pan. Add the banana shallots, cut-side down. When they start to turn golden brown, put the pan in the oven and roast the shallots for about 15 minutes.

While the shallots for the purée are still hot, put them in a blender with the double cream and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk together.

To cook the fish, heat a drizzle of oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat. Season the sea bass, place in the pan skin-side down and cook gently until the skin is golden brown and crisp (this should take no more than a few minutes). Turn it over and cook the flesh side for 30-60 seconds, then take it out of the pan immediately so that it doesn’t overcook.

To serve, reheat the purée and put a spoonful on each serving plate. Place the fish on top, skin-side up, and spoon over the pomegranate dressing. Add the roasted shallots. Stir the pomegranate dressing as it will have separated, then dot it around the plates and serve.

Source: Oklava: Recipes from a Turkish–Cypriot Kitchen by Selin Kiazim

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