Pan seared sea bass, lemongrass risotto

A classic risotto is a wonderful thing, but with a Thai twist, you can be far more creative and drop a lovely fresh piece of pan fried fish on top.  A can of coconut milk is the perfect substitute for stock, when serving 2 people.

Pan seared sea bass, lemongrass risotto

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

  • 2 sea bass fillets
  • 200g risotto rice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stick of celery, finely chopped
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, bashed and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 small bunch of coriander, stalks and leaves finely chopped & separated
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 400ml tin of coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp thai fish sauce
  • 160g frozen petit pois/garden peas
  • Cornish sea salt
  • Pink peppercorns, crushed
  • Lemon wedges to serve


  1. Start your risotto in the normal way by choosing your best non-stick pan and gently sweat the onion and celery in the olive oil with a pinch of good quality sea salt for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, lemongrass, chilli and coriander stalks, continuing to fry gently for 2 more minutes until fragrant.
  3. Pour in your risotto rice, stirring continually to coat the rice until it becomes translucent.
  4. Zest the lemon into the pan and continue stirring as you add the coconut milk little by little as the rice absorbs all the liquid.  Juice the lemon and add alongside the fish sauce and some crushed pink peppercorns.
  5. When the rice is nearly cooked, stir in the peas for 2 minutes before folding in the chopped coriander leaves.
  6. Season to taste, take off the heat, cover.
  7. Take your sea bass fillets and score the skin as pictured with a sharp knife. This will prevent the skin curling up in the pan and increase your chances of a crispy skin and soft flesh.  Season the skin with sea salt, getting in between those grooves you have scored.
  8. Bring a non-stick frying pan up to a medium-high heat and add a splash of olive oil, placing the sea bass fillets skin side down.
  9. Cook skin side down for 2-3 minutes, be confident!  You need to do 85% of the cooking on this side.  You will start to see the flesh turning bright white.  Season the fish on the flesh side whilst cooking.  Flip and cook for 1 minute further.
  10. Dish up your risotto, serving the fish on top and adding some lemon wedges and coriander leaves to serve.

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