RECIPE: Poached Sea Bass with Tomato and Saffron Broth

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I love the combination of tomatoes and saffron; this recipe is adapted from the January 2014 issue of Bon Appetit Magazine which emphasized on healthy eating and offered many new fish recipes. I have made slight modifications: I used sea bass instead of cod, added organic chicken broth and onions for more flavour, and increased the quantity of the poaching liquid.  The fish was served with wild rice blend which was so flavourful when eaten together with the sauce; for a moment, it felt as if I was having a “fish only – deconstructed” paella…Enjoy (OO)!

Ingredients: (Serves 4)

1 to 2 Tablespoon olive oil, 3 to 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced; 1 medium onion, sliced, 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, 1 28 oz can organic whole peeled tomatoes, drained; 1/2 cup dry white wine, 1/2 cup low sodium organic chicken stock (store-bought or homemade), 2-3 bay leaves, pinch of saffron threads, 4  4 to 5 ounce sea bass (fish size approximate), white pepper, kosher salt and black pepper to taste, chopped parsley as garnish (optional)


– Heat oil in dutch oven (or pot with lid) over medium heat.  Add onion, garlic and crushed pepper flakes and cook, stirring often, until fragrant (garlic should not take on any colour), about 3 minutes.  Do not burn!

– Add tomatoes, crushing with your hands as you add them, wine, bay leaves, saffron and chicken stock (or water).

– Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until flavors meld, 25 – 30 minutes, season with kosher salt and pepper.

– Reduce heat to medium low, pat dry the sea bass with paper towel, season with salt and white pepper; place in poaching liquid.  Cover and cook at a bare simmer until sea bass is opaque throughout and begin to flake, 8 – 10 minutes (*Note – thicker pieces will take longer to cook).

– Gently transfer sea bass to shallow bowl and spoon poaching liquid over, serve on bed of wild rice.


– The original recipe uses cod; other suggestions – black bass or flounder fillets.

– Saffron can be overpowering; adjust accordingly.  For Non-meat eaters (pescatarians), omit the low-sodium chicken broth and use water instead. As always, adjust the seasoning according to your dietary needs and taste.

– I cooked the wild rice separately, we prefer either Nuworld Wholesome Wild Rice Blend (Costco or Price Smart) or Lundberg Wild Blend (Choices, East West Market (on Main Street) in Vancouver, BC or Whole Foods (various locations)).

3 thoughts on “RECIPE: Poached Sea Bass with Tomato and Saffron Broth

    1. Hi Lilian, thank you thank you! I typed too fast, left it out and I made the change already. It’s a simple and light recipe; enjoy! Drop me a line anytime, hope to connect sometime. Deb

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