Whole roasted sea bass with harissa paste, steamed potatoes and oregano

Sea bass cooked en papillote is a quick and healthy dinner that you really can’t go wrong with. Serve with steamed vegetables.


For the roasted sea bass
  • 2 whole sea bass, gutted
  • 4 sprigs oregano
  • 6 potatoes, cut into 1cm/½ in slices
For the harissa paste
  • 1 red chilli, seeds removed, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground caraway seeds
  • 1 tbsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing

Preparation method

  1. Preheat oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.

  2. Trim the sea bass by removing the fins with scissors and scoring the flesh in a crisscross pattern.

  3. For the harissa paste, place all the ingredients into a small food processor and blend until smooth.

  4. Rub the harissa paste all over the fish and stuff the cavity of the fish with oregano.

  5. Take two large pieces of aluminium foil big enough to wrap each fish with room to spare. Place an equally-sized piece of greaseproof paper on top of each one, then lightly grease with oil.

  6. Divide the potatoes between the pieces of greaseproof paper and place a fish on top. Wrap the greaseproof paper and aluminium foil around the fish like a Cornish pasty, using the foil to seal the join.

  7. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

  8. To serve, remove the fish from the oven and carefully open the wrapping. Use a fish slice lift the fish out and place on a serving platter. Place the potatoes around the fish and spoon over any juices that are left in the bag.

James Martin recipes from Saturday Kitchen Best Bites

Less than 30 mins preparation time

10 to 30 mins cooking time

Serves 4

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