Sea bass and pancetta with sweet potato mash and Asian greens

Sea Bass and Crispy Pancetta with Sweet Potato Mash and Asian Greens

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(Serves 4)


For the mash
  • 700g sweet potatoes
  • 2 limes
  • small bunch fresh coriander
  • 2 tbsp mango chutney
  • splash soy sauce
For the greens
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 lime
  • splash sesame oil
  • 100g green beans
  • 1 head broccoli
For the sea bass
  • 8 thin slices of pancetta
  • 4 sea bass fillets
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 lemon


MASH: Wash the sweet potatoes, trim off any gnarly bits, then stab them a few times with a knife. Put in a large microwave-safe bowl, halve one of the limes and add to the bowl, then cover with a double layer of clingfilm and microwave on full power for 12 minutes, or until cooked through.
GREENS: De-seed and finely chop the chilli, adding half to a large serving bowl and setting the rest aside. Crush the unpeeled clove of garlic into the bowl and add 2tbsp of soy sauce and 4-6tbsp of extra virgin olive oil. Squeeze in the juice of 1 lime and add a splash of sesame oil. Mix, taste and tweak with the soy sauce if needed.
Trim the asparagus stalks. Quarter the head of the broccoli lengthways from the head to the base of the stalk.
SEA BASS: Put the pancetta into the frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil. Keep an eye on it, turning when crispy.
SEA BASS: By now the pancetta should be golden so remove it to a plate, leaving the fat in the pan. Add the fish to the pan, skin side down. Shake the pan and use a spatula to press the fillets flat for a few seconds.
Pound 1tsp of fennel seeds in a pestle and mortar and scatter over the fish from a height with a pinch of salt and pepper. Finely grate over the zest of 1 lemon, then cut the lemon into quarters and set aside.
MASH: Finely chop the coriander on a large wooden chopping board, setting a few leaves aside for the garnish. Add the mango chutney, a good splash of soy sauce, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, the juice from ½ a lime and the reserved chopped chilli. Chop and mix everything together on the board.
GREENS: Fill the large saucepan with boiling water and add a large pinch of salt. Add the broccoli and asparagus, making sure they are completely submerged. Put the lid on and turn the heat to high.
SEA BASS: Check the fish – once the skin is golden and crispy, turn the heat down to low – but have confidence to let the skin become good and crispy before reducing the heat.
MASH: Carefully tip the sweet potatoes on top of the mango chutney mixture and use a knife or masher to chop and mash everything together, including the skins. Season to taste, adding more fresh lime juice if needed.
SEA BASS: Take the pan of fish off the heat and flip the fillets over so they gently finish cooking on the flesh side. Return the pancetta to the pan to warm through, then serve the fish and pancetta on top of the board of mash. Pop the lemon wedges on the side for squeezing and sprinkle over the reserved coriander. Take to the table.
GREENS: Drain the broccoli and asparagus in a colander, then tip into the serving bowl with the dressing, quickly toss and take to the table.