RECIPE: Lorna Maseko Seabass | IOL

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Lorna Maseko Seabass

Serves 6-8

SEABASS CURE:

  • 1½ cups coarse salt
  • 3 cups grated beetroot
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Zest of 2 oranges
  • 3 tbs juniper berries, slightly crushed
  • 1 tbs coriander seeds
  • 60 ml gin (preferred, Tanqueray No 10)
  • 1½ kg seabass fillet, deboned and cleaned

CRACKERS:

  • 1½ cups sunflower seeds
  • 1½ cups pumpkin seeds
  • 1½ cups sesame seeds
  • 1½ cups flax seeds
  • 1½ cups chia seeds
  • 1½ cups crushed pistachio nuts
  • 1½ cups crushed almonds
  • 1½ cups water
  • Salt and pepper

PICKLED CUCUMBER:

  • 2 cups white wine vinegar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tbs peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cucumbers, sliced into ribbons
  • Handful of dill for garnish
  • CrÈme fraiche and chives
  • cup chopped chives
  • 250ml crème fraîche
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Extra dill to garnish
  • 4 lemons, cut into wedges

Method

To make the cure for the sea bass, add the salt, grated beetroot, sugar, orange zest, juniper berries, coriander seeds and gin in a bowl and mix together. Place the sea bass on a tray and cover with the cure. Cling wrap and place another tray on top, with something heavy to make sure all those juices are absorbed. Refrigerate overnight.

To make the seed-and-nut crackers, preheat the oven to 160ºC. In a bowl add all the seeds and water and combine. Leave for 20 minutes to allow the flax and chia seeds to soften and bind everything in a paste. 

Remove from the bowl and place on a tray lined with baking paper, and spread evenly. Season with salt and pepper and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and break into rustic medium-sized crackers. Return to the oven and cook for another 20 minutes until golden and crispy.

To make the pickled cucumber, place the white wine vinegar, sugar, peppercorns and bay leaf in a pot at medium heat and allow to simmer for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Place the cucumber ribbons in the mixture and allow them to absorb those flavours for 5-7 minutes. Remove from the pot, place on the sea bass board and garnish with dill.

Add the chopped chives, crème fraîche, lemon juice and zest to a bowl, season with salt and mix.

Once the sea bass is cured, remove from the cling wrap and rinse the cure with water, then dry with a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper, then place on a board and cut into thin slices – it should be pinky-purple on the outside and slightly white in the centre. Garnish with extra dill.

Serve with the crackers, pickled cucumber and crème fraîche.

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