Typically prepared with red snapper in the Caribbean, this dish is a reminder of how comfort foods can bring people together. Sea Bass Blaff is the fish called sea bass cooked in a spicy, mildly hot and slightly acidic liquid, hence the blaff.
Blaff is a way a preparing fish that is popular in the Caribbean. In Martinique, this technique is very popular. Freshly cleaned fish is marinated in overnight with a mixture of fresh herbs, spices, hot pepper and lemon juice. The fish is then cooked in a spiced court bouillon or broth.
This recipe can be prepared with any firm fish. The key is to add fresh and enough spices for proper marination process. In the Caribbean, it is okay to use fresh ingredients as it is the healthy way to nourish your body.
Fish or seafood taste better with fresh herbs and spices. It is also recommended to use lemon or lime when cooking fish for a fresher taste. The fresher the fish or seafood, the more delicious your dish will be.
Sea Bass Blaff is usually enjoyed with boiled root vegetables such as yam, or plantains. Occasionally, Islanders will eat the dish with grains such as rice or bulgur wheat or cornmeal or polenta. A delicious and healthy dinner to enjoy with loved ones and family.
Note: Recipe updated and adapted from Babette de Rozieres
- 2 1/2 pounds fresh sea bass or any firm flesh fish steak size or pieces (4)
Fish marinade ingredients
- 4 limes or lemons
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 cloves garlic coarsely chopped
- 2 cloves
- 1 onion coarsely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 4 scallions finely chopped
- 1 medium onion thinly sliced or chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sprig thyme leaves removed and chopped
- 2 whole cloves
- 2 sprigs parsley finely chopped
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 whole hot pepper Habanero or Scotch Bonnet
- 2 tablespoon olive oil grapeseed oil or sunflower oil
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- Clean fish steaks or pieces by removing any scales. Create a lemon or vinegar bath to quickly rinse the pieces. Pat dry and set aside. If preferred
- Place the fish (pieces) in a large bowl and cover with water. Season with salt and pepper. Add the hot pepper, garlic, onion and vinegar. Chop the limes or lemons into pieces, squeeze them into the bowl then add the pieces to the bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for 8 hours to marinate. The marinade will infuse the flesh of the fish.
Sea Bass cooking instructions
- Pour 1 cup of water into a large saucepan then stir in half of the chopped garlic, scallions, onions, bay leaf, thyme, cloves and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Heat for 3 minutes, then add the fish and the whole hot pepper; simmer for 5 minutes stirring gently once or twice.
- Remove from heat and add the oil, lime juice and the remaining mixed herbs and spices. Mix well, making sure not to burst the hot pepper. Serve hot.
Recipe updated and adapted from Babette de Rozieres