Pan-fried sea bass with ratatouille & basil

Pan-fried sea bass with ratatouille & basil

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(14 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 15 mins

More effort

Serves 2
This restaurant-quality fish supper for two puts a new spin on classic French ratatouille

Nutrition and extra info

  • Gluten-free

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal645
  • fat54g
  • saturates8g
  • carbs12g
  • sugars11g
  • fibre7g
  • protein28g
  • salt0.3g
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  • 60ml olive oil, plus 2 tbsp
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 2 large handfuls basil leaves
  • 2 sea bass fillets (about 140g)
  • juice ½ lemon



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

For the ratatouille

  • 1 small red pepper
  • 1 small courgette



    The courgette is a variety of cucurbit, which means it's from the same family as cucumber,…

  • ½ aubergine



    Although it's technically a fruit (a berry, to be exact), the aubergine is used as a…

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 8 baby plum tomatoes, halved
  • pinch of sugar (optional)



    Honey and syrups made from concentrated fruit juice were the earliest known sweeteners. Today,…


  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and briefly fry 8 basil leaves just for a moment until they crisp up, then lift out of the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

  2. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and get a bowl of iced water ready. Blanch the remaining basil leaves for 5 secs. Using a pair of tongs, lift out the leaves and plunge them into iced water so that they cool quickly and keep their colour.

  3. Once cool, lift the leaves out and squeeze to remove any excess water.

  4. Add the blanched basil leaves to a food blender and pour in 60ml of olive oil. to a pourable sauce, adding more oil if needed, then put in a bowl and set aside.

  5. For the ratatouille, halve the pepper, then deseed and slice into thin strips. Cut the courgette into quarters lengthways and slice. Slice the aubergine into thick rounds, then cut each one into strips.

  6. Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the cumin and garlic, and cook for 30 secs. Tip all the veg into the pan, season and sweat for 1 min. Add 100ml water and cook on a high heat for 4 mins. Adjust the seasoning, adding the sugar if needed.

  7. With a sharp knife, score each fish fillet with small slits through the skin at regular intervals.

  8. To cook the fish, heat the remaining 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan until hot. Season the fillets and place, skin-side down, in the pan. Cook until the skin is golden and crisp, and the flesh is changing colour.

  9. Turn the fillets over and cook for 1 min, remove from the heat, then sprinkle over the lemon juice. Divide the ratatouille between the plates and top with the sea bass. Drizzle with basil oil, a little extra virgin olive oil and serve with crisp basil leaves.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Amelie Jouan's picture
Amelie Jouan
27th Apr, 2020
I did this for my mock cookery GCSE, NEA 2 and thought it was a very good dish, it tasted amazing but add less water to the ratatouille as it was really watery. The basil sauce really added to the range of flavours and made a real difference. Just saying - the adding of the tomatoes is not written in on the recipe.
19th Apr, 2020
Nice ratatouille but I didn't bother with the basil sauce, no courgettes in shop so used a piece of cucumber. Cooked sea bass and plaice in the oven with a little olive oil over and lemon slices as I was doing some garlic bread at 200deg for 12 mins.
9th Feb, 2020
Ended up making this today as I had some leftover ratatouille and some fish I bought this morning. Such a good idea to combine together-delicious.
Che Guevaraa's picture
Che Guevaraa
10th Jan, 2020
I thought this would be average tasting but it was actually amazing. The sugar is a game changer. The fried basil sounds a bit random but tastes wicked with the fish. Super easy to make as well even for me. This is a new weekday winner in my house.
Mark Hodges's picture
Mark Hodges
8th Jan, 2019
This recipe changed my mind about Ratatouille forever. The sugar worked for me and the basil oil was vital to the experience. I used wild sea bass fillets which were well worth the effort to obtain.
Tele Tom Tom's picture
Tele Tom Tom
5th Jan, 2019
Excellent recipe. Actually not that difficult to prepare. Instead of water i recommend a splash of white wine. Please dont use any sugar. Wine pairing. A quality Tenuta de Angelis Offida Pecorino 2017. Organic
12th Jan, 2016
So delicious! loved it and will definitely prepare again. I don't think it's necessary to add all that water to the ratatouille though, it makes the tomatoes very watery.
22nd Jul, 2015
Very good. I didn't bother with the basil oil but the ratatouille was lovely. Next time I will use higher quality fish fillets.
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