Poached Black Bass in a Rich Nage

  • Serves

    serves 4

This dish was created by chef Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin in Manhattan.


For the Nage

  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 ribs celery, halved crosswise
  • 1 large onion, peeled and halved
  • 1 bulb fennel, halved
  • 1 carrot, peeled, trimmed, and halved
  • 1 small ripe tomato, cored
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp. fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp. fine sea salt
  • 1 tbsp. white peppercorns
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 12 cup champagne vinegar

For the Fish

  • 4 (6-oz.) filets black bass
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 8 Tbsp. cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 small ripe tomato, peeled, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/2" x 1 1/2" batons
  • 5 small scallions, dark green part only, cut into 4"-long pieces, blanched, rinsed under cold water, and halved lengthwise
  • 2 (2"-long) thin slices peeled ginger, finely julienned, blanched, and rinsed under cold water
  • 1 lemon, trimmed of peel, pith, and membrane; segments cut out
  • 12 small leaves cilantro


Step 1

For the nage: Put garlic, celery, onions, fennel, carrots, tomato, bay leaf, fennel sees, coriander seeds, salt, peppercorns, wine, vinegar, and 4 quarts water into a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until reduced to 5 cups, 3-3 1⁄2 hours. Let cool. Strain through a chinois or a fine mesh sieve into a bowl and set aside.

Step 2

For the fish: Bring 4 cups of the nage to a simmer in a large skillet over medium heat. Score skin of each bass in 4 places, then season fish with salt and pepper. Poach bass in the simmering nage until just cooked through, 8-10 minutes.

Step 3

Bring remaining cup of nage to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low; whisk in butter, 1 tbsp. at a time, whisking until butter melts and sauce is slightly thick and emulsified, 3-4 minutes.

Step 4

To serve, transfer fish with a slotted spatula to each of 4 warm plates skin side up, discarding nage. Arrange tomatoes, scallions, ginger, lemon segments, and cilantro around fish. Divide sauce between plates, pouring it around fish.

Continue to Next Story

Want more SAVEUR?

Get our favorite recipes, stories, and more delivered to your inbox.