Striped Bass in ‘Saor’

  • Serves

    serves 2

In Venetian cooking, saor, meaning "sour", is a tart, slightly sweet marinade for fish—in this case, striped bass.


For the Garnish

  • 1 cup vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 1 leek, white part only, finely julienned
  • 6 fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, washed and dried

For the Fish and Sauce

  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 5 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. dry red wine
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp. golden raisins
  • 1 tsp. orange zest
  • 2 (8-oz.) striped bass filets, with skin
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Step 1

For the garnish: Heat vegetable oil in a small heavy saucepan over high heat until very hot, but not smoking. Place half the leeks in the oil and fry until golden brown, about 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels, and repeat with remaining leeks. Add parsley, fry for 10 seconds, and remove immediately. Drain on paper towels and set aside.

Step 2

For the sauce: Cook onions in 2 tbsp. of the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat, until soft, about 20 minutes. Stir in vinegar, wine, sugar, pine nuts, raisins, orange zest, and another 1 tbsp. of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Step 3

Season fish with salt and pepper on both sides. Sear fish skin-side-down in remaining 2 tbsp. olive oil over high heat for 2 minutes. (Don't allow oil to reach smoke point; fish will curl.) Turn fish and sear 1 minute more.

Step 4

To serve, spoon half the onion mixture onto each plate and place fish on top, skin side up. Garnish with fried leeks and parsley leaves.