Steamed sea bass with blushing beurre blanc

by Lesley Holdship

A French-style fish dish with a blood orange sauce

To feel really French, be sure to season with white pepper here. It can look a bit gritty if you use black pepper.


2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
Juice of 3 blood oranges
150g butter, cut into small cubes
Sea salt and a little white pepper
½ onion, cut into wedges
1 small carrot, cut into chunks
2 bay leaves
4 large sea bass fillets, skinned


Place the shallot in a wide pan with the blood orange juice. Simmer for a few mins until the juice has reduced by three quarters.

Either using a whisk, or just with a lovely swirling action, add the butter a few cubes at a time keeping the pan over a low heat. Once the butter is amalgamated, taste and season if required. Take off the heat and keep in a warm place.

Heat a steamer and place the onion, carrot and bay leaves in the steaming basket.

Slice the fillets lengthways then roll each piece up and secure with a cocktail stick. Sit in the steamer and cook for 6-7 mins.

Serve the bass with the brassica of your choice, drenched with the blood orange beurre blanc.

ALTERNATIVE: Use 100ml white wine vinegar and 50ml white wine instead of the blood orange juice for a classic beurre blanc. 

Recipe: Lesley Holdship