Baked Sea Bass with Vegetables

baked sea bassA strange thing happened the day before and I received an e-mail from Greenpeace Mediterranean office. Of course receiving an e-mail is not strange at all but the content was quite surprising considering the recipe I was about to publish.

Right after seasonal fishing prohibition was over in here, I tried some different recipes featuring one of my favorite fishes, sea bass, and finalized most of the details like photo shoot and final quantities of the ingredients. Photos were there, recipe was ready and only thing left was to write the post. I got some tea and sit on my couch to check my emails before starting to write. While taking my very first sip I happened to read a few lines coming from the communications officer of Greenpeace Mediterranean office, Deniz Sozudogru and was almost spilling my tea all over.

baked sea bass with vegetables

I don’t know whether this could be explained as a coincidence but it was really interesting. Deniz was mentioning their recent campaign to prevent fishing of immature fishes which will cause to extinction of various species very soon. According to explanation coming from Greenpeace, 90% of mature fishes are already caught all around the world and total fish inventory is almost diminished by 60%. That means after a few generations we will totally forget the taste of fish and there won’t be a life underwater.

sea bass served along with white wine

When an immature fish without having any chance to lay its eggs even once is caught, thousands of future breed will also be lost. So what should we do then? We have to ask from governmental authorities to ban fishing and selling of undersized fishes. Greenpeace started this campaign here in Turkey but there might be similar actions in your country too to participate.

fish scale

Moreover, we need to learn the accurate size of specific types of fish at their maturity state and should never buy the ones below this size level.  As it’s taught in Economy 101 course, if there is no demand, logically there should be no supply either. Deniz also shared the fish scale above showing the ideal size of various fishes. Please take a look, try to keep in mind and pay attention while you are buying fish. By the way also keep in mind that a real sea bass has a whitish body and very shiny skin with thinner scales on it while the one produced in a farm environment has a darker color and covered with larger scales. Keep those in mind not to be deceived while shopping since sea bass is much more expensive compared to farm produced one.

lemon thyme sprigs on top of sea bass

As for the recipe, I am hundred percent sure that it will catch your fancy with its looks at first but I have to add that its taste won’t be overshadowed. The sorrow taste of white wine vinegar gives it a kick and using a fully closed baking paper helps retain all different flavors coming from seasonal vegetables and lemon thymes. I preferred to bake all sea bass fillets in one large parcel I made out of baking paper but you may also prepare individual ones to serve.

Last but not least, please actively engage in campaigns like the one I mentioned here to save the life under seas and consequently to be able to enjoy all kinds of seafood in near future. I don’t want this recipe to be an archaic remainder after some 30 years, so please eat responsibly.

peppers and leeks

Ingredients (for 4 serving)

  • 4 pieces of sea bass fillets (make sure that even the small bones are removed)
  • 60 g (2,1 oz) red bell pepper (julienne/matchstick cut)
  • 60 g (1,2 oz) yellow bell pepper (julienne/matchstick cut)
  • 60 g (2,1 oz) leek (julienne/matchstick cut)
  • Fresh lemon thyme sprigs
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Sea salt


1. Preheat your oven to 170°C (338°F).
2. Cut a 35cmX50cm (14” X 20”) baking paper and fold from the middle to obtain 35cmX25cm (14” X 10”) rectangles attached from one side. Place the folded paper on a baking sheet and open the folded face. Lightly grease the face placed on the baking sheet with some olive oil by using a brush.
3. On a separate cutting board place the sea bass fillets and grease them on both sides with the remaining olive oil, season with black pepper and sea salt.
4. Place seasoned sea bass fillets on baking paper side to side and garnish their top with julienne cut vegetables in bias pattern.
5. Pour one tablespoon of white wine vinegar on each fillet and put lemon thyme sprigs on top.
6. Fold the other side of the baking paper on fish fillets to cover them completely and close three open sides of the paper by flapping each side by 1 cm three times, staple the corners and middle parts of the 1cm flapped line to make sure that parcel is tightly sealed.
7. Place baking sheet into your oven and bake for 20 minutes. Wait for 5 minutes to serve after taking out of the oven.

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  1. #1 by Ebru - December 20th, 2010 at 01:09

    Your photos beautiful as always.. Excellent work :) Thanks for your posting.

  2. #2 by nathalie - December 22nd, 2010 at 22:49

    It’s respectful that you have cooked the fish and you posted with this article. I believe that they will come to extinction anyway but I will be careful. I like the third picture best!

  3. #3 by wgfoodie - December 28th, 2010 at 18:32

    Beautiful presentation and love the use of healthy ingredients. Sea bass is one of my favorite fish and I look forward to making a rendition of this dish myself. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. #4 by sara - December 29th, 2010 at 05:07

    Gorgeous! This looks really delicious and it’s so pretty. :)

  5. #5 by Ozhan - December 29th, 2010 at 10:17

    Thank you so much Wgfoodie, I’m sure that you will come up with even better combinations.

    Nathalie, thanks for your support on Greenpeace campaign. It feels so good to read such a comment.

    Ebru, it’s nice to hear that you like it. I will try to post more frequently as I promised :)

    Sara, so nice to read your kind comments.

  6. #6 by Nazan - June 21st, 2011 at 17:07

    This is simply food art! congratulations for another amazing piece of art!

  7. #7 by Elda - January 12th, 2012 at 01:24

    My favorite dish! I am craving this sea bass for days. I miss your delicate taste that gives me inspiration about anything.
    p.s.: The photos look more than real as always.

  8. #8 by Ozhan - January 14th, 2012 at 15:59

    Thanks a lot Nazan, taste was also superb. You should try the recipe one day.

  9. #9 by Ozhan - January 14th, 2012 at 16:16

    Elda,I remembered the days we were having baked sea bass almost every week at Boncuk and realized how much I missed our eat and chat sessions too. Thanks for your comment.

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