Imagine yourself sitting on a terrace overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. The sun is just beginning to set, casting a golden glow across the water in front of you. You’ve already had your Aperol Spritz, but the conversation is just too good to rush the evening. How about sharing a refreshing and delicious sea bass carpaccio to really increase that Mediterranean feel.
This is one of my favorite sea bass recipes because it is essentially no-fail. A baked Mediterranean sea bass is always delicious, but that is more of a dinner dish. This sea bass carpaccio is perfect for a light, pre-dinner appetizer.
What Is Carpaccio?
Carpaccio is a dish of raw meat or fish traditionally served as an appetizer. I say traditionally, yet the dish was only invented in 1963 in Venice, Italy. Carpaccio originally only referred to the dish of thinly sliced beef topped with olive oil, lemon, white truffle, and Parmigiano Reggiano. These days however it is used as an all encompassing name for any ‘dressed’ crudo.
What is the main difference between carpaccio and crudo? There is actually a square-rectangle discourse around this topic. Since crudo simply means ‘raw’, it is used quite interchangeably with carpaccio. Yet as carpaccio specifically refers to dressed raw meats, anything without acid and oil can only be a crudo, and not a carpaccio.
What About Ceviche or Poke?
Ceviche has a few differences with carpaccio. To start, ceviche is traditionally cut into cubes or bite size pieces in the case of octopus ceviche. Ceviche also uses lime as the acid, whereas carpaccio uses lemon. In this sea bass carpaccio I use lemon, grapefruit, orange, and vinegar!
Poke, which is a Hawaiian raw fish dish, also cuts the fish into bite size cubes. Poke does not use acid, instead opting to marinade in things like soy sauce and sesame oil.
There are many other raw fish dishes like sashimi, tiradito, and kinilaw – but as this is a recipe post I’m not going to do a deep dive into all of them.
How To Make A Sea Bass Carpaccio?
This recipe is all about high quality fresh ingredients. At the very least you want a clean smelling fish. I suggest checking the eyes and gills. If the eyes are clear and sparkly, and the gills are deep red, then you have a good fish.
- 1 Sea Bass (I know they come in all different sizes so use your best judgement. Mine was in the 300-500 grams category at the monger. Note that since you will have a lot of scrap left over you should plan to freeze the carcass to be used in fish soup so you have little waste).
- 1 small Lemon (supremed)
- 1 small Orange (supremed)
- 1 small Grapefruit (supremed)
- 3 Cherry Tomatoes (halved)
- 1 Red Chili Pepper (thinly sliced)
- 3 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tsp White Wine Vinegar
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 2 tsp Simple Syrup (optional. I find that a little sugar helps balance the acidity of this dish. If you don’t have simple syrup you can use 1 tsp of sugar, just make sure it is fully dissolved in the liquid before pouring over the fish.)
- Basil (chiffonade, for garnish)
To start this sea bass carpaccio we first have to supreme the citrus. I suggest doing this over a large bowl since you want to catch the juices. Simply slice off both ends of the fruit, then remove the peel with a knife. Finally, holding the peeled citrus in one hand over the bowl, use a sharp knife to cut out wedges in between the white membrane. Squeeze the core into the bowl after you have supremed the wedges.
You can save the peel slices to make oleo saccharum which is a popular cocktail ingredient.
Next add the rest of the ingredients (except the fish, tomatoes, and basil. Let sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
For the sea bass go ahead and fillet the fish. Then use a knife to remove the skin. This can take a bit of practice if you are not used to filleting a whole fish, but I find it quite a fun thing to do in the kitchen. I’ve written a very basic fillet guide as a part of this recipe.
Use your knife to slice off pieces of the seabass similar to how you would make sashimi. The better you are the more beautiful your cuts will be, but you can get away with a more rustic look as well. This is home cooking after all.
Slice your cherry tomatoes into thin rounds and lay them on the fish. Then pour over the citrus dressing and garnish with a few sprinkles of basil chiffonade. Enjoy!
Sea Bass Carpaccio
- 1 Bowl
- 1 Sea Bass I know they come in all different sizes so use your best judgement. Mine was in the 300-500 grams category at the monger. Note that since you will have a lot of scrap left over you should plan to freeze the carcass to be used in fish soup so you have little waste.
- 1 small Lemon supremed
- 1 small Orange supremed
- 1 small Grapefruit supremed
- 3 Cherry Tomatoes halved
- 1 Red Chili Pepper thinly sliced
- 3 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tsp White Wine Vinegar
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 2 tsp Simple Syrup optional. I find that a little sugar helps balance the acidity of this dish. If you don’t have simple syrup you can use 1 tsp of sugar, just make sure it is fully dissolved in the liquid before pouring over the fish.
- Basil chiffonade, for garnish
- Begin by supreming your citrus. Cut off the tops and bottoms, then place flat on a cutting board. Use a knife to cut away the peel and pith. Then, holding the fruit over the bowl, make angled cuts between the membranes and allow the wedges to fall into the bowl. When you have done all the wedges squeeze the core so the juice goes into the bowl as well.1 small Lemon, 1 small Orange, 1 small Grapefruit
- Add the pepper, oil, salt, sugar, and vinegar to the bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside while you prep the fish.1 Red Chili Pepper, 3 tbsp Olive Oil, 1/2 tsp Salt, 2 tsp Simple Syrup, 1 tsp White Wine Vinegar
- Fillet the seabass (click link in article for cutting guide) and cut off the skin. Then slice the flesh into thin strips like if you were making sashimi. Place the strips directly onto the plate in which you are serving the dish.1 Sea Bass
- Thinly slice your cherry tomatoes and lay the rounds on the plate above the fish.3 Cherry Tomatoes
- Pour over your citrus dressing and sprinkle a little basil chiffonade on top for garnish. Enjoy.Basil