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When cooking fish at home, I believe that one shouldn’t decide what dish to cook before going to see what fish is available at the local fishmonger. On Thursday I went to visit the famous fishmonger, Jacky Lorenzo, at Bastille market. Whilst chatting to him he advised me to buy some Salmon Bass / better known as Meagre (“Maigre” in French). In his opinion it is as good as Sea Bass whilst being much cheaper (about 33% cheaper), so why not ? The fish was just over 1kg, so OK for me, Antonella and the kids, especially if I prepared it with the raviolli that I had made the night before.

Let’s start with the photo, to whet the appetite…..

I had never tasted Salmon Bass before, and I was intrigued to see if it was as good as Bass.

Once at home, I set about preparing the fillets of Salmon Bass. The shape of the fish is pretty similar to Bass (differences with the fins and the colour of the skin) and the colour of the flesh (firm and red-tinged) is almost a dead-ringer for bass. One interesting difference was the much shorter bones in the rib cage.

For the raviollis (classic pasta recipie rolled out with the ever present “Imperia” pasta machine) I decided to do 2 different types, simply in an effort to accomodate the different tastes of us the parents and the kids !

  • 3 cheese (parmesan, ricotta, emmental) and diced black olive – simple and very effective
  • “autumn” flavours with endive, orange juice, chestnuts, celeriac, shallots, garlic – a lot of “noise” for very little effect. Next time I’ll cut out the celeriac and put in much more endive
  • For the sauce , I did a simple tomato sauce with wine, fish stock (cube), cream and seasoning. It was fine – nothing to write home about, as we say.

    So, the lesson for me was buy Salmon Bass again when I get the chance. The flavour was very good (though I did help matters by cooking it almost perfectly and seasoning it nicely), and I like the firmness of the flesh.

    Bon appetit !

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