Sea Bass with Girolles

Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

A Feast of Fish

A Feast of Fish

By Ian McAndrew

Published 1989

  • About

Use dried girolles if fresh ones are not available; dried are not as good, but they will do just as well. Be careful when handling the sea bass as their fins can cause nasty injuries.


  • 1 X 450 g/1 lb sea bass
  • 48 small girolles, or 24 large ones cut in half
  • A little butter
  • 85 ml/3 fl oz vermouth
  • 350 ml/12 fl oz fish stock
  • 50 ml/2 fl oz Madeira
  • 450 ml/15 fl oz double cream


    Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5.

    Carefully scale the sea bass – avoid handling the fins and the area around the gills. Fillet the fish but do not skin. Remove the few small bones at the head end of each fillet using a pair of pliers.

    Scrape the girolles clean of any dirt or grit but do not wash. If they are large, as they often are, then cut each one in half lengthwise. To prepare dried girolles, soak in cold water for about 20 minutes before using.

    Butter an ovenproof pan large enough to comfortably take the fillets (use two pans if necessary). Lay the fillets in, add the vermouth and the fish stock, and cover with a lid or buttered paper or foil. Set the pan over a high heat until the liquid starts to tremble, then transfer to the oven. Cook for about 3-4 minutes – once the surface colour of the fish has changed, it is cooked. Remove the fillets, cover and keep warm.

    Add the Madeira to the stock, then return the stock to a high heat and reduce by two-thirds. Add the girolles and the cream, bring back to the boil and reduce until thickened.