David Scott AllenFish & SeafoodProvencal RecipesTaste

Delicious Saffron Broth for Poached Sea Bass

A wonder of colour appears in this dish as the delicate threads of saffron delightfully paint the palette of the fish’s white flesh. The Poached Sea Bass is served in a saffron broth of fresh seafood stock with tomatoes, shallots and chives, it’s sure to bring a smile to everyone at your table. An excellent fish dish to try and serve any time of year. Read the full post and see the rest of David’s photos here.

Poached Sea Bass saffron tomato broth

Sea Bass Poached in Tomato-Saffron Broth

Fresh sea bass poached in a delicious shrimp and saffron broth.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine French, Provencal
Servings 4 people


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Large shallots peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup Dry White Wine
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 12 grape or cherry tomatoes quartered lengthwise
  • 2 cups shrimp broth or fish stock or water
  • 1 tsp Saffron threads
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 4 6- oz sea bass fillets Grouper - or cabrillo - also works well
  • 1 tbsp snipped chives


  • Heat the oil in a very large (12" or larger) skillet.
  • Sauté the shallots till clear but not brown.
  • Add the wine and reduce by half ‐‐ about 5 minutes over medium‐low heat.
  • Add the bay leaf, cherry tomatoes and shrimp stock.
  • Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the saffron, salt and pepper and simmer 3 minutes.
  • Can be made 4 hours ahead up to this point.
  • Return to a simmer before adding fish.
  • Arrange sea bass fillets in a single layer on top of broth.
  • Cover and cook for 2‐3 minutes.
  • Turn fillets, cover and cook 2 more minutes. (Timing will depend on the thickness of your fillets - the fish should flake easily with a fork.)
  • Divide sea bass fillets among four large, heated soup plates
  • Spoon broth and tomatoes over top.
  • Garnish with chives.


* Whenever I peel raw shrimp, I place all the shells in a resealable bag and keep it in my freezer. In addition to the shrimp shells, I also add pieces of shallot, onion, carrot, celery, and fennel. Then, when I need shrimp stock, I fill a saucepan with frozen shells and vegetables, and add water, a little white wine, salt, peppercorns, a couple of bay leaves, and a few sprigs of thyme, and boil it down. For this dish requiring 2 cups of shrimp broth, I use 3 cups of water and reduce it to the 2 cups I need. This ensures the concentration of the flavors. Simply strain and use.
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David Scott Allen

David Scott Allen

David Scott Allen is the author, photographer, and cook behind Cocoa & Lavender, a weekly food blog based in Tucson, Arizona. Passionate about travel, he especially enjoys eating traditional foods and learning local customs, whether in the United States or around the globe.

David's first trip to France took place when he was 14, and he returned as often as possible thereafter. However, it wasn't until his 50th birthday that he finally made it south to Provence. The beauty, history, charm, warmth, cuisine, and - of course - the rosé wines captured his heart. He shares his Provençal recipes here on Perfectly Provence, and his food and wine pairings monthly on the Provence WineZine.

David is a firm believer that sharing a meal with friends around the table is one of life's greatest pleasures. And if it happens to be in Provence, all the better!

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