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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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