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Sea Bass Habanero

Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken like food to be juicy and this simple fish in a flavorful broth is a perfect example. Brown the fish well as it helps to enrich the broth.

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  • Servings: 4

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  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Four 6-ounce sea bass fillets, with skin if desired
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 small mango, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and cut into thin strips
  • 1 habanero chile, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup fish stock or 1/2 cup clam juice diluted with 1/4 cup water
  • 1 lime, cut into 8 wedges
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro


  1. Heat the oil in a large nonreactive skillet until shimmering. Season the bass with salt and pepper and add to the skillet skin side up. Cook over high heat until nicely browned but barely opaque throughout, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to a plate.
  2. Add the onion to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until browned, about 3 minutes. Raise the heat to high. Add the garlic, mango, tomato, habanero and a pinch each of salt and pepper and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add the fish stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to the moderately low and simmer for 2 minutes.
  3. Lightly squeeze the lime into the broth and add the wedges along with the fish. Cover and cook until the fish is opaque throughout, 1 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the fish and vegetables to 4 soup plates; spoon the broth over the top. Sprinkle with the cilantro and serve.
Contributed By Published March 1997

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