I recently bought a recipe book called Great British Chefs: Hacks and I found the most wonderful recipe it in; Sea Bass with pickled mustard seeds and green beans.  Wow! I’ve never cooked a piece of fish as good, I’m wrapped!

I was surprised by the recipe which includes turmeric, quite a strong flavour and also mustard seeds - quite strong, however the end result was incredible and it was only marinated for 1 hour.  Sea Bass for me is the king of all fish.  Some of the recipes in the book are a lot of work, this sea bass one is one of the easier ones but my friends Paul and Caroline have also tried some others, there is a particularly good one with cured Salmon, the flavours reminded me so much of Scandinavia, truly beautiful.

The Recipe is as follows (Credit to Peter Joseph of Great British Chefs)

Sea bass with pickled mustard seeds and green beans 

  • 4 sea bass fillets
  • 2 tsp yellow mustard seeds, lightly crushed
  • 2 tbsp malt vinegar
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra for frying
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 200g green beans
  • 1 lime cut into wedges
  • salt

Pickle the mustard seeds by submerging them in the vinegar and leaving overnight in the fridge.

The next day, mix the oil, turmeric and garlic together, then add the pickled mustard seeds and a pinch of salt.  Rub this mixture all over the sea bass fillets and set aside to marinade in the fridge for 1 hour.

While the sea bass marinates, blanch the green beans in salted boiling water for 2 minutes.  Drain then refresh in iced water and trim to size so they are slightly longer than the fillets.

Wrap the sea bass fillets around the beans as pictured above.  Heat a non-stick frying pan over a high heat with a dash of oil, then carefully add the fillets and fry for a few minutes until golden on the underside.  carefully turn over and repeat on the other side until golden all over and cooked through.

Serve with a squeeze of lime.

The thing to take from this is that there is no reason why oesophageal cancer patients cannot use this, or another mainstream recipe book and find meals that they will be able to eat.  The presentation in the book is different to mine.  I soft cooked the green beans because of my illness – which often means I have to look at adapting a recipe to suit my needs.  

Instead of conceding that you won’t be able to eat something, look at fashioning the meal so that you can - you just have to think about it a little harder.