This is excellent with mango and coconut rice.

It’s the Sichuan flower pepper, underpinned by the ginger, which makes this sea bass sizzle.

It’s very quick and easy – good for just two or four people

You can use stone bass instead of sea bass. Stone bass is a farmed fish which grows bigger than a sea bass so that the fillets are thicker, juicier and more luxurious. You can get stone bass from The Fish Society.


Recipe for sizzling Sichuan sea bass

Serves 2


  • 4 sea bass fillets, about 140g/5 oz each
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1”/3 cm length of fresh ginger, chopped very fine or grated
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed with smoked salt
  • 1 bunch of spring onions, cut into lengths, and then cut vertically very thin – in the manner of Peking duck
  • 2 tbsp rich, fermented soy sauce
  • About 8 Sichuan pepper corns, crushed in a pestle and mortar – if you feel you want a little fresh red chilli for colour you could substitute that – add a very small amount when you add the garlic


  1. Put the oil into the frying pan and get hot.
  2. Season the fish with the pepper, and fry skin side down for about four minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, spring onions and ginger, turn the fish over and fry another minute.
  4. You’ll find the skin comes off quite easily – ease it off with the fish slice and push it to one end of the frying pan.
  5. Pour over the soy sauce.
  6. Serve the fish, and everything else in the pan EXCEPT the skin…
  7. Fry up the skin until it’s good and crispy and serve as a garnish to those who like it.


David Bowie sings China Girl