Le Caprice: Thai baked sea bass with fragrant rice

Le Caprice's menu features classic British, European and American favourites. Here they share their recipe for baked sea bass infused with aromatic Thai spices
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Le Caprice restaurant bar
© Le Caprice/Taste of London
Le Caprice combines serious glamour with a great bar and à la carte menu
Classic St James's restaurant Le Caprice is moments from Piccadilly, Mayfair and London's West End, and combines serious glamour with a great bar and à la carte menu.

Serves 8

For the dipping sauce

* 25ml sesame oil
* one small red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
* 35g ginger, peeled and finely chopped
* one stick of fresh lemongrass
* 3 lime leaves
* 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
* 125ml sweet soy sauce
* 100ml light soy sauce

For the fragrant rice

* 2 sticks lemon grass, bulbous ends crushed
* 8 lime leaves
* 1.5ltr salted water
* 225g basmati rice, washed twice in cold water

For the sea bass

* 35ml sesame oil
* 3 medium chillies, seeded and roughly chopped
* 3 sticks lemon grass, peeled and bulbous ends roughly chopped
* 80g root ginger or galangal, peeled and roughly chopped
* 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
* 8 lime leaves, roughly chopped
* 15g coriander
* 8 fillets of sea bass, approximately 200g each, scaled and filleted
* 1-2 metres banana leaf (you can sometimes order banana leaves from a good Asian or exotic greengrocer. If that fails, wrap the fish in foil or greaseproof paper)


1. First, make the dipping sauce. Heat the sesame oil in a pan and fry the chili, ginger, lemongrass and lime leaves slowly with the garlic for one minute to soften and release the flavours.

2. Add both soy sauces, bring the mixture to the boil, then cool and pour into a bowl, or, ideally, into individual soy dishes.

3. Now for the rice: simmer the lemongrass with the lime leaves in 1.5 litres of salted water for 10 minutes. Add the rice and simmer for 10-12 minutes until just cooked. Drain in a colander, then return to the pan with a lid on and let it stand for 10 minutes before serving. This will help it to become nice and fluffy. Serve the rice in individual bowls or put it in a large bowl to pass around to guests.

4. While the rice is cooking, prepare the fish. Heat the sesame oil in a pan and fry the chillies, lemon grass, ginger, garlic and lime leaves for a couple of minutes.

5. Then put them into a food processor with the coriander and chop them finely. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/gas mark 6.

6. Spread the paste on each sea bass fillet and wrap in a piece of banana leaf like a parcel, folding the leaf so that the edges join underneath the fillet. Bake for 10-15 minutes.

7. Serve the fish on individual plates with the dipping sauce and rice.

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