My husband and I have fallen in love with Chilean sea bass. I wanted to create a recipe for it that has a sauce with a definite flavor presence. I have been fascinated with chermoula for a long time. I like the flavors of fresh herbs seasoned with spices, rich olive oil and lime juice. This sounds a lot like pesto but richer. Chermoula originated in the countries along the northern coast of Africa, each one incorporating its own unique flavor. It is used as a condiment alongside many dishes, as a marinade for meat before it is grilled and as a sauce on top of meat.
In my recipe for Chermoula, I add some of the flavors of India. I roast saffron, cumin seeds and coriander seeds over an open flame then grind them into a powder. I also add turmeric, paprika and a whole green chile. Like pesto, parsley, cilantro, garlic and all of the spices are puréed in a food processor along with olive oil and lime juice.
I make several cups of chermoula at a time, so I have plenty left over for my next recipe. I love the layers of flavor in this recipe: (mild) heat from the chile, sour from the lime, bright flavor from the herbs, pungent spice from garlic and smoky floral from the saffron. It makes a great sauce to top sea bass.
I love the mild buttery flavor of Chilean sea bass so I chose to serve it with the chermoula sauce. I simply seasoned it with salt and pepper then pan fried it in a little bit of oil over medium-high heat until the outside was golden brown, and the center was just done, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. The fish could also be grilled but I prefer the appearance and texture when it is pan fried.
Place a piece of sea bass on each plate then top with a generous amount of chermoula on top. Serve Chilean Sea Bass with Chermoula with your favorite vegetables on the side.
In my next post I will share my recipe for chermoula marinated chicken for another easy and delicious dish.