Capaccio of sea bass crudo with tomato seed jus, lemon and sprouting fennel

There are but a handful of recipes one tastes and remembers forever, for me this is one.

Sea bass is a beautiful fish and this method does the muscled ambush predator justice.

I remember where, when and with whom I first tasted this delicately fragranced recipe which I was soon reverse engineering to reveal its secrets. Incredibly it never lasted the restaurant’s menu edit and was rudely replaced with gurnard ceviche of all things.

The seabass is sliced so thinly it is like velum, the delicate milky pink flesh is lightly dressed in enough olive oil to allow the smoky, late-blooming heat of espelette pepper and bright lemon and fennel to shine.

This sea bass is so good you might not want to share. I certainly didn’t.


– Two skinless sea bass fillets, thinly sliced crosswise on the diagonal
– two tomatos
– 1 x radish, finely sliced
– 1 x small spring onion, thinly sliced
– Taggiasca olives 
– fresh chile
olive oil
lemon juice
fennel seeds, germinating
– cracked black pepper
sea salt
– Toasted thin baguette slices, for serving


– In a bowl, combine the lemon juice, fresh chile, salt and pepper

– Arrange the sea bass slices on a plate. Drizzle with the dressing. Let stand for 3 minutes

– Pour on tomato seed jus and scatter the diced spring onion, radishes and olives on top. Finally sprinkle sprouted fennel seeds

– Serve with toasted thin baguette slices

OCTANE offers gastro wilderness expeditions – employing OCTANE’s 8* methods of sourcing wild food for the pot, we eat the world’s best food, OCEAN FRESH**

*OCTANE’s 8 is our philosophy – we believe our travelling guests, being closest to the world’s wildest fresh foods, might quite like to eat the world’s wildest fresh foods. 1) We line fish, 2) we lobster pot, 3) we spear fish, 4) we sea forage, 5) we land forage, 6) we deer stalk, 7) we seed the sea, 8) we seed the land

**OCEAN FRESH – the term fresh fish is of course relative. On the high-street, at supermarkets and in city restaurants fresh fish really means days old so, when patiently waiting for your number to be called at the fish-counter, be ready to ask where your fish is from and how many days ago it was likely caught. Supermarkets invent terms to suit their needs and, as a discerning consumer, it really is your right to challenge nonsense. At Octane we have therefore made a new, differentiated and entirely transparent definition – OCEAN FRESH. Simply put, it means caught and eaten same-day.

See OCEAN FRESH in practice – with the post ‘Drive-by calamari’ – ocean fresh calamari caught, cooked and served in under an hour with a gunard ceviche  of all things.

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