Sea Bass in Shredded Potato Skin

Episode 125: Ocean Options
Recipe: Sea Bass in Shredded Potato Skin (Black Fish in Shredded Potato Skin)

Black fish, also called tautog, is readily available on the East Coast during summer. Whitefleshed, firm, and juicy, this is one of the best fish around. You can substitute sea bass, halibut, swordfish, or even Arctic char. These fillets are cooked in a shredded potato crust. The crisp crust keeps the fish juicy and provides a nice balance to the tender flesh. Use large baking potatoes. Peel them (although they can be left unpeeled, if you prefer) and wash them, then shred them against the side of a box grater with the largest holes. At this point, the potatoes should be used immediately or kept in water to cover until ready to cook.

Sea Bass in Shredded Potato Skin

Serves 4

2 large baking potatoes (1 pound total)
1/2 medium leek, trimmed (leaving some green), split, washed, and finely chopped (1/2 cup)
1 tablespoon safflower or peanut oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 skinless black fish (sea bass) fillets (about 6 ounces each)

Peel the potatoes (or leave them unpeeled, if desired) and wash them. Shred the potatoes on the large holes of a box grater. (You should have about 2 1/2 cups.) Drain well in a colander, then combine in a bowl with the leek and mix well.

Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet, preferably nonstick. Meanwhile, sprinkle half the salt on the fillets. When the oil and butter are hot, spoon 4 small, evenly spaced mounds of the shredded potatoes and leek (each about 1/3 cup) into the skillet. Press a portion of fish into each mound and cover the fish with the remaining potatoes. Sprinkle with the remaining salt. Cook the potato packages over medium-high heat for 6 to 7 minutes. Turn them carefully with a large spatula and cook them for 6 to 7 minutes on the other side. The potatoes should be nicely crusted on both sides and the fish just cooked. Serve.

Copyright © 2011 by Jacques Pépin. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.


  • Suzanne

    So excited to try this tomorrow night! What should I do for a side??:)

    • hiba

      same here

  • Serilda

    Sounds wonderful. I would serve with a nice salad, since your starch is already around the fish.

  • Lcbirkhead

    I made the recipe with cod instead of the sea bass and left out the butter (dairy free), it was delicious!

  • Smith

    Made this dish tonight with cod as I could not obtain any of Jacques’ recommended fish. It was delicious. Served with sautéed zucchini and yellow squash.

  • Randy Russell

    The shredded potatoes need to be rinsed thoroughly and then drained thoroughly. It removes much of the starch. Otherwise, they’ll be soggy. I hope this helps!

  • jim powers

    I have followed chef for years, when I was in culinary school inlondon I used his
    recipes, he is outstandi and the food turned out perfect
    Thank you chef Pepin

  • Terry Ingram Duff

    I used white onions for the leeks (I had none), cod for the bass,
    added a pinch of tarragon and presented it on a bed of sauteed baby
    chard. Scrumptious!

  • one_of_6_billion

    I made this for my son this evening and it was excellent. Simple and fairly quick considering I was watching Mr. Pepin as I was preparing it. I didn’t have quite the presentation of his – think I used a little too much potato, but they came out pretty well nonetheless – and the taste was excellent. I used Cod. Make no mistake, Mr. Pepin has a way of making all this look much easier than it is!! Thank you sir, for sharing your skill and expertise. You are sincerely, a gentleman and a culinary scholar!

  • Rose Mary Grimes Broussard

    This looked so good when we watched it on your program, we will try this.