One-Pot Wonders

Loup de Mer (MediterraneanĀ Seabass)

October  4, 2022
1 Ratings
Photo by Tom Hirschfeld/
  • Serves 4 to 6
Author Notes

I was very surprised the first time I ran across Loup de Mer at the fish store. They had it labeled as Bronzino which is the Italian name, well one of them the Italians have different names for this fish according to what part of the country you are in. This fish has several names but the way they are marketing it now is Mediterranean or European Seabass. No matter what they call it it is a wonderful fish. It is a fish that needs little adornment, in fact if you were to ask Marcella Hazan she would inform you to simply poach it and serve it with mayonnaise. I can say I have to agree and especially the part about the mayonnaise. —thirschfeld

What You'll Need
  • 2 Mediterranean Seabass, about 1 to 1 1/2 pounds each
  • 1 pound shell-on raw shrimp
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 leek
  • 3 galric cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • a handful of tarragon sprigs
  • a quarter sized bundle of chive shoots
  • a small handful of parsley
  • mayonnaise
  1. Before you buy the fish ask the fishmonger if you can smell it, open up the belly flaps and smell and make sure it smells like fresh ocean. Lift the gills and look inside to see they are bright red not goey or brown or worse removed. Look into the eyes and make sure they aren't sunken and cloudy. If these are all a go buy the fish.
  2. About an hour before you want to cook the fish salt it making sure to season the stomach cavity.
  3. Heat the oven to 425 F degrees.
  4. Using a mandolin or a chef's knife (a mandolin makes really short work of this dish) thinly slice the vegetables. Spread them evenly across the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole. Add the bay leaves, enough stock to just cover the vegetables, and season with salt and pepper. Slide the casserole into the oven. Set a timer for 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile make two small herb bouquets using tarragon, chive and parsley sprigs. Tuck the bouquets along with a slice of lemon into the stomach cavities of the fish.
  6. When the timer goes off remove the vegetables from the oven. Place the fish on top of the vegetables. Place a couple of lemon slices on top of each fish. Return the dish to the oven and set the timer for another 15 minutes.
  7. Again when the timer goes off remove the casserole from the oven. Baste it with the broth from the bottom of the pan then scatter the shrimp around the fish trying to keep them in a single layer. Dab, because dotting isn't enough, the fish with butter. One last time, slide the fish back into the oven for the final 10 minute bake.
  8. Remove the fish from the oven. Top with tarragon and chives, serve with mayonnaise.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Lisa Cerra
    Lisa Cerra
  • Barbara Claire Pitcher
    Barbara Claire Pitcher
  • walkie74
  • Shalini
  • thirschfeld

10 Reviews

Lisa C. June 18, 2020
**Branzino :-)
Vivi B. July 4, 2015
I made this last night and while it looked gorgeous it was "meh"! I was so disappointed. My guests asked for hot sauce.... and I did too. I cooked according to the instructions exactly and it was over cooked. So were the shrimp. I will try again but will seriously tweak and change the timing. A very expensive disappointment.
HStan September 21, 2013
Well I cheated; it was late and after finding your recipe, I cooked it in a foil packet with all the veggies, herbs and spices for 35 minutes at 400. It was simply fabulous -- what a fish! Perhaps the most delectable taste and texture of anything sampled anywhere in the world. Thanks to the wonderful Central Market of Fort Worth for bringing it in so fresh. Next time, I'll go all the way, I promise! (Fresh Gulf flounder would work well also.)
Barbara C. June 30, 2013
Will make this Tuesday evening while practicing food & wine pairings for ISG mid-term exam next week. Thank You!
Looks amazing. Can't wait to try this.
thirschfeld May 5, 2013
Oh thank you. I can't wait to hear how you like it!
walkie74 April 24, 2013
Question: any suggestions on making the bones easier to deal with?
thirschfeld April 24, 2013
This is how I handle it. I use a spoon. I start by running it gently across the surface of the fish which peels back the skin. Then using the tip and starting on top side the dorsal fin side I run the spoon right along the back bone. It easily filets the cooked fish. The skelteton can now be very easily lifted from the bottom filet. You might still have a few rib bones near the stomach but the fish is essentially deboned.
Shalini April 23, 2013
This is such a fantastic photo essay and recipe, Tom. Delicious, can't wait to try it.
thirschfeld April 23, 2013
Thanks Shalini!