David Higgs’ Seabass With Lentil Curry And Pickled Cucumber

David Higgs reveals that he is massively influenced by both French cuisine and technique and one of his favourite French recipes is a seabass paired with lentil curry and pickled cucumber. David admits that he loves using Seabass when whipping up French-inspired cusine and admits that the fish has the opportunity to deliver some exquisite flavours. This recipe can also be found in his cookbook ‘Mile 8: A Book About Cooking.’

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 8 


640g seabass – filleted, skin on
salt and pepper
lemon zest – for sprinkling

Lentil curry

1 onion – finely chopped
1 carrot – finely grated
2 cloves garlic – grated on a microplane
5g ground cumin
3g mustard seeds
2 tomatoes – skin removed and finely chopped
8g wet seafood masala
5g brown sugar
350g brown lentils – cleaned
200ml tomato juice
250ml vegetable stock
salt and pepper – to season
lemon – for squeezing

Pickled cucumber
200ml rice wine vinegar pickle
2 cucumbers – peeled and seeded
32 sprigs micro coriander – 4 per serving
72 small fennel blossoms – 9 per serving


1.     Cut the filleted seabass into 80g portions; do not remove the skin. Grill the fish skin side down first and turn when the flesh begins to change from translucent to white. Season with salt and pepper and finish with lemon zest.
2.     Fry the onions, carrot and garlic until translucent. Add the spices and continue to cook for a few minutes. Add the finely chopped tomatoes, seafood masala, brown sugar, lentils, tomato juice and vegetable stock. Cover with a cartouche (paper or silicone lid). Simmer slowly for 1 hour until the curry sauce thickens slightly, but be careful not to overcook the lentils – they should be soft but remain whole. Adjust seasoning if necessary and finish with a squeeze of lemon. Allow to cool, and then refrigerate for a day before serving – curries develop flavour as they stand. Warm the curry gently in a pot as needed.

3.     Pour the cold pickling liquid into a vacuum bag. Add the cucumber and vacuum seal. Refrigerate and leave for 24–36 hours. Remove the cucumber from the vacuum bag and slice into ribbons on a mandolin or use a peeler.

4.     To assemble, arrange each plate as you wish, or by following the photo. Spoon 45g warm lentil curry onto each plate. Place the seabass on top of the lentils. Position 2 ribbons of the cold cucumber pickle beside the curry, and garnish with 4 sprigs micro coriander and 9 fennel blossoms.

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