Rick Stein’s Cornwall episode 39: Rick’s idea of bliss is to spend an afternoon scaling and gutting a freshly caught sea bass before using it to make a simple yet delectable dish which ranks amongst his absolute favourites – steamed sea bass with garlic, ginger and spring onions.
He travels to the far west of Cornwall to meet a potter whose work captures the rugged beauty of her surroundings, before heading to the far east of the county on the trail of the poet Charles Causley, who spent his entire life in the Cornish border town of Launceston. There, Rick meets another illustrious Cornish writer, Patrick Gale, who has written a book on Causley’s fascinating life and considers him this country’s greatest Second World War poet. Rick Stein reveals the Cornwall that he knows and loves: a unique part of the British isles with a strong sense of identity and a history rooted in its Celtic past. With his famous natural inquisitiveness, Rick shares the road less travelled – championing the food, history, music, art and culture of the county many locals argue should be a country in its own right.
Rick Stein’s Cornwall episode 39
Christopher Richard “Rick” Stein, CBE (born 4 January 1947) is an English celebrity chef, restaurateur and television presenter. Along with business partner (and first wife) Jill Stein he has run the Stein hotel and restaurant business in the UK. The business has a number of renowned restaurants, shops and hotels in Padstow along with other restaurants in Marlborough, Winchester and Barnes. He is also the head chef and a co-owner of “Rick Stein at Bannisters” at Mollymook and Port Stephens in Australia, with his second wife Sarah. He has written cookery books and presented television programmes.
After graduating, he converted a mobile disco in Padstow, which he had run as a student, into a quayside nightclub with his friend, Johnny. It became known for its freeze-dried curries. However, the nightclub lost its licence and was closed down by the police, mainly due to frequent brawls with local fishermen. The pair still had a licence for a restaurant in another part of the building, so they continued with that to avert bankruptcy.
Stein ran the kitchen using the experience he had gained as a commis chef. Eventually he converted it into a small harbour-side bistro, “The Seafood Restaurant”, with his first wife Jill in 1975. As of 2015, his business operates four restaurants, a bistro, a café, a seafood delicatessen, a pâtisserie shop, a gift shop and a cookery school. In 2007 threats against Stein’s businesses were made by Cornish nationalists. His impact on the economy of Padstow is such that it has been nicknamed “Padstein”.
Steamed whole sea bass with garlic, ginger and spring onions
A recipe that truly is minimum effort for maximum effect. A simple steamed seabass with salty umami flavours and ginger warmth.
- Put the fish on a rack in a large steamer or fish kettle with about 1cm/½in water in the bottom. Sprinkle over the ginger and cover with a lid or kitchen foil and steam for 15–20 minutes until cooked through.
- Meanwhile, cook the rice according to the packet instructions.
- Lift the fish onto a warmed serving platter, scatter over the spring onions and keep warm. Reserve the water from steaming.
- Pour about 5 tablespoons of the cooking water into a small pan and add the soy sauce. Bring up to the boil and pour over the fish. Heat the sesame oil in the same pan. Add the garlic, fry for a few seconds, then pour over the fish.
- Portion the fish (see the recipe tips) and serve with the rice.