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January 21, 2007



mhm, that sounds good! Your recipe came at just the right moment because sea bass is (one of my) favorite fish and I've just bought one :-) perfect!

And thank you for the hints for preparing a lot of fish for a dinner party. This is really useful. There are always too few stovetops when cooking for a crowd.

Just one little question: doesn't heating the oil until smoking do harm to a non-stick skillet? Or are they meanwhile built resistant enough to cope with that? (I've turned to frying fish in my wok, but my non-stick skillet is flat and bigger and would be more convenient, at least for a whole fish).

Ms. Glaze

Hi BIrx,

That's a really good question about skillet care. As long as you have something in the pan like olive oil it's okay to heat until it's smoking for a short period of time – add the fish immediately after you see smoke start to rise and then turn the heat down 30 seconds afterward. Also, use a skillet that fits the food you are cooking – using a large skillet for two small fillets can be dangerous with all that excess hot oil!

The pan will only smoke for a short period of time because you turn down the heat. As my boss always says – play with the gas! Don't be afraid to turn it up or down accordingly. We use a lot of cast iron skillets that retain heat well.

If there's nothing in the pan and you turn the heat up high you will damage the pan. The only time I can think of that's okay to heat a skillet to the smoking point without oil is when you sear foie gras. Foie gras contains so much fat that it instantly smothers the smoke as it melts.

Another safety tip is to make sure before adding oil to the pan that it is dry (no water). If there is any water the pan will sputter hot oil everywhere! I've had this happen at work before when I've had to rinse out skillets quickly and I've added oil before the water had evaporated. Big mistake for everyone around!

We bring oil to the smoking point before cooking just about everything at the restaurant: lamb, duck, veal, fish, etc. When you are trying to sear and create a crispy crust it is necessary. We normally sear our food and then finish the cooking in the oven.

Ms. Glaze


when are they going to come out with lickable computer screens? I feel if I could at least get a sampling of your food, it would make not getting you to cook for me worth that much more!


Another great post!! Lickable computer screens, I like that idea for many different reasons, but I will stop short and not say anything else.


damned what were you doing ? Do you realize we were starving ????


Hi Ms. Glaze,

thank you very much for your fast reply! I'll see if I'm brave enough next time to use the nonstick skillet. My sea bass turned out wonderful (this time it was small enough to fit snuggly into the wok) and with the help or your great filleting video I even removed the gills this time :-)


I just tried this tonight - the fish and mushrooms (bought in rue Mouffetard - I've just moved to Paris myself) were stunning. The brunoise didn't turn out so well, but I probably didn't do it quite right.

One question: the skin of the fish was crispy for a while, but then lost some of its crunch shortly afterwards. What might I have done wrong for that to have happened? Possibly too much oil in the pan?

Ms. Glaze

Bonjour Dan! I'm glad the recipe worked for you (almost at least). The trick to getting crispy skin is in the temperature and cooking. Did you have the heat up high at first and then turn it down to let it cook through? Also if you flip the fish over a bunch of times it will loose it's crispiness. You can actually cook the fish on one side the whole time if you turn down the temp. that way the skin stays in contact with the heat the whole time. Moisture will create steam that will take away from the crunch too. Only a little oil is needed, if you find the pan is swimming with it, then you've probably added too much. Hope this helps? Bises, Ms. Glaze


Hi - thanks for your reply (and for the excellent recipe).

Well, there's a couple of things I could have done wrong on that list. It's possible I didn't have it quite high enough to start. It was smoking, but it had only just started to smoke. I'm still a teensy bit timid about cooking things on very high heat, although it is fun! :-) Also, I think I probably did put too much oil in the pan from the sounds of it. I'm guessing there was some oil on the skin after I turned it over and it soaked back into the skin moistening it again. Ah well, it won't be terrible to try it again until I get it right! ;-)

If I may make a request: where do you think are the good places to shop for ingredients and other cooking related things in Paris? I work right next to the rue Mouffetard so I've been going there a bit, but it seems quite pricey.


Hi Ms. Glaze,

Just discovered your website - love it. Thanks to your video, I filleted a fish for the first time - a sea bass; and then I attempted to make it crispy per your recipe. The pan was good and smoking before I tossed on the fish, but unfortunately only the edges got crisp - looks like I should have pushed down on it with a flipper, perhaps? Any reason not to? Also, the flesh was still opaque when I took it off the heat, and yet it seemed to be cooked just right. Should I have waited? Is there any chance it could dry out before it becomes transparent?

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