My first experience of tasting the Venus Black rice was in Paris. It had a nutty taste that was tossed in butter and served with seared Scallops.
You can imagine my excitement when I found this at Sandy's (my local fishmonger). I decided to treat myself to a Pan fried, Wild Sea Bass with my black rice, hmm... I hurriedly purchased the fish and rice, made my way home with a nostalgic Parisian holiday memory and an accomplished smile on my face.
Black rice has existed for centuries in China, but it was reserved only for emperors and a small circle of Chinese nobility. The Black Rice is cultivated in specific areas of the Po Valley in Italy.
The best accompaniments are Fish, Shellfish and Meat.
It's a pleasant aromatic wholemeal rice that cooks in 40 minutes (if not soaked)releasing a special aroma of both sandalwood and freshly cooked bread. The Black Rice is known for its nutritional and aphrodisiac properties (also known as the forbidden rice)
This is a tried and tested recipe and is a perfect dinner party dish. I prefer cooking the rice in a fish stock, however you can cook it in your preferred stock or with water. Enjoy!
250g of washed Black rice
1 tablespoon of butter
1 teaspoon of salt
600ml of water or fish stock
Fennel & Tarragon butter
30g of butter
1 teaspoon of olive oil
1 large thinly sliced fennel bulb
Chopped 10g of Tarragon
Rind and juice of 1 Lemon
A pinch of milled white peppercorn
10g of thinly sliced fresh ginger.
Salt to taste
4 medium sized cleaned and filleted Wild Seabass
3 tablespoons of Coconut oil / Groundnut oil
1 teaspoon of butter
Wash the black rice under cold water for about 3 minutes (to rid of some starch) or better still soak overnight.
Place the rice and stock/water in a saucepan.
Place on a medium heat and cook gently for 30-35 minutes.
Best to use a heavy bottomed sauce pan, cast iron saucepan or clay pot, for a quicker cooking time
Fennel & Tarragon butter
Melt the butter in a saucepan on a low heat and add the olive oil.
Add the sliced Fennel and Ginger.
Fry gently for about 4 minutes.
dd the lemon rind and fry for a further 2 minutes.
Add the lemon juice and cook for 3 minutes.
The Fennel and Ginger should be soft and translucent in colour.
Add the chopped Tarragon and stir.
Take off the heat and leave to infuse.
Sea Bass fillet
Using a kitchen towel, blot the fish dry.
With the skin side up, sprinkle with sea salt.
To achieve the perfect crispy fried fish, ensure you blot the fish dry, sprinkle with salt (salt absorbs moisture) and leave till it reaches room temperature, before frying.
Place a frying pan with Coconut or Groundnut oil on a medium heat.
Once hot, place the Sea Bass, skin side down to the frying pan.
Fry for 2 and a half minutes on the skin side.
Turn, cook for 30 seconds on the fleshy side, remove and place in a plate.
Crispy Pan fried Wild Sea Bass
Scoop the Fennel and Tarragon butter into a bowl. Add a portion of rice and mix well
Add the fish and serve.
Best served with a chilled glass of Chablis or Prosecco.
All photos and recipes are by the owner of this blog and you should seek permission before you use.
Find more recipes on my YouTube page, 'Ndudu by Fafa'.