Cooking for the Sensitive Gut

Sea bass bouillabaisse

Happy New Year everyone who has followed us over the past year and a half. We have appreciated your support and would love you to continue on our journey with us in 2016. Our book is being published by Pavilion Books on 14th January and if you have not ordered a copy of the book yet you can do so now by following this link. We are receiving great reviews and we look forward to hearing what you think of it too.

Here is the last recipe of the year and it might be an idea for supper tonight or over the weekend. Bouillabaisse is the quintessential French fish soup. This recipe captures the essence of this Mediterranean dish without using too long a list of ingredients. I have simplified it so you can make it quickly and enjoy eating it.

It is good to get some fish into the diet because it is nutritious and does not trigger symptoms inmost people. It also goes well with the vegetables and makes for a really satisfying dish.

Traditionally bouillabaisse contains three different kinds of fish and it is flavoured with herbs grown in the South of France. In this recipe we have used one fish but you could use more if you want to.

Filleted sea bass works well in this recipe but so do other white fish such as monkfish, cod or haddock. Choose the fresh fish for this dish according to the season and your budget.

Homemade aioli is delicious and to master the skill of making it you will need the ingredients all to be at room temperature. This is because it is easier to establish an emulsion with ingredients at room temperature rather than taken straight out of the fridge. You can mix the oil into the egg yolk using a hand whisk or n electric whisk. If you do not feel up to making your own aioli you can use a good quality mayonnaise flavoured with a little garlic oil. Oils and fats can trigger symptoms so just have a small spoonful for flavour or if you are particularly sensitive leave this part out.

Sea bass boulabaise

Serves 4

Takes 20 minutes to prepare

And 20 minutes to cook

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 stick of celery plus leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp young, green leek leaves, chopped
  • 2 carrot, diced finely
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1 glass dry white wine
  • 300 ml/ ½ pint water/ homemade fish or vegetable stock (See recipe in Basics)
  • 1 bay leaf
  •  1 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh oregano chopped
  • 300 g/10 oz potatoes, diced in to cubes measuring 2cm /1 in along one side
  • 4 x 150g /5 oz sea bass fillets, pin boned and skinned
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper


  • ½ small clove garlic, peeled and cut in half
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large free-range egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 100 ml/3 fl oz extra virgin olive oil
  • 100 ml/3 fl oz rape seed oil, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar

To make the sea bass bouillabaisse

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large lidded frying pan or saucepan and add the celery, leek leaves and carrot for approximately 5 minutes.

Skin the tomatoes by placing them in a bowl and pouring boiling water over them. After 30 seconds make a small slit in the skin and pull the skin off. Remove the seeds from the tomato and chop the flesh into chunks.

Add the wine to the celery, leek and carrots and allow this to evaporate before adding the water/ dilute stock, chopped tomatoes, bay leaf, parsley and oregano.

Bring the vegetable mixture to the boil and add the potatoes. Reduce to a simmer and cook gently for approximately 10 minutes to allow the vegetables to soften and the herbs to infuse. Season and add more water/stock if necessary.

At this point you have a choice. Either the sea bass fillets can be pan fried in a non stick frying pan in a little oil for a few minutes. In which case seasoned with pepper and salt and cooked skin side down for 4 minutes and then placed gently across the vegetables and stock to finish cooking for 3two or three minutes.

Or you can reduce lay the fillets of fish gently across the top of the vegetables, replace the lid of the pan and cook the fish gently for approximately 8 minutes.

Either way when the fish is cooked the flesh will be white and firm to touch.

To make the aioli

Wipe the cut side of a garlic clove around the sides of a glass bowl. Place the egg yolk, a pinch of sea salt, black pepper and mustard in a bowl and mix together with a whisk. Begin to add the oil a drop at a time. Once you have added about a quarter of the oil and you have established a good emulsion you can add the rest of the oil in larger amounts. When you have added all of the oil gradually add the white wine vinegar, tasting as you go.

Season the aioli to taste with salt, pepper and a bit more vinegar if needed.

If you feel like adding a little garlic oil to this mixture do. Garlic oil should not trigger symptoms as it contains the flavour of garlic but not the fermentable carbohydrates which are removed from the oil.

Serve the bouillabaisse in large soup plates, topped with a couple of teaspoons of aioli and chopped parsley.

This entry was written by Joan Ransley and published on December 31, 2015 at 12:35 pm. It’s filed under Dinner, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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