Eric Ripert channels his childhood with bass 'bouillabaisse'

Eric Ripert, chef and co-owner of New York's Le Bernardin, prepares wild striped bass "bouillabaisse” style, a dish he learned to make as a child at his grandparents’ side in the French Riviera.

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Makes 4 servings


  • Bouillabaisse broth

    • 1 tablespoon canola oil
    • 1 small fennel, thinly sliced
    • 1/2 cup Spanish onion, peeled and thinly sliced
    • 3/4 cup leeks, diced
    • 1/4 cup garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
    • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
    • 1/2 teaspoon saffron
    • 2 cups chicken stock (store bought or homemade)
    • 1cup clam juice (store bought or homemade)
    • Fine sea salt
    • Freshly ground white pepper
  • Striped bass

    • 4 (6-ounce) striped bass fillets, skin off
    • 2 tablespoons water
    • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (about 4 ounces), cut into large dice
    • Fine sea salt
    • Freshly ground white pepper
    • 1 teaspoon canola oil


Baking Directions:

To make the bouillabaisse broth, heat the canola oil in a heavy bottomed stock pot. Add the fennel, onion, leek and garlic; sweat the vegetables for a few minutes and season lightly with salt and pepper. Add tomato paste and saffron; sweat for another few minutes. Cover with chicken stock and clam stock; bring to a simmer and cook for 20-30 minutes. Season to taste. Strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve. Set aside until ready to use. Reserve the vegetables for garnish. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenhieit. Brush softened butter over the bottom of a baking dish. Season the striped bass on both sides with salt and pepper and lay the fish in the baking dish. Brush the top of the striped bass with more softened butter; add ½ cup water to the baking dish. Put the baking dish in the oven and cook the fish until it is just warm in the center; a metal skewer should be easily inserted into the fish and, when left in for 5 seconds, feel just warm when touched to the lip. Meanwhile, bring the bouillabaisse to a boil and keep warm.To plate: Put the striped bass in the center of each bowl; pour 2 ounces of the bouillabaisse in the bowl. Garnish with reserve vegetables. Serve immediately.

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