Crispy-Skinned Striped Bass

Troy Guard

TAG Raw Bar - Denver

Troy Guard makes this dish using striped bass from the Alamosa River, which carves through his home state of Colorado. Cubes of translucent ponzu gelée, a flavorful avocado sauce, and a sprinkling of zucchini blossoms add color and bursts of flavor to the perfectly prepared fish.


  • 1/2 cup ponzu
  • 1/2 tablespoon powdered gelatin
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 small carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch sticks
  • 1 tomatillo, husk removed
  • 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 12 ounces striped bass fillet, skin on, cut into 12 equal portions
  • 4 zucchini blossoms, julienned (optional)


Oil an 8-inch square cake pan.

In a small sauce pot, heat the ponzu to a boil. Whisk in the gelatin and pour the mixture into the cake pan. Chill for an hour.

Place the water, butter, thyme, salt, and pepper in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and add the carrots. Cook for 5 minutes, until the carrots are slightly tender. Drain and set aside.

Preheat the broiler. Place the tomatillo and garlic cloves on a baking sheet and broil until charred, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the broiler and let cool. Remove the garlic cloves from their skins. In a food processor, purée the tomatillo, garlic cloves, and avocados until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Unmold the ponzu gelée (you may need to dip the pan in hot water for a few seconds to loosen it) and cut into small cubes. Set aside.

Heat a sauté pan and add the canola oil. Season the striped bass with salt and pepper on both sides. Sear the fish, skin-side down, until crisp, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side until done, about 3 minutes. (Depending on the size of your pan, you may have to sauté the fish in batches.)

Spread some avocado purée on 4 plates. Divide the fish among the plates, placing it on top of the avocado purée, and top with the carrots. Garnish the fish with the ponzu gelée cubes and julienned zucchini blossoms.


4 servings