Pan-Seared Chilean Sea Bass with Frisee and Ponzu Butter
I created this dish in 2002 when I first learned to make ponzu sauce. The texture of the fish coupled with the salty/sweet ponzu sauce, sweetened with agave and finished with butter, has made this reimagined dish a G. Garvin classic.
For the ponzu sauce: Combine the orange juice, soy sauce, stock, vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, orange and lemongrass in a large saucepan. Turn the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and allow to reduce by a third. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Strain through a chinois or fine-mesh sieve into another saucepan. Keep warm until ready to serve.
For the fish: Sprinkle the sea bass with salt and pepper on both sides. Place a medium nonstick pan over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Heat until the oil is hot, then add the sea bass and sear on the first side for 2 to 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat a 10-inch cast-iron pan over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil to coat the pan. Once the sea bass is ready to be flipped, transfer the fish to the cast-iron pan. Allow to start searing, then transfer the pan immediately to the oven to cook through, 7 to 8 minutes.
For the ponzu butter: Add 1 cup ponzu to the same nonstick pan the fish was first seared in and place over high heat. Reduce the sauce by half, about 5 minutes. Add the butter and agave, then whisk to combine and allow the butter to melt and emulsify.
Put the frisee in a bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
Spoon some of the sauce onto a platter and top with the sea bass fillets. Top each piece of sea bass with the dressed frisee, red chile flakes and edible flowers.