How to make Mediterranean Basa Stew & Sunny Aioli

On a serendipitous journey that took me across the magnificent expanse of the Mediterranean, I was introduced to a dish that captured my senses with its simplicity and rich flavors – the Mediterranean Basa Stew & Sunny Aioli. This delectable stew, featuring tender basa fillets simmered in a savory broth infused with the essence of the sea, and accompanied by a tangy and refreshing aioli made from creamy mayonnaise, was a revelation. The addition of a toasted ciabatta roll, perfect for dipping into the stew and scooping up every last bit of the flavorful sauce, completed the experience. Inspired by this culinary delight, I embarked on a quest to recreate the magic of this dish in my own kitchen. After experimenting with various ingredients and techniques to capture the authentic flavors of the Mediterranean, I finally succeeded. It is with great pleasure and anticipation that I now share this recipe for Mediterranean Basa Stew & Sunny Aioli with you, bringing the essence of Mediterranean cuisine into your home with every bite.

Mediterranean Basa Stew & Sunny Aioli

The journey into the heart of Mediterranean cuisine takes a delightful turn with the introduction of the Mediterranean Basa Stew & Sunny Aioli. This dish, discovered amidst travels that spanned the vibrant depths of the Mediterranean region, stands as a testament to the simple elegance and rich flavors characteristic of its culinary traditions. At its core, the stew marries tender basa fillets with a savory broth that sings of the sea's essence, harmoniously accompanied by the bright and refreshing sunny aioli, made from creamy mayonnaise. A toasted ciabatta roll, invitingly crisp and golden, serves not only as the perfect utensil for savoring every last drop of this flavorful concoction but also completes the sensory experience, uniting texture with taste. Inspired by the impactful encounter with this dish, a quest was embarked upon to recreate its magic. Through diligent exploration of ingredients and techniques true to Mediterranean cooking, the perfect rendition of the Basa Stew & Sunny Aioli was achieved. Now, with great enthusiasm and anticipation, this recipe is shared, inviting others to explore the nuances of Mediterranean flavors right at their dining table, encapsulating the essence of the region's cuisine in every bite.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Spanish
Servings 2 people
Calories 856 kcal


  • 1 oven


  • 1 white wine vinegar
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tomato paste
  • 2 ciabatta rolls
  • 1 mayonnaise
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 vegetable stock
  • 1 brown onion
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 5 g parsley
  • 2 x 100g basa fillets
  • 1- star anise
  • 1 bag of pitted black olives


  • Preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius.
  • Use a drizzle of canola oil, heat a big, wide-based pan.
  • Insert the chopped onion, sliced carrot, and a quarter of the garlic once the pan is warmed.
  • Heat for 6-8 minutes, just until the onions are soft and transparent, after adding the star anise.
  • Whisk together the mayo, the leftover minced garlic, the red wine vinegar, and add salt and pepper.
  • Place the ciabatta rolls on a baking sheet and bake them for 8-10 minutes.
  • Warm a drizzle of olive oil in a separate wide broad pan over medium temperature.
  • When the pan is warmed, skin-side up, add the sea bass, and boil for four minutes.
  • With the warm ciabatta on the side, place the grilled sea bass over the soup.
Keyword basa fillets, turmeric

Cooking tips about Mediterranean Basa Stew & Sunny Aioli

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  • Quality of Basa Fillets: Opt for fresh, high-quality Basa fillets. The freshness of the fish is paramount to achieving the delicate yet profound flavors characteristic of Mediterranean cuisine. If fresh Basa isn’t available, ensure that the frozen fillets you choose are of the highest quality and properly thawed before cooking.
  • Savoring the Aioli: The Sunny Aioli plays a critical role in this dish, providing a creamy, tangy contrast to the savory stew. When making the aioli, use fresh egg yolks and high-quality extra virgin olive oil for the best taste. The addition of garlic should be balanced—not overpowering—so it complements rather than dominates the aioli.
  • Creating the Broth Base: The stew’s broth should sing with the flavors of the sea and the richness of the Mediterranean spice palette. Incorporate a white wine known for its crispness and acidity, such as a Sauvignon Blanc, to add depth. A pinch of saffron, if available, can introduce an authentic Mediterranean aroma and color that is both visually appealing and deliciously fragrant.
  • Bread Pairing: Choosing the right bread to serve alongside or as part of the dish is crucial. A toasted ciabatta roll not only adds texture but also serves as a vehicle for the aioli and to absorb the stew’s flavorful broth. Toasting the bread lightly will ensure it retains some crunch even when soaked with the stew’s juices.
  • Balancing Flavors: Mediterranean cuisine is all about the balance of flavors. Ensure that your stew has a harmonious blend of savory from the Basa, acidity from the tomatoes and wine, and a hint of sweetness from any added vegetables like bell peppers or onions. Adjust seasoning with sea salt and freshly ground pepper to enhance these natural flavors.
  • Herbaceous Notes: Fresh herbs such as parsley, dill, or cilantro can add a final touch of freshness that elevates the stew from good to great. Consider stirring in these herbs right before serving to preserve their vibrant color and flavor.
  • Slow Simmering: Allow the stew to simmer gently to ensure the Basa fillets cook evenly and absorb the medley of flavors from the broth. Gentle cooking will help maintain the fillet’s structure without it falling apart.
  • Serving: Serve the Basa Stew hot, with a generous dollop of the Sunny Aioli directly on top or on the side for guests to add as they please. The contrast of the cool, creamy aioli with the warm, flavorful stew creates a delightful culinary experience.

Serving suggestions about Mediterranean Basa Stew & Sunny Aioli

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  • Serve in Shallow Bowls: Opt for wide, shallow bowls to serve the Mediterranean Basa Stew. This type of dishware showcases the beautiful basa fillets, vibrant vegetables, and succulent broth, making it visually appealing and easier for guests to enjoy every spoonful.
  • Garnish Thoughtfully: A sprinkle of freshly chopped parsley, dill, or cilantro not only adds a burst of color but infuses the dish with a fresh herbal fragrance that is synonymous with Mediterranean cuisine. If available, a thin lemon slice could also be placed on top as garnish for an added touch of sophistication and a hint of acidity.
  • Accompaniment of Toasted Ciabatta Rolls: Toasting ciabatta rolls until they are just crisp offers a delightful texture contrast to the stew. Guests can dip these into the stew or spread some of the Sunny Aioli on them for an enriched flavor experience.
  • Sunny Aioli on the Side: Serve the Sunny Aioli in a small bowl on the side, allowing guests to add to their stew according to their taste preferences. The creamy, tangy aioli complements the savory stew beautifully, enriching its flavors with every dollop.
  • A Perfect Wine Pairing: Choose a crisp, dry white wine such as a Sauvignon Blanc or a Pinot Grigio to accompany this dish. The acidity and brightness of these wines complement the rich flavors of the fish stew and cut through the creaminess of the aioli wonderfully.
  • Setting the Scene: Consider setting your table with Mediterranean-inspired tableware and decor—think blues and whites, reminiscent of the sea and sandy beaches, paired with simplistic, rustic textures. This not only enhances the dining experience but also pays homage to the origins of the dish.
  • Ending on a Sweet Note: To complete your Mediterranean feast, offer a light, refreshing dessert, such as lemon sorbet or a fruit platter, to cleanse the palate and leave your guests satisfied.

Top 5 FAQs about Mediterranean Basa Stew & Sunny Aioli

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  • What is Mediterranean Basa Stew & Sunny Aioli? Mediterranean Basa Stew & Sunny Aioli is a delightful dish that merges the tender succulence of basa fillets with a savory broth, embodying the sea’s essence. This stew is accompanied by sunny aioli, a bright and refreshing sauce made from creamy mayonnaise, and served with a toasted ciabatta roll for dipping and scooping up the delicious flavors. It encapsulates the simplicity, elegance, and rich flavors characteristic of Mediterranean cuisine.
  • How do I choose the best Basa fillets for this recipe? To ensure the Mediterranean Basa Stew & Sunny Aioli turns out perfectly, opt for fresh, high-quality Basa fillets. Freshness is paramount for achieving the desired delicate yet profound flavors typical of Mediterranean cuisine. If fresh Basa isn’t available, make sure the frozen fillets you select are of the highest quality and are properly thawed before use.
  • Can I make Sunny Aioli without egg yolks? The traditional recipe for Sunny Aioli uses fresh egg yolks to achieve its creamy texture and tangy flavor. However, if you’re avoiding raw eggs, you can look for pasteurized egg yolks or consider using store-bought mayonnaise as a base for your Aioli, adding garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil to mimic the traditional aioli flavor profile.
  • What kind of bread should I serve with this stew? A toasted ciabatta roll is recommended for serving with Mediterranean Basa Stew & Sunny Aioli. The ciabatta’s inviting crispness and golden color make it the perfect utensil for savoring every last drop of the flavorful stew, as well as complementing the textural experience alongside the tenderness of the Basa fillets.
  • How can I incorporate wine into the Basa Stew? When creating the broth base for the Mediterranean Basa Stew, incorporating a white wine known for its crispness and acidity, such as a Sauvignon Blanc, can add depth and richness to the dish. A splash of this white wine can enhance the broth’s flavor, marrying well with the tomatoes and introducing an authentic Mediterranean aroma to the stew.

As we come to the conclusion of our culinary journey with Mediterranean Basa Stew & Sunny Aioli, it’s evident that this dish is much more than the sum of its parts. It’s an embodiment of the Mediterranean spirit itself—vibrant, flavorful, and heartwarmingly inviting. The tender basa fillets, simmered in a savory broth infused with notes of the sea and enriched with the bold flavors of tomatoes, wine, and the subtle hint of saffron, capture the essence of coastal cuisine. Meanwhile, the Sunny Aioli introduces a creamy, tangy contrast that elevates the dish into something truly exceptional.


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