Roast Wild Bass with Laverbread Butter Sauce

Chef : Byran Webb : Tyddyn Llan (100x125)Rare Recipe from Bryan Webb, Tyddyn Llan

Prior to moving to Wales, Bryan ran Hilaire in London, a restaurant highly acclaimed by the food guides. Bryan has continued to gather awards and accolades at Tyddyn Llan. His cooking is all about subtle flavours and an uncompromising attitude to sourcing the finest, freshest ingredients.

photo : laverbread and bassBass and Laverbread has been a favourite of mine since my early days of cooking at the Drangway restaurant in Swansea back in the early eighties.

We would go though loads of bass caught just off the coast. They would all be line caught and stiff as a board so we had to leave them a day to be able to fillet them. It cost less than 90p a pound - that’s showing my age!

Bass is the one thing Wales has in common with the south of France. We have the best bass swimming around our shores and these days farmed bass is readily available for the home cook and restaurants that choose to serve a one portion fish. The wild type is always my first choice but I run a restaurant where you expect only the best. Fresh line-caught bass have a ravishingly beautiful-bright silver belly which darkens to a pale blue grey on its sides. It’s a great sporting fish and thrives in rough weather.

Laverbread grows on the rocks and beaches of the Gower coast near Swansea. It has a dark and smooth appearance which makes it distinctive. Traditionally it is boiled for hours to render it to a thick puree. It is sold in the markets and fishmongers in south Wales and it’s a part of Welsh culture and heritage and is as famous as our lamb.

The combination of fresh wild bass and a light Laverbread butter is a simple combination but it is a light dish and speaks volumes about Welsh food.


Roast Wild Bass with Laverbread Butter Sauce



  1. Put the white wine, vinegar and shallots into a saucepan and slowly reduce to a syrup.
  2. On a light heat slowly add the butter a little at a time until it forms a slightly thick sauce, season with salt and cayenne pepper, add the juice of the half lemon.
  3. Strain the sauce into a clean saucepan. In a separate saucepan add two tablespoons of laverbread with 2 tablespoons of cream, bring to the boil and add half the beurre blanc.
  4. Season the fish and coat lightly with olive oil. Place onto a hot griddle skin side down, until the skin is crisp, then place onto an oiled tray and bake in a hot oven at 200°C for five minutes.
  5. While the fish is cooking, in a large pan melt the extra butter and cook the spinach until wilted.
  6. Serve the bass on a bed of spinach and pour the lavabread sauce around one side and the remaining beurre blanc around the other side.