During these strange and uncertain times, we’re all in need of a pick-me-up. And what better than something to feed the body as well as the soul? In our current cookery series, James Gingell from The Stinky Chef deli in Rawtenstall, Lancashire shares a selection of delicious recipes.

Gingell says: “I must be honest, it was the name of this dish that first inspired me to cook it. After cooking it numerous times since, I’ve now added that Calabrian delicacy nduja to give the spicy kick of chilli. Said to originate from the Amalfi coast in Southern Italy, the name derives from either the fiery liquor the fish is slowly poached in, or the possibility that the fisherman cooked his catch at sea (apparently drinking sea water in large excess makes you crazy).”

Sea bass cooked in ‘crazy water’


This recipe serves 2 hungry people

2 x whole sea bass (scaled and gutted)

80g nduja

50ml extra virgin olive oil

½ red chilli (chopped)

500g (2 x punnets) ripe cherry tomatoes

2 cloves of garlic (thinly sliced)

50g capers

10g flat-leaf parsley (chopped)

20g basil leaves (torn)

250ml dry white wine

250ml water


Firstly, take the two sea bass and fry on both sides in olive oil in a deep-frying pan if possible. If this is not available to you, use a deep roasting tin. Sea Bass in Crazy Water

Next, add the nduja, chopped chilli, capers and thinly sliced slivers of garlic and fry without colour for a few minutes.

Now add the wine, followed by the tomatoes (try to get different coloured tomatoes – this is not essential but adds to the visual appeal of the dish).

Reduce slightly, then add the water.

Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer adding the chopped parsley and torn basil leaves.

Cook on a low heat for a further 10 minutes. Taste the cooking liquor and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Carefully remove the fish and place in warm deep bowls.

Spoon over the ‘crazy water’ and enjoy with a crisp salad, bread for dipping in the cooking liquor and a chilled bottle of Prosecco.

Buon Appetito.