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In the raw: Try a dish that highlights fresh fish at its finest

By Wolfgang Puck, Tribune Content Agency on

9 ounces (280 g) absolutely fresh sushi-grade sea bass fillet, skin removed

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra if searing the fish

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, lemon juice or good-quality Champagne vinegar

Fine sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

3 ripe but slightly firm Hass-style avocados

1 tablespoon minced fresh chives or tarragon

3 lemons, thinly sliced, seeds removed

If you plan to sear the fish, first heat a nonstick skillet large enough to hold both pieces of fish over high heat. Drizzle in a very thin coating of olive oil and, when the oil is hot enough to flow freely in the pan and just beginning to give off the slightly wisps of smoke, add the 2 fish fillets and cook them on both large sides for about 1 minute per side, just until seared brown, turn them carefully with tongs.

Transfer the fish fillets, whether seared or raw, to a clean cutting board. With a very sharp chef's knife, cut each fillet diagonally at a 45-degree angle into 6 paper-thin slices, as you would slice smoked salmon.

Arrange the fish slices without overlapping on a large platter.

In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper. Drizzle this dressing over the fish. Loosely cover the platter and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Halve and pit the avocados. With a large metal spoon, keeping its edge against the inside of an avocado half's skin, carefully scoop out the flesh in a single piece from each avocado half. Place the avocado halves cut side down on a clean cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut each half lengthwise into 8 thin, crescent-shaped wedges.

Arrange 4 avocado slices on each of 4 chilled serving plates. Drape a slice each of salmon and sea bass on top of the avocado on each plate. Sprinkle with chives or tarragon, garnish with lemon slices, and serve immediately.



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