If you're looking for a simple yet elegant seafood dinner, try this Pan Seared Sea Bass. This Chilean sea bass recipe is easy to make at home injust 30 minutes.
Whether you want to celebrate a special occasion at home or are looking for an easy fish recipe, this Pan-Seared Sea Bass recipe is a great one to try!
Chilean sea bass is a white, flaky fish that is found more commonly in the cold waters of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans. This Patagonian toothfish has a reputation for being a luxurious fish dish, often reserved for special occasions and served in upscale restaurants.
But don't let its fancy reputation hold you back from making this delicious dish at home! It's truly an easy fish recipe to make at home, and I use one of the easiest ways as the cooking method to make this fish.
🌟 Why this recipe works
Although Chilean sea bass can be more expensive than other white fish due to its rich flavor and versatility in cooking, you still save a LOT of money by cooking it at home.
Have you ever ordered sea bass at a restaurant? The dishes usually cost between $20 and $45 per serving. I can usually find two large Chilean sea bass fillets at my local Costco for around $25. That's about $12.50 per serving.
- Easy: I've included simple step-by-step photos below to help guide you as you cook this dish. It's a dish that I think is easy enough to cook if it's your first time cooking fish at home!
- Simple ingredients: the marinade and relish contain everyday ingredients that are easy to find at your local grocery store.
- Fast: You can make this in 30 minutes, with 15 minutes of marinade time and 15 minutes of cooking time.
- Delicious: sea bass is such a rich, buttery fish and the marinade and relish add so much savory flavor.
🛒 Ingredient notes
Sea bass - You can find Chilean sea bass at most specialty grocery stores like Whole Foods Market or New Seasons Market (for those of you in Oregon), and chances are you can find it at your local grocery store. I buy mine from my local Costco.
If you can't find sea bass, there are many other great options for fish substitutions: cod, haddock, and sablefish are some alternatives.
Marinade - This is an Asian-inspired marinade with ginger, sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, white wine, and kosher salt.
Relish - finely dice red bell peppers and green bell peppers for a relish to top the fish.
✅ Step-by-step instructions
Full ingredient measurements and instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post. But here's a visual step-by-step guide to help you along the way.
First, pat the fish dry with a paper towel.
- Make the marinade: mix together soy sauce, white wine, sugar, sesame oil, ginger, rice vinegar,
2. Add the sea bass fillets to the marinade and marinate for 15 minutes, flipping the fish halfway through to help evenly distribute the marinade.
3. Heat the extra virgin olive oil (can sub avocado oil) in a large pan or skillet over medium-high heat.
4. Once heated, place fish skin side down on the hot pan and cook on one side for about 3-4 minutes. Flip the fish over and cook for another 3-4 minutes. I like to cook mine until it has a crispy skin.
5. Make sure you cook the fish until fully heated through and a meat thermometer shows an internal temperature of 140°F.
6. Transfer cooked fish to plates and set aside.
7. Turn the heat down a smidge to medium heat. If necessary, add a little more oil to the pan and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits at the bottom of the pan. Add the bell peppers and sauté just until cooked through, about 2-3 minutes.
Top each fish with the bell pepper relish and serve immediately.
Feel free to sprinkle a few flakes of your favorite sea salt and some chopped fresh parsley or cilantro to finish the dish. Serve with a side of lemon slices.
👩🏻🍳 Recipe FAQs
Sea bass and salmon are two very different fish, but are often compared to one another because they are favored by chefs and seen frequently on restaurant menus. Sea bass is a thick, white, buttery fish, whereas salmon is a thick, pink, buttery fish.
These two fish are often interchangeable in recipes, but they do differ from one another. Both are a type of white fish, but sea bass tends to be richer, oilier, and more flavorful than cod. Cod is still a good choice as a substitute for sea bass when necessary.
Sea bass is a white fish high in protein, vitamin b12, selenium, and they do contain small amounts of omega 3 fatty acids
Like most fish recipes, this pan seared sea bass is best enjoyed immediately or shortly after it is cooked. You can store leftovers in the refrigerator. Allow the fish to cool to room temperature, then store in an airtight container for up to three days. However, it is not recommended to attempt to freeze this dish after it has been cooked.
🍽 What to serve with sea bass
One of the many wonderful qualities of this seafood dish is that it can be served with so many different side dishes.
Try serving this sea bass with:
🍷 🥂 Chilean sea bass wine pairing
True to the old adage "what grows together goes together," Chilean sea bass pairs deliciously with Sauvignon Blanc from Chile.
🍳 Kitchen tools and equipment
Ready to make this recipe? Here are the kitchen tools and equipment you'll need:
- Skillet - You'll need a large skillet (a cast iron skillet works too), saucepan (this is the one shown in these photos) or frying pan to pan sear this sea bass.
- Spatula or tongs - use a fish spatula, which has a wider, flatter base than most spatulas and makes it easier for flipping fish. Or use tongs to flip the fish.
- Meat Thermometer - A meat thermometer is the best way to confirm whether the fish is fully cooked or not.
Pan-Seared Sea Bass
- 2 sea bass fillets
For the Marinade
For the relish
- ½ cup finely diced red bell pepper
- ½ cup finely diced green bell pepper
- Pat the sea bass fillets with a paper towel to dry them. This helps create that delicious crispier outer coating.
- To a medium shallow bowl or a large ziplock bag, add all of the marinade ingredients.
- Add the sea bass fillets to the marinade and marinate for 15 minutes, flipping the fish halfway through to help evenly distribute the marinade.
- Heat the oil in a large pan or skillet over medium-high heat.
- Once heated, add the fish and cook on one side for about 3-4 minutes. Flip the fish over and cook for another 3-4 minutes, until fully heated through and an internal meat thermometer shows a temperature of 140°F.
- Transfer fish to plates and set aside.
- If necessary, add a little more oil to the pan and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits at the bottom of the pan. Add the bell peppers and sauté just until cooked through, about 2-3 minutes.
- Top each fish with the bell pepper relish and serve immediately.
Nutrition information is a general estimate. Actual nutrition details may vary depending on the exact foods & brands you use to make this recipe. It does not take into account any substitutions, toppings, or optional ingredients.