Flawlessly Pan-Seared Sea Bass: Skin-on or Skinless White Fish

Your Next Seafood Delight: Pan-Seared Sea Bass in Minutes! Indulge in a delectable dinner featuring tender, flaky white fish - perfectly pan-seared sea bass. This dish allows the sea bass to shine brightly as the star of the culinary show!

Pan-searing is a quick and effortless technique for preparing an exceptional fish dinner that will leave you satisfied. In just around 13 minutes, you can whip up this recipe with ease. It doesn't get any faster than that!

Pan seared sea bass fillets on platter with parsley and lemon.

Sea bass, a subtly flavored whitefish, serves as a versatile canvas for a variety of spice options. With this concise list of ingredients, the delicate essence of the fish takes center stage, ensuring a culinary experience that the whole family will adore.

Dive into this scrumptious dish without the hassle of breading and messy oil cleanup associated with deep frying. If you're new to the world of seafood, this recipe is an excellent starting point for your culinary explorations.

🤔 Sea Bass vs Chilean Sea Bass?

Sea bass acts as an overarching term for a group of fish that includes both bass and non-bass species. Interestingly, Chilean Sea Bass is not actually a bass at all. Scientifically known as Patagonian Toothfish, it belongs to the cod icefish family and inhabits the oceans surrounding South America and Antarctica. Its taste is reminiscent of cod.

When selecting ingredients for this recipe, consider asking your fishmonger for a sustainable option. Regardless of the specific species, sea bass shares common characteristics of being a lean whitefish with small to medium flakes and a mild taste. It is an ideal choice for those unsure about their fondness for seafood. Similar to sea bass, cod would also be a delightful alternative in this recipe.

❤️ Why You'll Adore This Recipe!

Simplified Cleanup! Clearing up after your culinary adventure is a breeze with just a single pan to wash, saving both cooking and cleaning time.

A Light and Satisfying Meal! When you desire a delightful dinner experience without feeling weighed down, this recipe is the perfect main course.

Embrace the Simplicity! With minimalistic ingredients, the natural flavors of sea bass are truly elevated, allowing the fish to take center stage.

🥘 Ingredients

You only need four ingredients, and chances are, you already have half of them tucked away in your pantry. Gather some fresh fish and citrus, and let the culinary magic unfold!

  • Sea Bass - Select the freshest sea bass or Chilean sea bass available at your local seafood market or grocery store.
  • Sea Salt - The substantial flakes of sea salt in this dish add a delightful touch.
  • Olive Oil - Experiment with infused olive oil to introduce enticing flavor variations.
  • Lemon Wedges - Use these to add a burst of fresh citrus over your finished dish and as a garnish.

📖 Variations

While the simplicity of the original recipe is perfect for savoring fresh sea bass, you can also explore alternative flavors with the following variations:

Basil Pesto and Lemon Juice. Apply this combination after completing the cooking process. As soon as you remove the fish from the skillet, spread a layer of tantalizing, garlicky green pesto and squeeze some lemon over it. This option is particularly appealing for those who are not typically fans of fish, as it minimizes the fish's flavor while introducing a delicious, common taste sensation.

Butter. The most basic variation of all... swap or combine butter with olive oil. For a more indulgent flavor, cook the fish in a pat of salted or unsalted butter.

Garlic and Black Pepper. Craving something simple that provides a burst of flavor? Give this a try. While still a straightforward blend, the pepper introduces a completely different element and pairs wonderfully with this dish.

Process photo 1 of seasoned sea bass in skillet.

🔪 Step-By-Step Instructions

Fish is always quick to cook, particularly on the stove top. To prepare this dish, you will need a non-stick frying pan or skillet and a fish spatula.

  • 1
  • 2
  • Using paper towels, gently dab the 8 ounces of sea bass fillets until they are dry (as dry as possible).
  • Sprinkle both sides of the fish with 2 teaspoons of salt.
  • Heat the oil. In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. It is ready when the oil shimmers.
  • Transfer the fish. Carefully place the fish in the pan. If applicable, ensure that the skin-side is facing down.
  • Sear the fillets. Leave the fish over the heat for 4-5 minutes before flipping it over. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes or so. When it is done, the fish will be white with reduced transparency and will flake easily with a fork.
  • Remove and garnish. Transfer the fish to plates or a serving dish and squeeze a fresh lemon over the top. Serve immediately when ready.
  • Process photo 2 sea bass flipped to sear.

    This creates a flavorful, light lunch or dinner and pairs perfectly with turmeric rice and air fryer carrots. Garnish with lemon slices and sprigs of fresh parsley. Enjoy!

    💭 Angela's Tips & Recipe Notes

    Dry the fish as instructed.

    • This will result in the fish being fried rather than having a 'steamed' effect.

    Check the internal temperature to ensure the fish is fully cooked.

    • Both sea bass and Chilean sea bass (as well as any fish species) should have an internal temperature of 145℉ (63℃) to be considered safe to eat. Use a digital meat thermometer to get an accurate reading in the thickest part of the fish.

    Cooking times may vary depending on the size and thickness of the fillets.

    • Fish come in different sizes, so cook until the flesh becomes flaky and reaches the minimum internal temperature.
    • Smaller fillets can be fully cooked with just 3-4 minutes on the skin side, followed by an extra minute or two on the other side.
    • Thicker fillets should be cooked for 4-5 minutes, then reduce the heat and continue cooking it with the skin-side down until it is two-thirds cooked. Then flip and sear for a minute.
    • Alternatively, thicker fillets can be pan-fried and then transferred to a 400°F (205°C) oven to finish cooking.

    To experiment with different flavors, consider using an infused olive oil.

    • I have a personal preference for the Baklouti green chili olive oil option. It provides a bit of spice without significantly altering the flavor. Alternatively, you can try rosemary-infused or garlic-infused versions. You can either make your own or explore the selection available at specialty stores in your area.
    Tall overhead image of the pan seared sea bass on white platter.

    🥡 Storing & Reheating

    Leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in aluminum foil or plastic wrap for a period of 3-4 days.

    If you prefer to freeze the pan-seared sea bass, you can store it in a freezer bag or a covered container for up to 3 months.

    Reheating Pan-Seared Sea Bass

    To prevent the fish from drying out, you can use a bamboo steamer or a metal insert to steam it for a few minutes until it is hot.

    Some people prefer to bring the fish to room temperature before reheating. You can do this by preheating your oven to 400℉ (205℃) and placing the fish on a plate on the stove, allowing it to warm up in the ambient heat until the chill is gone.

    🐟 Other Delicious Seafood Recipes

    Take a look at all the seafood recipes available! You can also explore some of my personal favorites listed below.

    ❓ Frequently Asked Questions

    Why is Chilean Sea Bass so expensive? It's important to note that there are various types of sea bass that can be used for this recipe. Chilean Sea Bass is a popular choice due to its delicious taste and ease of cooking. However, its high demand has led to periods of overfishing, resulting in even higher prices. Additionally, this particular fish is typically featured on the menus of upscale restaurants. One of the main factors contributing to its price tag is the method of catching it. Chilean Sea Bass is a deep-sea fish, which requires fishermen to venture far into the ocean and utilize specialized equipment. This entails additional skills, fuel costs for their boats, and refrigeration to prevent spoilage during the journey back to shore. Furthermore, the further away you are from the southern part of South America, the higher the expenses for refrigerated shipping become.

    If you enjoyed a recipe you tried, please consider leaving it a 5-star 🌟rating in the recipe card below. You can also leave a review in the comments section further down the page. Stay connected with me through my social media accounts on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter! Don't forget to tag me when you try one of my recipes!

    Perfectly pan seared sea bass on platter.

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    Only a few minutes stand between you and an exquisite seafood dinner featuring tender and flaky sea bass. The uncomplicated seasoning allows the sea bass to truly steal the spotlight! Save Recipe on Pinterest

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    • Gently pat dry the sea bass with paper towels, then generously season both sides with sea salt. You will need 8 oz sea bass and 2 teaspoons of sea salt.
    • Heat a non-stick frying pan or skillet over medium-high heat with the addition of olive oil. Allow the oil to heat until it begins to shimmer.
    • Carefully place the fish in the pan, ensuring that the skin side is facing down if your fish has skin.
    • Cook the fish for 4-5 minutes on the skin side, then carefully flip it over and continue cooking for approximately 2-3 minutes. Keep cooking until the sea bass is thoroughly cooked and flakes easily when pierced with a fork.
    • Remove the fish from the pan. Squeeze a touch of fresh lemon juice over the top, serve, and savor the flavors!
    • The Chilean sea bass is perfectly cooked when its internal temperature reaches 145°F (63°C).

    Calories: 484kcal (24%) | Protein: 26g (52%) | Fat: 42g (65%) | Saturated Fat: 8g (50%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 100mg (33%) | Sodium: 4762mg (207%) | Potassium: 1mg | Vitamin A: 454IU (9%) | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 1mg (6%) Learn How to Cook Sea Bass, Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass, Easy Pan Seared Sea Bass, Delicious White Fish Angela is a talented home chef who developed her passion for cooking and baking at a young age in her grandmother's kitchen. After spending many years in the food service industry, she now takes pleasure in sharing her family's favorite recipes and creating delightful dinner and dessert ideas right here at Bake It With Love!

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    Check out bakeitwithlove.com/about/ if you'd like to learn more about the fascinating world of baking!

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