PLEASE REFER TO FISHWATCH FOR RELIABLE INFORMATION AND UPDATES ON SALMON + SUSTAINABILITY.
This here, my friends, was a total treat. I think sea bass is going to be giving salmon some sweet and delicious competition in this house.
Kick his ass, Seabass!
Sorry; obligatory movie quote. It seemed apropos.
If you’re thinking of cooking up some sea bass, I encourage you. It’s delicious. Just make sure it’s sustainable sea bass; I’d be a total dipshit of a pescetarian if I didn’t promote responsible fish consumption. If you’re unsure of where the fish comes from at your local market, you can talk to your fishmonger. I buy my fish from either Whole Foods or a local butcher because they are trustworthy. They source solely from sustainable fisheries and responsible farms. What you’re looking for is European farmed sea bass caught from a recirculating system or open net pens that are GlobalGAP certified. Some fishmongers will label their fillets, but if not, ask. It’s kind of awesome to have a relationship with your fishmonger if you love seafood anyway—they’ll give you the inside scoop on what’s coming in. Who doesn’t want that kind of special treatment?
So, let’s talk about sea bass; it’s dreamy.
The flavor is pretty mild, but the texture is super buttery, rich and it flakes impeccably when struck with a fork. This is why I kept things simple and seasoned the fillet with salt and pepper. Some things are better left to shine in their natural flavors, you know?
I did create a garlicky lemon butter sauce to drizzle on top—because garlicky butter—but that’s totally optional. It certainly didn’t mask the true essence of the sea bass.
HAVE YOU MADE THIS RECIPE? SNAP A PIC AND TAG ME ON INSTA! @KILLING__THYME /#KILLINGTHYME
Salt and Pepper Crusted Sea Bass
Sea bass6-7 oz fillet of sea bass, with or without skin
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 1 tablespoon butter
Garlic Lemon Butter Sauce (Optional)2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 lemon zest and juice
- 2 cloves garlic not minced or sliced—see notes, smashed
Sea bassPreheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Season both sides of the fish generously with salt and pepper. (If you're keeping the skin on and plan on eating it, season the skin.)
Heat canola oil in a medium-sized cast iron skillet or oven-safe saucepan over high heat for two minutes or until oil is hot. You can test the heat of the oil by throwing a few breadcrumbs into it. If the oil spits, you're good to go.
Carefully place the sea bass into the skillet, skin-side up.
Let it sear over high heat for 2 minutes.
Do not flip the fish; transfer the skillet into the oven and bake for 8 minutes.
Garlic Lemon Butter Sauce (Optional)In a small saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat.
Add the smashes garlic cloves and lemon zest to the butter.
Bring the heat to low and simmer, infusing the butter, for approx. 5 minutes.
Add the lemon juice and whisk. Continue to simmer on low for 2 minutes. Discard the garlic cloves.
Plate fish and drizzle a tablespoon of the sauce over the fillet.