Pan Seared Sea Bass

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Pan Seared Sea Bass is a simple and healthy seafood recipe combining chilean sea bass and a lemon butter sauce. This restaurant quality seafood is an excellent choice for company or just a small party of two!

For other quality fish recipes, try my Baked Asian Salmon in Foil, Shrimp Avocado Salad, or some Curry Fish Stew!

Closeup on a plate of pan fried sea bass with lemon butter sauce.

Seared Chilean Sea Bass Recipe

When I get a chance to order sea bass at a restaurant, I usually do! However, it’s always so expensive which is why I’d rather make it at home. Even then, this fish is rather pricy to buy so we save it for special occasions.

I found this sea bass for a great deal at my local store. Shop around and you’ll find a deal too!

What is Chilean Sea Bass?

The Chilean sea bass is also known as Patagonian toothfish. It is beautifully white and offers a pleasant, mild umami flavor with hints of butter and sweetness. The Chilean sea bass is considered to be a premium quality fish due to the high meat quality – firm and succulent texture flesh, that falls into large tender flakes.

Oh, it’s SO tender and delicious!

Why This Recipe Works

  • This sea bass recipe is simple and quick to make.
  • A one skillet meal is always a win/win!
  • The lemon butter sauce adds incredible flavor with little fuss.
  • Cooking sea bass in a cast iron skillet adds a nice crispiness factor.
  • Using this recipe to make sea bass is surprisingly restaurant quality!
Side shot of a plate of seared chilean sea bass, with roasted veggies.

Ingredient Notes

  • Fish – Chilean Sea Bass is the most delicious white fish. You could also substitute mahi-mahi, cod, or grouper.
  • Butter and Olive Oil – A delicious combo of fats used to cook the fish.
  • Onion Powder and Garlic Powder – Adds terrific flavor.
  • Salt and Pepper – Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
  • Lemon – Adding slices of lemon to the skillet as the fish cooks incorporates amazing flavor.
The ingredients for the pan seared sea bass on a white background.

How to make Pan Seared Sea Bass

Step 1
Prep the fish. Use paper towel to pat dry the individual portions of fish.

Step 2
Add seasonings. To the fish, add kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder to both sides of the fish.

Step 3
Cook the fish. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter, olive oil, and lemon slices – and when hot, add the sea bass. Cook for about four minutes on one side and then flip. Continue cooking until the fish easily flakes with a fork.

A cast iron skillet after pan searing the sea bass, with lemon slices.

Step 4
Serve. Serve the sea bass with some pan drippings, some extra lemon slices, and a couple sprigs of cilantro.

Two plates of pan seared sea bass with roasted potatoes and Brussels sprouts.

Recipe Tips

  1. Buy good quality sea bass.
  2. Let the fish set out to almost room temperature before searing.
  3. Add plenty of seasoning to the fish.
  4. Sear the fish at a high temperature.
  5. Cook until the fish flakes easily, but don’t over-cook.
  6. Serve fish with pan drippings and extra lemon.

PRO-TIP: I don’t like using a digital thermometer for testing fish doneness. It never seems to register the correct temp and often leads to over-cooking. I recommend using a fork to test for flakiness.

What to serve with Chilean Sea Bass

Side view of some seared chilean sea bass, broken apart shown the tenderness of the fish.

Kitchen Tools Used: (affiliate links)

Cast Iron Skillet

xoxo ~Sue

Pan Seared Sea Bass

Pan Seared Sea Bass is a simple and healthy seafood recipe combining chilean sea bass and a lemon butter sauce. This restaurant quality seafood is an excellent choice for company or just a small party of two!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 3 servings
Calories: 225kcal
Author: Sue Ringsdorf

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 15 oz. sea bass – wild caught
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper – to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 large lemon – sliced

Instructions

  • Prep fish. Pat dry the sea bass with some paper towels. Then add the onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to both sides of the fish.
  • Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and olive oil and heat to melted.
  • When the skillet is hot, add the fish and a few lemon slices – and cook for about 4 minutes. Then flip the fish and cook until flaky, about 4-5 more minutes.
  • To serve, drizzle pan drippings to the fish. Add a sprig of cilantro and additional lemon as well.

Notes

Recipe Tips:
  • Buy good quality sea bass.
  • Let the fish set out to almost room temperature before searing.
  • Add plenty of seasoning to the fish.
  • Sear the fish at a high temperature.
  • Cook until the fish flakes easily, but don’t over-cook.
  • Serve fish with pan drippings and extra lemon.

Nutrition

Calories: 225kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 123mg | Sodium: 100mg | Potassium: 423mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 252IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @Suebeehomemaker or tag #suebeehomemaker!

4 Comments

  1. Love this and pairing it with the risotto was a pro level tip!

  2. Ginger R. says:

    What happens if you don’t have a cast iron skillet? Some cooks swear by them–I just swear at them. Too heavy, hurt my wrists. Does it really make a difference to use my favorite nonstick-coated skillet?

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      We love using our cast iron skillets for this but a nonstick will work just fine!

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