Pan Roasted Sea Bass Recipe

July 23, 2012 32 Comments

Pan Roasting is how professional chefs cook all the time but how many of you have heard of this technique or pan roast at home.

Before you start this recipe, I recommend you read my article on Pan Roasting to pick up some tips on how to pan roast properly. It provides you with some great tips and suggestions to help understand how pan roasting works and why it is a popular cooking method with professional chefs.

Currently there is a lot of controversy about Chilean Sea Bass, also called the Patagonian tooth fish and you can read more about this controversy below.

This recipe calls for sea bass and there are many varieties of sea bass including black sea bass, giant sea bass, Japanese sea bass, European sea bass and I’m sure there are more. I suppose if you want to confuse the issue even more, we could talk about striped bass but that’s another species and a topic for another time.

Ignoring the controversy, I am a big fan of Chilean sea bass but because of the very high cost, I don’t buy it very often. I am amazed at how such an ugly fish can taste so good. Instead I often opt for black sea bass or stripe bass, both coming out of the Atlantic ocean.

Pan Roasted Sea Bass Recipe

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 2 - 4 servings

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon of butter

1 large onion

1/4 cup Marsala wine

8 oz. fresh mushrooms

1/2 cup of chicken stock

Salt and Pepper

2 tablespoons canola oil

2 fillets of sea bass (approximately 1 lb.)

1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

How To Prepare At Home

f you can, I highly recommend getting all the ingredients prepped before you start - Mise en Place. This way you're not scrambling around chopping something while the rest of the meal is overcooking.

Start out by finely chopping the onion and slicing the mushrooms. Besides having all the other ingredients available, chop up the parsley.

Then

(1) preheat your oven to 450°F. I made the mistake of waiting until I needed the oven and it took a lot longer than expected to reach the right temperature.

(2) Heat the olive oil in your pan over medium high heat and sauté the chopped onion until it's translucent.

(3) Deglaze the pan with Marsala wine. Be careful to remove the pan from the stove when doing this to prevent the wine from igniting in your face. You can use white wine if you don't have any Marsala wine. It will give the dish a slightly different taste, but you may like it better.

(4) When most of the wine is cooked off, add the mushrooms and butter. This recipe would have a lot more flavor if you were to use wild mushrooms, but at the time, all I had were plain old boring white mushrooms and it still came out great with lots of flavor.

Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the mushrooms are tender. How do you know when they are tender? Taste one! That's part of the enjoyment of cooking, you get to taste as you go along. It's also a great way to learn what works and what doesn't. If you just follow a recipe without ever tasting, you'll never learn the effects ingredients have on a dish.

This is especially true with salt. I've made soups that tasted OK but after adding a little salt, it had a wonderful new flavor. So make sure you taste as you go along.

(5) At this point add the chicken stock, a little salt and pepper, and let the sauce cook down until it thickens a little. Rule of thumb: when the sauce can coat a spoon, it is the correct thickness. This is something you need to play around with until you learn to get it to the thickness you like.

(6) In an oven proof sauté (fry) pan, heat the canola oil until its so hot it's about to smoke. Be careful around this hot oil!

(7) Season the fillets with salt and pepper and add to the hot pan. Now here is where I had a small problem. My fillets didn't have skin on them so I had to adjust my cooking times to compensate. Otherwise, I would have started cooking them skin side down for approximately 5 minutes until the skin was nice and crispy. Then I would have flipped them over for 30 seconds, transferred them into a 450° oven and roasted them for about 3-4 minutes.

(8) But since my fillets were skinless, cook them on one side for about 5 to 6 minutes and flip them over for another 2 minutes before transferring to the oven for 3 to 4 minutes.

My results? Plump, moist, and tender, but you may want to experiment with these times because there are so many variables that can go into any recipe.

Type of pan, thickness of fish, stove's btu's, oven temperature, pan temperature, type of oil. All of these factors go into cooking times and cannot be accounted for in a recipe. Using your senses and experience are vital for any recipe to work.

(9) On warm plates ( I usually heat them in the microwave for about 2 minutes), dish out the onion-mushroom mixture and top with the pan roasted fillets. Sprinkle a little of the chopped parsley and serve.

I served this meal with wild rice, green beans, and a wonderful Italian Orvieto white wine. The sea bass combined with the onion-mushroom mixture worked out better than I expected. And my wife loved it.

Enjoy!

Last modified on Wed 2 July 2014 8:59 am

Filed in: Fish Recipes

Comments (32)

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  1. gloria says:

    My husband and I made this for dinner this p.m…fantastico!! We will be saving this in our favorite recipes’ file.The pan roasting article was very informative. Thank you.

  2. Kazuo says:

    Excellent recipe and perfectly detailed instructions. The fish turned out beautiful.

    Definitely a keeper recipe. Thank you!

    What are your thoughts on some acid for the fish?

  3. Bobbo says:

    Pretty good and I liked the pan roasting but the skin immediate seared to the pan and that was the end of it. Tips?

  4. Janette says:

    It was delicious definitely a keeper. I wouldn’t change anything in the recipe. I did use white wine, skin on sea bass and it was so tender.

  5. Tulip says:

    I had shiitakes, so used them,, plus young Vidalia onions, so I used them. Wonderful fish and veggies.

  6. Sharon says:

    I tried the recipe yesterday. I followed the recipe exactly. I was a little unclear on adding the mushrooms to the sauteed onions, but I did anyway. The result was EXCELLENT! The meal was restaurant quality Sea Bass! My husband was impressed.

    With the exception of the snaffu, the directions were clear, easily understandable and easy to follow. Thank you Reluctant Gourmet, you have a new follower for life!

    Thanks Sharon

  7. tawni says:

    Just made this minus the mushrooms and added a bit more chicken broth… AMAZING!!! Cooked it with out Skin and followed the directions..

    love love love!!

  8. karen says:

    Made this tonight for our first time having sea bass. The fish was cooked to perfection and a nice touch with the mushrooms which I would not pair with fish normally. I chose to pair with a moscato, asparagus and fried green tomatoes.

  9. Caela says:

    Well, I must say, this was pure restaurant quality! We love sea bass but I have never cooked at home and just a little apprehensive due to its high price. But the step by step instructions convinced me o try. Very delicious! Plated ld rice pilaf bed, opped with the mushroom reduction, topped with the fish, fresh asparagus and Santa Margharita Pinot Grigio. Perfection! Thank for the recipe. Will do again.

  10. Margaret says:

    Our fisherman neighbor gave us some sea bass filets, a fish which we’d never had before. Went online and found this recipe. DElicious! Had it with a rice medley, asparagus and cauliflower . . . and a Chilean sauvignon blanc. This recipe is a little labor-intensive before serving, but well worth it. I’ll be using this recipe far into the future! Enjoy. . . .

  11. Tom Keller says:

    Just finished dinner and it was phenomenal!

  12. Joseph Shopes says:

    Thanks for info I’m a chef in Sonoma co and didthis for spec …turned out great

  13. Laura Buckley says:

    Tried this tonight. I was a little nervous, but our local market had Chilean Sea Bass on sale for $20.00/lb. Turned out amazing! Thank you for the thorough step by step directions.

  14. Angela A says:

    I have made this about 4 times, last night (V day) I made this and double it, had some guest over. It is always my go to every time we have special occasions and fork out big money on sea bass, every time I make it, it taste better. Thanks for the step by step….it comes out perfectly every time….thank you thank you!!

  15. Angela A says:

    last night we had 4 big cuts skin on, I used a ceramic cast iron skillet and waited until the oil was really hot (on the stove), seared the skin to a crisp (just like the directions said) flipped it over and finished it off in the oven at 450 cooks up perfect every single time!! so good

  16. Jan says:

    Looking up a good recipe for the expensive treat of the sea bass I bought today at Fresh Market. Somehow the Marsala wine doesn’t sound right…will either try white or perhaps my new favorite deglazing/flavor enhancer…dry sake. Any comments on how you think it will do?

  17. Cathy says:

    I have always hated fish but decided to try eating more (ok any) to help me lose weight and get healthier. For no specific reason I chose to buy one chilean sea bass filet from Fresh Market. Then I looked for a recipe on the internet and landed here. I was nervous as I had spent a small fortune, had no experience cooking fish and had a mental block about fish that made me think that at best I would tolerate the meal. I followed the very clear instructions as exactly as possible considering I only had one piece of fish and using the white wine since I don’t like marsala. OMG the whole dish was absolutely fabulous. If it was affordable I would eat it every single day. Thank you for making one person convert to eating fish and actually enjoying it instead of merely tolerating.

  18. cheryl says:

    Lovely!
    Grateful that you included the additional info with the skin on the fish. Cooked to perfection, crispy skin, melt in your mouth fish. I used coconut oil for the frying, and a blend of maitake, shiitake and crimini mushrooms for the sauce, replacing the marsala with my “paleo wine” substitution.

  19. Amy says:

    I’ve made this several times now and each time it has been a smashing success! There is no better sea bass recipe out there!

  20. Bruce says:

    Have you ever thought about adding a sliver or two of lemon grass to the mix?? Thoughts?

  21. Janet says:

    This was excellent I highly recommend very easy and delicious. will definitely keep as a favorite recipe

  22. Cyd says:

    I just made this and it was very tasty!
    I will definitely make it again

  23. J says:

    How thick is your fillet? What weight? These basic facts make an enormous difference, whether your cooking time works or not!

  24. Melvin says:

    I just tried this recipe for my wife and her mom and we ate every bite of it. This was absolutely delicious. We used red onions and white wine instead of Marsala, but otherwise, we followed the recipe. Definitely worth the effort!

  25. Pam says:

    Made this recipe tonight with Striped Bass that my boyfriend caught yesterday.
    It was delicious!!!!!!! I added fresh spinach to mushrooms and onions.
    This recipe had such good flavor, the paring of the mushrooms and onions with the marsala was awesome with the fish
    Will make again….

  26. Val says:

    Oh my gosh just made this. Put the sauce on the side because the fish on its own is incredible. Then added … Wow. My husbands all time favorite.

  27. Randi says:

    I have never cooked Chilean sea bass. I always order out. I found it on sale today and decided to give it a try. This sounds amazing and I can’t wait to try it tonight

  28. Becky Bollin says:

    This receipe was simply amazing! I added a little more Marsala for added flavor with the chicken stock. Spread some chive mashed potatoes on plate f and topped with fish and mushroom sauce. OMG , it was like a party in my mouth.
    Thanks for making the instructions soooo detailed!!!!

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