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Parmesan Crusted Sea Bass Recipe

Parmesan crusted anything sounds good to me.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 servings


  • ½ cup panko crumbs these are Japanese bread crumbs but regular bread crumbs work fine too
  • 4 teaspoons Parmesan cheese grated
  • zest lemon finely minced
  • 12 oz pesto purchased or homemade
  • 2 pounds wild sea bass cut into 6 steaks spray olive oil

For the Broth or Crazy Water

  • 1/2 large red onion minced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic minced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes halved
  • ½ cup orzo pasta dry
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • ½ cup zucchini coarsely chopped
  • 7 ½ ounces roasted red peppers cut into thin strips
  • ½ cup Kalamata olives halved and pitted
  • 4 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped juice from the zested lemon above Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • As always, preheat the oven to 450º F.
  • Combine the panko (bread crumbs) with Parmesan cheese, lemon zest and season with salt and pepper.
  • Apply a spoonful of pesto on the non-skin side of each sea bass steak and then top with the bread crumb mixture. Press the bread crumbs into the pesto with the back of your spoon.
  • Spray each steak with a little spray oil, transfer to a baking sheet that has been coated with some spray oil and refrigerate until you are going to prepare the broth.

To Make the Broth

  • Start by heating up a saute pan over medium-high heat, adding oil, and sauteing the onions and garlic. Saute for 3 - 4 minutes until the onions are translucent.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and add wine to deglaze the pan.
  • Return the pan to the heat and simmer until the wine is reduced to an essence.
  • Add the water and stir in the tomatoes, orzo, sugar and fresh thyme. Simmer for about 10 minutes until the orzo is cooked. While the orzo is simmering, it's time to roast the sea bass.

Roasting Wild Sea Bass

  • Remove the baking sheet with the sea bass from the refrigerator and roast in your preheated oven for 12 minutes. The panko bread crumbs should be golden and the fish white and flaky.

Finish & Serving

  • When the orzo is done, add the roasted pepper strips, zucchini and kalamata olives to the broth and simmer until heated through.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and add the fresh parsley and fresh lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  • When it's time to serve, add some of the broth (crazy water) with vegetables to shallow bowls and place a sea bass steak into each. Serve.


As I said at the start of this post, this recipe doesn't take long to cook, but you'll want to have all your ingredients prepped (mise en place) before you start.
The recipe also suggests preparing the bread crumbs, adding them to the fish and refrigerating ahead of time (up to 4 hours) but make the broth just before serving. This is a great idea especially if you are having a dinner party and want to hang out with your friends.
Hope you get to try this and let us know what you think. This dish is outrageous!