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Pan Seared Sea Bass

Pan Seared Sea Bass

Pan Seared Sea Bass Recipe

This recipe for pan-seared sea bass shows you how to cook sea bass fillets in a skillet.

It also gives you a simple recipe for a buttery lemon, herb and garlic sauce to accompany the crispy fish. I use a similar method here to cook the fillets as I would also use for mackerel, as it gives the fish a nice crispy finish, which I like.

Serve up with some nice new potatoes and some greens for a perfect healthy supper.

Sea Bass

In Ireland and the UK, we have access to the European Bass, (Dicentrarchus labrax),  which is a well-known ocean-going fighting fish and considered a great catch off our plentiful shores. They are also just called Sea Bass by some fishermen.

Bass can be caught off the shore here and are known as a delicious eating fish. The fish has a white flesh and is silver in colour.

Sea Bass Fillets

We can buy affordable fresh sea bass fillets locally in our Aldi store, and they really are very tasty.

In the USA, you may see references to Chilean Sea bass, which is actually a Patagonian Toothfish, and is no relation to the Sea Bass. The name ‘Chilean Sea Bass’ was apparently invented by a fish wholesaler, who wanted to sell more fish. How these Chilean Sea Bass taste, I do not know, as I have never tried them, but if it is anything like the European Bass then this recipe must work for them too.

There are many other types of ‘bass’ available worldwide, as it is a name given to a variety of fish species, with both freshwater and marine types. The word bass actually comes from ‘bars’ which means ‘perch’, so you may see similarities.

Other types of bass are the largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, spotted bass, striped bass, blackfin seabass, and Japanese seabass, for example.

They are all different, but if they are edible, I suppose you could try this recipe with them, although I have only used it with European Sea Bass, as that is what we have over here.

pan searing sea bass

Fishing for Bass

As a teenager, I remember fishing for sea bass off the shore in Cornwall in the West of England. We would fish the tide up using strips of mackerel or a sand eel as bait. And we always had a 4-pint container of HSD (Hicks Special Draught, St. Austell Ales) from the Logan Rock Pub to keep us company. 

sea bass dinner menu

Many a night was spent watching the surf from the beach. However, I do not remember ever catching very much. Maybe the HSD didn’t help!

Bass is a hard fish to catch, but the patience is well worth the wait.

What to serve with sea bass?

When David Cameron toured Europe in June 2015 desperately trying to avoid having to have a Brexit referendum, he was reportedly fed sea bass and grilled or roasted asparagus by several of his hosts for a week. So it would seem that these are the logical greens to serve up with these fillets.

seared sea bass
Pan Seared Sea Bass

I added some new potatoes baked in the oven and it was perfection! 

I hope you enjoy making this dish. Please let me know how you get on in the comments section below!

How to cook pan-seared sea bass

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pan seared sea bass

Pan Seared Sea Bass

Yield: 2
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

This pan-seared Sea Bass with a buttery lemon and herb sauce is a great way to cook this beautiful white fish. Serve up with some new potatoes and asparagus. Wonderful!


  • 2 Sea Bass fillets
  • 20g butter
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 50ml dry white wine
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp fresh coriander (finely chopped)
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley (finely chopped)
  • Some extra butter for the sauce
  • 80ml vegetable stock


  1. Season the flour with salt and pepper to taste (I use about 1/2 tsp of salt and freshly ground pepper).
  2. Dry the sea bass fillets with some kitchen paper and coat them on both sides with the seasoned flour.
  3. Melt the butter in a skillet together with the olive oil. Then add the fish fillets and saute for between 3-4 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the fillet, cooking the scaled side first.
  4. Meanwhile, finely chop the parsley and coriander and remove the thyme leaves from their stalks. Prepare the vegetable stock.
  5. Remove the fish from the pan and place on a heated plate. Then rinse the pan and place back on the hob.
  6. Add the white wine and simmer until reduced. Then add a knob of butter and mix in the minced garlic. Then add the hot stock and bring to a simmer. Add the lemon juice and the herbs and simmer until the sauce has reduced sufficiently.
  7. Pour the lemon sauce over the fish and serve up with some vegetables.


Serve the fish up with some new potatoes and some greens, like asparagus or green beans.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 336Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 75mgSodium: 420mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 26g

This nutrition information was automatically calculated by Nutritionix, but may not be 100% accurate.

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Wednesday 26th of January 2022

super fast and very delicious - only change we made was to pull pin bones with pliers prior to cooking, scored the skin so fish didnt curl as cooked, and we cooked the sauce in a small pan as the fish cooked so all hot at the same time


Friday 28th of January 2022

Nice tips. Glad it worked!


Saturday 13th of November 2021

This recipe was great! My mistake was putting the sauce on top of the crispy skin. Should have known better but it was still delicious. Sea Bass is a lovely firm white fish that doesn’t fall apart. Definitely making this again!!


Saturday 13th of November 2021

I am so glad you enjoyed it Marge. Sea Bass is indeed a wonderfully tasty fish.

james m neiman

Wednesday 21st of July 2021

the Chilean Sea bass is one of the best eating fish I know, and I've tried a lot of fish. so If the chance comes your way try it.


Thursday 22nd of July 2021

James, I am sure I will if I get the chance. I have never seen it sold over here yet.

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