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How to Cook Sea Bass

Quick and Easy Seafood Cookery

Here’s a method for cooking fish fillets to perfection. This applies to any fish which you fancy cooking with the skin on, I like to leave the skin on most white fish because I want the customer to be able to recognise what they are eating and this is just a great way of cooking fish fillets.

Sea Bass is widely farmed now and avaliable year round, wild bass is, of course stunning and much nicer but this isn’t a post for professional chefs with someone else’s money to spend.

Have your local fishmonger (that means supermarket in the real world-are you listening Jamie, Rick and Gordon?) fillet the bass for you, if they’re any good they will pin bone any fillets you want-ask them to pin bone some trout for you, they’ll love that :mrgreen:

Take your fillets home and put them on a blue colour coded chopping board like I have to so as to avoid cross contamination (are you still listening celebrities?) Take a sharp knife, not that one you got off the shopping channel on satellite that cuts through iron girders and never loses its edge, the other one with the flat blade.

Start at one end and pushing the knife away from you scrape the skin. Wipe your knife clean (if you’re under 21 ask a parent or guardian) and repeat. You want to remove any scales and excess moisture from the skin, don’t hack it to death, you want to leave the skin in place. When you have removed as much gunk from the skin as you can pat the fillets dry with kitchen towel.

Heat a frying pan, close the doors and turn on the extraction. Add a drop of oil and swirl around the pan. Carefully place the fillets skin side down in the pan and leave well alone. Resist the temptation to shake the pan or move the fillets around. The fish should cook on its skin side for about 80% of the total cooking time. As the skin begins to crisp and brown carefully turn over and finish cooking the fish on the flesh side, keep the temperature constant and the fish will cook very quickly. If you are cooking a thicker piece of fish then finish the cooking in a red hot oven.

When the flesh has turned a pearly white and the skin a crisp brown then you’re done.

Here’s one I did earlier with some bubble and squeek and a¬†few trompette mushrooms, give it a go, you’ll never look back!

sea bass fillets

20 Comments

  1. Cid says:

    Miles,

    How perfect.

    Cid

    February 7, 2008 @ 9:02 am

  2. Christine says:

    Miles,
    Yummy - I could just eat that!
    Thank you for the valuable info.

    Christine

    February 7, 2008 @ 12:58 pm

  3. miles says:

    Ladies,
    Thankyou, that buuble and squeek gets everywhere!
    Miles

    February 7, 2008 @ 4:05 pm

  4. Hank says:

    OK, that’s just weird. I posted an almost identical recipe a day after you did. Forgot about the skin-scraping tip, though - that’s a good one.

    February 12, 2008 @ 10:45 pm

  5. miles says:

    Hank,
    I am reminded of that old saying; great minds think alike :)

    Miles

    February 12, 2008 @ 11:10 pm

  6. richard says:

    thanks for the help it turned out gorgeuos

    July 4, 2009 @ 11:32 am

  7. miles says:

    Richard,
    Welcome to the site and thank you for the comment. I’m delighted it worked well for you.
    Try it with mackerel, it’s cheaper and equally delicious.
    kind regards
    Miles

    July 4, 2009 @ 12:23 pm

  8. Matt says:

    Miles, Tjhis is a dish I have not yet served. ( I’m a chef)
    I will be doing wild Sea Bass and wanted to pan cook it, not having the best equiped professional kitchen, I was wandering if you could give me some advice on how best to cook 15 portions at once.
    Also I may be serving it with sun blushed tomato puree and cucumver & Courgette spaghetti. Would these flavours work well?

    July 7, 2009 @ 11:21 am

  9. miles says:

    Matt,
    Welcome to the site and thanks for stopping by to comment. For fifteen portions I would cut your wild bass into the required size of fillets and then ’seal’ them skin side down in small batches. Just crisp the skin and leave the flesh uncooked. You can then put them all on one tray and cook them in a red hot oven just before serving.
    The spaghetti sounds fine but it might take some doing for 15 depending how many chefs you have, do you intend to roll the spaghetti into a barrel shape first? Tomato always goes well with sea bass but I personally avoid sun blush and use a standard tomato sauce instead, sauce vierge would also work well with the flavours you mention.
    Hope this helps and good luck with it.
    kind regards
    Miles

    July 7, 2009 @ 11:34 am

  10. Natasha Ross says:

    I thought this was going to be a feat of engineering (genius) but its straight forward. No drama. Blessings to you sir !!!

    June 14, 2010 @ 3:48 pm

  11. miles says:

    Natasha,
    Welcome to the site, glad it worked out for you. I don’t like drama’s in the kitchen either!!
    Kind regards
    Miles

    June 14, 2010 @ 5:24 pm

  12. Simon says:

    Just bought some fresh sea bass from Lyme Regis fresh from the fishermen ! Cooking it tonight with new potatoes & runner beans fresh from the alotment ! Thanks , Simon.

    August 13, 2010 @ 5:34 pm

  13. miles says:

    Simon,
    Welcome to the site and thanks for taking the time to comment. The bass sounds lovely, better still the home grown veg. What a great meal, I hope you enjoy it.
    Kind regards
    Miles

    August 13, 2010 @ 8:09 pm

  14. Tracey says:

    Miles

    My 8 year old son went fishing with his Dad for the first time this week and managed to catch 2 sea bass - these were a bit undersized so were put back. He went fishing for the second time this morning and managed to catch a larger bass (talk about beginners luck!!) and so for the first time I have tried cleaning and filletting a fish (good fun seeing my knives aren’t the best quality - looks like i’LL be investing in some new ones though as he will probably want to go again). I like the look of this recipie but am also thinking of roasting in tin foil. We’ve never tried sea bass before either as it tends to be expensive in the shops.

    August 21, 2010 @ 3:40 pm

  15. miles says:

    Tracey,
    Welcome to the site and thank you for taking the time to comment. That’s a lovely story which sounds familiar! Sea Bass is a brilliant fish to eat, I’m sure you will love it and baking in foil is good to. Try a splash of wine and some lemon and fresh herbs in there before you bake it.
    I’m jealous!!

    Kind regards
    Miles

    August 21, 2010 @ 4:45 pm

  16. jenny says:

    Hi, wonder if you could help me? My fiance has just caught 2 sea bass which i am going to cook tonight using your recipe. I have taken the backbones out but dont know what to do with all of the smaller bones? Thank you so much for any help!

    November 8, 2010 @ 6:39 pm

  17. miles says:

    Hi Jenny, welcome to the site. If you have filleted the fish simply un your finger along the top of the flesh and feel for any slightly protruding bones. Take a pair of tweezers or fine electrical pliars and carefully pull them out, there should be about five or six in each fillet.
    Good luck,

    Miles

    November 8, 2010 @ 8:31 pm

  18. john says:

    Since I was a kid I have always said I didn’t like fish but have realised I have not tried most fish, I have bought some bass fillets fresh from my fish mongers and after visiting your site I now know how to cook them (sounds delicious by the way) but not sure what to serve them with.

    January 12, 2012 @ 2:07 pm

  19. john says:

    P.s can I use butter in the pan instead o oil???

    January 12, 2012 @ 2:10 pm

  20. miles says:

    John,
    Welcome to the site, glad you found us. You can use butter but I would still use some oil as well to prevent the butter from burning. As to serving alongside I’d go for some very simple steamed greens and some boiled or mashed potatoes. Sea Bass is so good it deserves to be left alone to allow the flavours to shine.
    Good luck

    Miles

    January 12, 2012 @ 4:53 pm

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