Sea bass has a unique mild sweet flavour and the flesh is tender, firm, and rich in texture. If you are among those who recoil at the overly fishy taste or smell, then Sea bass would delight you with its mild aroma that is slightly sweet and meaty consistency. But how to cook Sea Bass?
For all those who are not into seafood, Sea bass being a delicate fish will be a great dish, to begin with. And for those who are great seafood lovers, Sea Bass would delight their tastebuds. In this article, you will learn how to cook Sea bass in different ways.
You can enjoy Sea bass grilled, pan-fried, steamed, or poached. Sea bass can be baked in the oven too. It will taste delicious if you pan-seared it before baking. Drizzle with some olive oil or coconut oil for extra flavour and season with salt and pepper before serving.
Accompaniments such as rice, couscous, quinoa, or potatoes would do wonders to an already amazing and tasty Sea bass fillet. Learning how to cook Sea bass is not difficult, provided you master the recipe starting with knowing the secrets to buying fresh fish.
What to Look for When Buying a Sea Bass?
When you are looking to buy the ultimate fresh fish to cook Sea bass, then try and purchase freshwater variety as much as possible. Another important feature to check the freshness of fish would be to seek out its bass eyes and gills.
So while buying Sea bass, look for fishes with deep colour, bright red gills, and pink eyes. The fish is usually sold as 1, 1/2 to 2-pound whole sea bass. Some Asian markets also sell live fish that is simply divine to cook and gives superb flavour.
One classic place to look for fresh fish would be in the water and the next would-be fish markets or fishmongers/retailers. Please remember that fish that are freshly caught would have a firm texture and cooking them will definitely be easier because they will not crack on the pan itself. Before learning how to cook Sea bass become to be familiar with some important terms.
What to buy- A Whole Sea Bass or Sea Bass Fillets?
While it is a cheaper and better option to buy the whole sea bass, many are of the opinion that Sea bass fillets are much cleaner to cook with. You can most assuredly take the help of a fishmonger to get a whole sea bass cut into fillets.
But if you have purchased the fish as fillets then it is essential to pin bone the meat before cooking sea bass. To pin bone a fish, use your fingers on the flesh side to feel the bones and extend them outwards. Finally, use a tweezer to get them out. Now, the important aspect before learning how to cook Sea Bass is to choose the method of cooking.
How to Cook Seas Bass?
There are plenty of right ways to learn how to cook sea bass but the challenge is to get the fish ready for the process of cooking. Before you start to cook Sea bass ensure you pat the fish dry and season lightly.
Another important point to note while cooking a whole Sea bass is to score its skin lightly to help the cooking process to be even on all sides. Choose a cooking method that would work for you and generally with enough practice, it is almost impossible to mess up any recipe.
1. Learn How to Cook Sea Bass Inside a Parcel
If you have never cooked sea bass before then the most foolproof and easy way to perfect a sea bass recipe would be to steam them in a parcel. Even if you overcook the fish by accident, the parcel will seal the steam to keep the fish juicy.
Fold a large piece of parchment paper or foil into half a width in such a way that it looks like a book when you open it. Place the fish fillet’s skin side down on one side of the fold.
After choosing the right seasoning to add to the fish, top it with some pieces of butter. If you like, you can add some herbs, lemon juice, and some white wine too. Finally, fold the paper so that it is closed from the other side and then seal the edges by pressing them down gently.
2. Steam Sea Bass
Steaming Sea bass is very similar to that cooking them inside a parcel. Steaming the fish slice on a frying pan is quite a direct way of cooking the fish fillets which does not let the fish dry out.
After lining the steaming basket with parchment paper, lay the fish fillets skin side down. If you are using a whole fish, then consider placing some aromatics inside the steamer cavity.
Now, cover and steam for 9-10 minutes for whole sea bass and 5-7 minutes for fillets. To serve the finished dish, add sauces and herbs on top and enjoy steaming hot sea bass cooked to perfection.
3. Know How to Cook Sea Bass by Roasting
If you are one of the many fish lovers that are particular about crispy skin texture but are unsure of the cooking method, then roasted sea bass will be your best option. First, brush some oil or your favourite marinade onto the fish to give it that extra zest and flavour to the dish.
The fish with the marinades need to be placed on the top shelf of the oven. Bake for 8 minutes if you are using fish fillets and 15 minutes if you are using whole fish. Roast some veggies tossed in oil, season them with some salt and pepper, and serve the delicious oven-roasted crisp fish.
4. Get Hands-on Experience on How to Cook Sea Bass on a Grill or Barbecue
If you like to cook a whole fish in the least amount of time, then grilling or BBQ at a high temperature would do the trick. The charming char on the skin of the fish will delight fish lovers to no end.
For extra flavour, stuff the fish with lemon slices and herbs. Now, start cooking sea bass on a medium-high heat BBQ or grill. Cook the whole fish for about six minutes on each side.
Fish fillets on BBQ must be placed skin side down and for a grill, it should be skin side up. Flipping is unnecessary as the heat from beneath will cook the fillets. Basting the fish with some herby butter straight after cooking will give the fish some delicious added flavor.
5. Pan Fry Sea Bass
The hardest way to cook sea bass would be the Pan-fry method. Pan-frying requires constant attention to get the perfect pan-fried fillet. The result would be extremely rewarding as the crisp skin on the whitefish will be a sight to behold and terrific to taste.
Some of the common mistakes to avoid would be cooking fish on low heat for a longer time and turning them over way too many times causing them to break and lose their texture.
Get your sides and sauces ready before you begin with the recipe. Dust the outside of the fish fillet or whole fish with plain flour. Then drizzle a little olive oil on the frying pan and turn the heat to medium-high.
Fry the whole fish for 4 to 5 minutes per side and fry fish fillets for 3-4 minutes with the skin down. Flip over, add some butter to the pan and fry for another minute. Serve immediately on a warm plate.
How to Know if the Sea Bass is Perfectly Cooked?
This is fairly simple once you have mastered a simple trick. All one needs to do to check if the fish is done is gently press with a cutlery knife.
The perfectly cooked fish will no longer have a jelly-like texture, will begin to flake easily, and would have turned opaque. Once it reaches a translucent texture, you need to understand that the fish will be done in a minute. Do not at any cost allow the fish to cook further as the fish would continue to cook even after you removed it from the heat.
Gordon Ramsay’s Awesome Mediterranean Sea Bass Recipe
- Skin-on Sea bass fillets – 8 oz.
- Eggplant – 1/2 cup.
- Shallots/Onion – 1.
Garlic – 1 large.
Cherry Tomatoes – 6.
White Wine – 2 tbsp.
Tomato Puree – 2 tbsp.
Vegetable Stock – 3 tbsp.
Some olives, and sun-dried tomatoes.1 Calabrian chilli, zest, and the juice of 1 lemon.
- Heat a pan and add some olive oil. Brown the cut pieces of eggplant over medium heat. Once cooked, add in some lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Remove and place on a paper towel.
- Clean the pan and add a teaspoon of hot oil, add sliced onions and garlic. Once it cooks lightly, add the sun-dried tomatoes, and diced chillies. Next, add white wine, vegetable stock, and tomato puree and gently mix.
- Finish off by adding in tomatoes, olives, and some torn oregano leaves. Remove and season with lemon zest.
- Season the Sea bass fillets with some salt and pepper and on a mildly heated pan fry them skin side down. Flip them after 4-5 minutes.
- Serve immediately with a plate of Couscous, prepared tomato sauce, and perfectly pan-fried fish.
Why is Sea Bass the most Famous Fish in the World?
Sea Bass is considered the most popular fish in the world and there are some very sensible reasons for it:
- It tastes great in Sushi, so it is commonly used everywhere.
- Sea Bass has low-fat content and a very high protein content.
- And it is great for your heart due to its omega-3 fatty acids.
Many international Michelin Star Restaurants serve delightful recipes using Sea bass. Most importantly, Sea bass is so versatile that it can be served in many different ways. It can be eaten with eggs, rice, vegetable or some delicious sauce. Due to its low mercury content, high vitamin D, and calcium content, it makes a wonderful post-workout meal.
Sea Bass is one of the best fishes to cook at home. Home chefs find it less time-consuming, inexpensive, and reasonably less difficult to incorporate this versatile fish in any meal. Therefore, try any of the above-mentioned ways of how to cook Sea bass.