Chilean Sea Bass (also referred to as Patagonian Toothfish) is a truly luxurious fish that is incredibly simple to cook at home. It has a rich, buttery taste, and a delicate flaky texture. All you need to learn how to cook Chilean sea bass at home is a large skillet, a few fish filets, some olive oil, Kosher salt, and black pepper.
Pan seared Chilean sea bass is absolutely delicious on its own — it has a high fat content, giving it not just great flavor, but also making it easy to prepare. If you cook it properly, it’s very unlikely to dry out!
Here’s why you’ll love it so much:
- Clean, simple ingredients
- Takes on the flavor of just about any sauce you pair with it!
- Can be pricy to order out at restaurants. Much more economical to prepare it yourself at home!
Truly, this is the best Chilean sea bass recipe! The possibilities are endless. We love to top this with a silky smooth lemon beurre blanc, but you could serve this with anything from a garlic butter sauce to ginger scallion sauce. It’s so versatile!
How To Shop For Chilean Sea Bass
There’s no denying that Chilean sea bass is an expensive fish. If you’re going to spend the money, make sure you’re buying a high quality piece of sea bass. Here’s how to tell if it’s quality:
- The fish should smell clean and fresh, and a bit like the ocean (but not in a bad way!).
- The flesh of the fish should be bright white and firm. The flesh should also be smooth, without having already flaked (before cooking).
Most of what we can find locally here in the tri-state area is all labeled Patagonian toothfish, versus Antarctic toothfish (another type of sea bass that is found in cold waters, near Antarctica).
If you can’t find sea bass (but we hope you can, it is the best ever!), look for black cod, sometimes labeled sablefish or butterfish (this is different than the less expensive Pacific or Norwegian cod).
Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass, Always!
There are plenty of options when cooking seafood: you can grill, steam, bake, or fry them all. But we love the texture and how simple it is to make pan seared Chilean sea bass.
Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Pat the Chilean seabass dry with a paper towel, then season the fish generously with Kosher salt and black pepper on both sides.
Heat a tiny bit of a light, neutral oil (such as grapeseed, canola, or vegetable oil) or unsalted butter in a large skillet. When very hot, place fish skin side down in the pan. Cook for 4 minutes, then use a fish spatula to carefully flip over. Cook the second side an additional 4 minutes. That’s it!
Note: we always prefer fresh seafood, but if working with frozen, allow to completely thaw overnight in a fridge, then drain on paper towels to absorb any excess water. Frozen seafood likely will not get the same sear as a fresh piece of fish, but it will still taste delicious!
Our Favorite Side Dishes For Chilean Sea Bass
Once you learn how to make pan seared Chilean sea bass filets, you’ll love pairing it with a variety of sauces. Our go-to is this lemon beurre blanc, made with butter, shallot, white wine, a little vinegar, fresh lemon juice, and a touch of heavy cream! It is divine.
Don’t forget a chilled glass of white wine! Sancerre would be perfect this!
If you make this Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass recipe, please let us know by leaving a review and rating below!
Our Remaining 2021 Feast Of The Seven Fishes Menu:
- Salmon Rillettes
- Crab Stuffed Shrimp
- Baked Cod With Panko
- Moules Marinières
- Broiled Scallops with Garlic Butter Sauce
- Baked Crab Legs
And make sure to sign up for our newsletter and follow along on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Pinterest, and Facebook for more Well Seasoned recipes! DON’T FORGET to tag us on social channels when you make a recipe at #wellseasonedstudio !! We LOVE seeing what you’re up to in the kitchen!
More Seafood Recipes To Try!
- Pan Seared Scallops
- Pan Seared Halibut with Chili Garlic Oil
- Tuna Tartare Recipe
- Miso Cod
- Salmon Escabeche (Escabeche de Pescado)
How To Cook Chilean Sea Bass Recipe
- 4 (6 oz) Chilean sea bass filets skin on
- 2 Tbsp grapeseed oil or other light neutral oil, can also use unsalted butter if preferred
- ½ tsp Kosher salt
- A pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- Lemon wedges for serving
- Chopped parsley optional, for serving
- Season the sea bass. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Pat the filets dry with a paper towel, then season on both sides with ½ tsp Kosher salt and a pinch of black pepper.
- Pan sear the fish. Heat about 2 Tbsp grapeseed oil or unsalted butter in a large skillet. When very hot, place fish skin side down in the pan. Cook for 4 minutes, then use a fish spatula to carefully flip over. Cook the second side an additional 4 minutes.
- Garnish, then serve. Pan seared sea bass can be enjoyed with lemon wedges and chopped parsley, but we like to serve it with a sauce. A few of our favorites are linked below in the notes.