This pan seared Chilean sea bass recipe cooks in just one pan, only 5 ingredients and in under 20 minutes! It’s deliciously flaky, tender and buttery while still being gluten free, low carb and keto, Whole30, and dairy free. The fresh lemon and blend of herbs pack in so much flavor while keeping this a very simple fish dish to make for a special occasion or for a healthy sea bass recipe any night of the week.
Why This Recipe Works:
- This Chilean sea bass recipe is quick and easy to make. Fish takes no time at all to pan sear, so this fish will be done in under 20 minutes!
- This sea bass recipe is Whole30, gluten Free, keto, paleo and dairy-free. Chilean sea bass is naturally low calorie and low carb and the entire recipe is zero net carbs.
- You only need one skillet which makes clean up a breeze, and it also just so happens that pan searing is the best way to cook Chilean sea bass anyway!
- The fish has a delicious crispy outside while still having a buttery, flaky texture which makes it feels like an elevated meal while being so simple to cook.
- There’s minimal prep in this Chilean sea bass recipe, and you will only need 5 ingredients plus a few spices!
- It can be served with many side dishes and goes with almost anything so it’s very versatile.
What is Chilean Sea Bass?
Sea bass is actually a generic term that can be used for many different types of white fish. “Chilean” sea bass is the more specific term for Patagonian toothfish and Antarctic toothfish. This species of fish inhabit the waters around Chile and down towards the Antarctic, hence the nickname Chilean sea bass.
They live in deep and cold water and that makes them an oil rich fish species. Because of that, they have a wonderful buttery and rich flavor and are a highly sought after fish to catch. This type of fish is low in carbs and calories, while high in protein and healthy fats.
Pan Seared Sea Bass Ingredients
To make Chilean sea bass in a skillet on the stovetop, you won’t need many ingredients. White fish will take on the flavors you add to it really nicely, so it doesn’t take much to make a delicious sea bass without much fuss.
You will need your Chilean sea bass fillets, along with minced garlic, ghee (or butter), lemon juice and lemon slices, and then a few spices. The spices you’ll want for seasoning the fish are salt, pepper, oregano, and onion powder. Parsley is included to garnish, and I highly recommend adding that in as well, although it is optional.
Where to find Chilean Sea Bass (White Fish)
Chilean sea bass can sometimes be harder to find than other fish options, especially fresh. It’s more common to be in stock around holidays being it’s often used as a fancier meal. However, you can typically find it all the time at Costco (frozen), Whole Foods (fresh and frozen), local butcher/seafood shops, Walmart, Publix and Kroger. Fresh or frozen fish is completely fine to use for this recipe, just make sure frozen sea bass has thawed first.
How to Make Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass
The first step to this easy Chilean sea bass recipe is to pat your sea bass fillets dry with a paper towel, and then season both sides with salt and pepper. While you’re doing that, have 2 tablespoons of the ghee (or butter) melting in a skillet over medium heat.
Once the ghee is melted in the skillet, add in your Chilean sea bass filets. Place them in the skillet skin-side down if yours have the skin on still. Let them cook, undisturbed, for about 5 minutes, or until a nice crust or sear forms.
While they’re cooking, microwave the remaining 2 tablespoons of ghee (or butter) to melt it and then mix in the oregano, garlic, onion powder and lemon juice.
Once the 5 minutes is up, or the fish is seared, carefully flip the filet and add the lemon slices to the fish and into the butter in the skillet. Then pour the butter mixture over the fillets.
Cook the sea bass for an additional 4 to 5 minutes after you’ve flipped it, or just until the sea bass easily flakes with a fork. You can add more ghee to the skillet if needed.
Once it’s done, remove the sea bass from the skillet and place it onto your plates or serving dish. Pour or spoon the butter sauce over the fish and give it the finishing touch by garnishing with parsley, lemon wedges or slices, and a pinch of flaky salt.
How to Serve Pan Seared Sea Bass
Chilean sea bass can be served with a any number of sides, but I recommend choosing a hearty vegetable such as mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower, or roasted potatoes or green beans. These options are a great compliment for the flaky fish and lemon butter sauce!
If you have leftover sea bass you want to store, you can do so both in the fridge and freezer. To store in the refridgerator, first allow the Chilean sea bass to cool completely, and then store it in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Include the lemon butter juices from the pan with the bass.
To freeze Chilean sea bass after it’s cooked you want to first allow it to cool completely, and then store it in an airtight, freezer safe bag or container. You will want to add some of the lemon butter juices into the container with the fish as well. Chilean sea bass can be frozen for up to 3 months.
It can be reheated in the oven, in a skillet, the air fryer or the oven. If it was frozen first, let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Tips to Make the Best Chilean Sea Bass
- Let your Chilean sea bass come to room temperature prior to pan searing it. You don’t want to place a cold piece of meat into a hot skillet – this is true for all types of meat. It causes the meat to “seize up” and can make it tough instead of soft and pillowy.
- Remove any fish bones that may be still in your fillets.
- If you don’t have one already and you cook fish regularly, I highly recommend getting a fish spatula, or commonly referred to as a “fish turner”. These spatulas are long, thin and wide and made for working with delicate and flaky fish fillets. Having a fish spatula makes cooking them, flipping them and transferring them so easy!
- You can change the seasonings up and it will still be great with the lemon butter sauce. Instead of oregano, parsley and onion powder, you can, for example, use a lemon pepper, cajun, harissa, Italian, Old Bay or Greek seasoning.
- If you’re unsure about buying fish from a meat counter and worried about how to pick the best fish, choosing a frozen Chilean sea bass is a very safe bet. Frozen sea bass fillets are a great option because they are typically always frozen at peak freshness within 24 hours of being caught.
Can I make this with other fish? Yes, this recipe can be made with other types of flaky white fish. I recommend substituting haddock, cod or grouper.
How do you cook sea bass in the oven? If you want a more hands-off cooking experience, you can bake sea bass in the oven. To do that, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. and spray a small casserole dish with a nonstick cooking spray. Melt the butter in the microwave, and then once it’s melted, mix in all of the spices and seasonings, including lemon juice.
Pat your fish fillets dry with a paper towel, add them into the casserole dish and pour the seasoned butter mixture over your fish. Top with the lemon slices and bake for 15 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. Remove from the oven and spoon the juices from the dish over the fish prior to serving.
Can you eat the skin on sea bass? Yes, you can cook sea bass with the skin on and eat it with the skin on! If your sea bass came with the skin on, even if you do not want to eat it, I highly recommend keeping it on while cooking and removing it prior to eating. Cooking sea bass with the skin on will keep the fillet together while flipping and keep it from flaking.
How do you know when pan seared Chilean sea bass is done cooking? You don’t want to overcook your sea bass, but you will know when it’s finished cooking. The color will change from opaque to white, and soon after the fish will become flaky. At that point, it is done and can be removed from the heat.
Can you double this recipe? Yes! You can easily make 4 Chilean sea bass fillets in a skillet instead of 2 if you’re feeding a few other people, or want leftovers for meals in the following days. Simply double the spices, butter (or ghee), and the other ingredients but keep the cooking method and time the same.
Can I freeze this sea bass recipe? Yes, cooked sea bass can be frozen. Let it cool completely first, and then store it in an airtight container with the sauce and juices from the pan. Sea bass can be frozen for up to 3 months and should be thawed in the refrigerator overnight prior to reheating. It can be reheated in the microwave, but it’s best reheated with a few minutes on the stovetop in a hot skillet, the oven or the air fryer to crisp the skin back up.
Other Fish Recipes You’ll Love:
- Air Fryer Mahi Mahi
- Broiled Cod
- Spicy Salmon Bowls
- Cajun Salmon Pasta
- Shrimp Stuffed Salmon
- Bang Bang Shrimp
- 2 (6-ounce) Chilean sea bass fillets
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons ghee or butter, divided
- 1.5 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 4–6 slices of lemon, plus more to garnish (about 1 lemon total)
- Parsley, to garnish
- Pat both sides of the sea bass dry with a paper towel, and then season both sides with salt and pepper
- Add 2 tablespoons of the ghee or butter to a large skillet over medium heat and let it melt
- Once melted, add the sea bass fillets into the skillet skin side down and let cook for 5 minutes
- While the sea bass is cooking, microwave the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and stir in the garlic, oregano, onion powder and lemon juice
- Once the 5 minutes is up for the sea bass, carefully flip the fillets and pour the butter mixture over the fillets
- Place the lemon slices into the butter on the bottom of the skillet and cook the sea bass for an additional 5 minutes, or until the sea bass easily flakes with a fork. Add more ghee or butter to the skillet if needed
- Remove the sea bass from the skillet and place onto plates or a serving dish. Pour the butter sauce over the fish and garnish with parsley and lemon wedges or slices
- Leave skin on for cooking if your fillets have them still and put them skin side down first to sear
- Cook fish until it is flaky and remove it from heat immediately
- Cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of your Chilean sea bass filet
- Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container
Keywords: chilean sea bass, pan seared chilean sea bass recipe, pan seared sea bass, chilean sea bass recipe, how to make chilean sea bass
- Serving Size: 1 piece of fish
- Calories: 330
- Fat: 34 g
- Carbohydrates: 6 g
- Fiber: 3 g
- Protein: 22 g
This pan seared chilean sea bass recipe may contain some links that are affiliate links, though products are ones I use personally and recommend. When you purchase anything using my links, it costs you absolutely nothing extra, but it does give wholekitchensink.com a little financial support which helps to keep this blog running. Thank you for your continued support, both with your dollars and your interest.