Chilean Sea Bass recipe features a seared fillet on top of wilted sesame spinach and drizzled with a spicy, sour sweet Vietnamese inspired sauce. Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free.
Chilean Sea Bass recipes are the best. Especially this one. Quite simply the most sophisticated fish dinner you could make, that happens to also be ready in 30 minutes.
After yet another mini friend vacation, this time with my girls from studying abroad in Madrid, and this time around to New Hampshire, Portland, Maine, the cape and Nantucket, I am now on the ultimate seafood kick.
After spending days in seaside towns and villages and sampling all sorts of underwater treasures – not limited to clam chowder, fried clams, fish and chips, lobster rolls, crab rolls, tuna tartar, etc I need more.
More fish, more seafood in my daily cooking rotation and so I decided to come up with this Chilean sea bass recipe.
The timing happened to be perfect when after returning from the trip my dad suggested we drive out to the wholesale seafood market in Boston and stock up on some serious goods.
We’re talking almost $600 of oysters, salmon, sardines, branzini, Chilean sea bass (also known as Patagonian toothfish, apparently), smoked salmon, calamari steaks, etc.
Now that’s my kind of shopping spree. It was just what I needed to be able to whip up my Spicy Paprika & Garlic Gluten Free Shrimp recipe, Asian shrimp appetizer cucumber rolls with wasabi aioli, Southwest salmon salad with avocado dressing, sesame crusted seared tuna with the best ever ahi tuna sauce, and Caribbean fish curry. It was going to be a seafood fueled week.
Let’s talk Chilean sea bass. Love it or hate it? I never used to be a fan – even though I know it is a highly prized and valued fish that comes in at a whopping $28-$30 per pound at the usual grocery store – and let’s not even talk about how much a small portion goes for in a restaurant.
Regardless this fish in particular always seemed a bit too fatty and oily for me. Up until now. Maybe it was the way it was prepared before – I don’t know.
When we got back from the fish market I quickly opened up at least a dozen tabs to find inspiration for this Chilean sea bass recipe, but for one reason or another none of them really clicked. I decided to go my own path and quickly make up my own Chilean sea bass recipe. I love the Vietnamese sauce that I always serve with my summer rolls so I thought that might just be the right sauce for this fish too. I thought about preparing the Chilean sea bass in the oven, under the broiler, but decided I could get a nice sear on it instead. The key is to heat up the pan with the oil until almost smoking, and then add the fish. Do not touch the fish until it’s ready to be flipped over. That’s the key to that super crispy outer layer. Quite simply my favorite part of the whole fish.
For some veggies I threw in a handful of spinach to cook with a bit of sesame oil and any remaining bits of the fish.
When served all together this Chilean sea bass recipe or should I say masterpiece, was an instant hit.
With this seared Chilean sea bass recipe, each side of the sea bass has a nice crispy char to it and the ever so slightly wilted spinach creates a perfect base. The sauce is my lightly adapted summer roll salad sauce to make it a tad less sweet and a whole lot more spicy.
The flavors all complemented each other beautifully. This might just be my most proudest fish dish creation yet. I was honestly impressed with myself and so was everyone else.
This dish comes together in just 30 minutes and is simply made to impress. The slightly salty, sweet, spicy sour sauce blends with the charred and light fish atop a smooth and soft bed of sesame spinach. Don’t be turned off by the long ingredient list — this recipe is worth it!
If you end up trying my Chilean sea bass recipe please leave a comment to let me know what you thought!
How to make my Chilean sea bass recipe
- 1 pound Chilean sea bass fillet cut into four 3/4 inch thick pieces
- 1/2 - 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- splash of lemon juice
- salt/pepper to taste
- 1 - 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- for the sauce:
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon agave
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1-2 tablespoons thai chili garlic sauce sambal olek
- for the spinach:
- 10 ounces spinach
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1-2 teaspoons sesame seeds
Wash and pat dry sea bass fillets. Drizzle with fish sauce, lemon juice and add salt and pepper to taste on both sides.
Heat pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add 1 teaspoon sesame oil. When hot add sea bass fillets, in a single layer. Cook for 4-6 minutes per side until browned and cooked through. Add 1 more teaspoon sesame oil if needed.
In a small bowl whisk together the sauce ingredients - lime juice, minced ginger, fish sauce, rice vinegar, agave, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, olive oil and sambal olek. Whisk until smooth.
Remove cooked fish from pan and drain on paper towels. In the same pan cook the spinach in 1 teaspoon sesame oil until just wilted -- about 1 minute.
To plate, first divide spinach onto four plates, sprinkle with sesame seeds, top with sea bass, and drizzle with sauce.