Easy Pan Seared Sea Bass Recipe, flavored Mediterranean-style. Don’t skip the garlic and bell pepper medley on top! This is a quick and healthy weeknight meal (low-carb, low-calorie, and gluten free!)
The other day, I went to check out the fish selection at my local grocery store, initially looking for salmon to make my baked salmon with garlic-cilantro sauce. I was excited to find sea bass, which I hadn’t seen in a while!
It didn’t take long for me to switch sides, deciding in favor of this easy pan seared sea bass recipe as a quick weeknight meal.
Sea bass is apparently such a broad family, and white sea bass is actually a type of fish called a Drum, which not technically/scientifically a bass.
But, to this eater, what matters is that it’s one of my favorite fish. It’s white-fleshed. Meaty. Moderately low in fat. And mild-tasting, which makes it the perfect flavor carrier.
Why this Pan Seared Sea Bass Recipe Works
Other than the fact that it’s a quick cooking method, the object of pan-searing here is to produce a flavorful crisp exterior, which acts as a little barrier allowing the fish to remain tender on the inside as it cooks.
I always prefer a large cast iron skillet (or a pan made of a heavy-gauge metal) which does well in transmitting heat evenly.
No surprise to you, before searing in olive oil, I first gave the sea bass a quick coating of Mediterranean spices–ground coriander, cumin, and sweet Aleppo pepper. The spice mixture imparted flavor and acted as a thin crust to my skinless sea bass fillets.
What to serve with this sea bass recipe
My part-Italian, part-Greek addition here is a bright garlic and bell pepper medley. Not just a pretty embellishment, trust me. The sweet peppers, combined with the salty Kalamata olives are the tastiest compliment in this sea bass recipe.
One last note, if sea bass is not available to you, you can use halibut or cod fillet instead.
Easy Pan Seared Sea Bass Recipe, flavored Mediterranean-style! Don’t skip the garlic and bell pepper medley on top. This makes a quick and healthy weeknight meal (low-carb, low-calorie, and gluten free!)
- 4 pieces Sea Bass fillet, no skin (each piece about 6-0z in weight and 1 1/2 inches in thickness)
- Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Green Bell Pepper, cored and chopped
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, cored and chopped
- 3 Shallots, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved or chopped
- 1/2 lemon, juice off
- 2-3 cups cooked rice or pearl couscous or orzo pasta, prepared according to package (optional)
- Take the fish out of the fridge about 20 minutes before cooking. Sprinkle with salt on both sides and set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the spices to make the spice mixture. Set aside for now.
- In a medium-sized skillet, heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat until hot and shimmering but not smoking.
- Add the bell peppers, shallots, and garlic. Season with salt and 1 tsp of the spice mixture you prepared earlier. Cook, stirring regularly, for 5 minutes or until the peppers have softened. Turn the heat to lowest, and stir in the chopped olives. Leave on low heat as you prepare the fish.
- Pat fish dry and season with the remaining spice mixture on both sides as well.
- In a large skillet, preferably cast iron like this one, heat 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil over medium-high until shimmering but not smoking. Add the fish pieces (you can reduce heat to medium, if needed). Push down on the middle (thickest part) for 30 seconds or so. Cook fish on one side, undisturbed, until nicely browned, about 4 to 6 minutes. Using a spatula, carefully turn fish over and cook on other side for 3-4 minutes until nicely browned as well. (Important Note- look for browned edges before you turn it over. If parts of the fish are stuck, you should be able to carefully scrape it with the spatula and turn. But, if the fish is entirely stuck, it’s not ready to be turned over. Leave it for a little bit. It should release when ready.)
- Remove fish from heat, immediately drizzle lemon juice. Serve hot with the bell pepper medley spooned on top. Add a side of cooked pearl couscous or this Lebanese rice, if you like. Or add a gluten-free side of your choice. Enjoy!
- Recommended for this recipe: Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil (from organically grown and processed Koroneiki olives). And from our organic and all-natrual spice collections: ground coriander, cumin, Aleppo pepper (or paprika.)
- SAVE! Try our olive oil bundle; Ultimate Mediterranean Spice Bundle; or Create Your Own 6-Pack from our spice collection!