How to Cook Chilean Sea Bass

Chilean sea bass is one of the most popular types of fish thanks to its mild, luscious flavor and delicate texture. Like caviar or Kobe beef, it's a high-quality ingredient that should be handled with care in any kitchen. That's especially true for a homemade meal of Chilean sea bass. How to cook this fish varies slightly depending on the cooking method, so this guide will cover three of the most popular options: grilling, baking and pan searing.

How to Cook Chilean Sea Bass on the Grill

If you prefer a savory char on your fish, you'll likely prefer to grill your Chilean sea bass. Keeping it whole will prevent sticking to the grill and impart a lot of delicious flavors. Here's how to do it properly:

  1. Pat the fish dry and season liberally with salt and pepper. For extra flavor, you can place lemon slices and herbs in the cavity of the sea bass.
  2. Bring the grill to medium-high heat, then grill the fish for about 5 to 6 minutes per side.

That's it. This is a more rustic preparation that results in a wonderfully charred exterior on the fish skin and juicy, flaky fish inside.

How to Cook Chilean Sea Bass in the Oven

Cooking this type of fish in the oven keeps the flavors very mild and light. Here's how to cook Chilean sea bass in the oven:

  1. Place an oiled broiler rack over a baking sheet and preheat the over to 425 degrees F.
  2. Pat the fish dry and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the fish on the broiler rack.
  4. Bake for about 13 to 15 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F.

There are some "shortcut" recipes that offer instructions for how to cook Chilean sea bass in air fryers, but this method is not recommended as it is much more likely to dry the fish out.

How to Cook Chilean Sea Bass in a Skillet

This is undoubtedly the most challenging way to cook Chilean sea bass. However, it's often the way it's prepared in restaurants, and the high difficulty level does pay off with flavorful, tender fish. Follow these steps to pan fry your sea bass:

  1. Add a very light coating of plain flour mixed with a bit of salt and pepper to the exterior of your Chilean sea bass fillet.
  2. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  3. Once the pan is heated, fry the fish skin side down for about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Don't try to move the fish until you're ready to flip it over.
  4. Flip the fish and add about ½ tablespoon of butter to the pan. Baste the sea bass with the melted butter a few times before removing it from the pan. Note that the fish should be cooked on this side for no more than 1 minute.

Keep a close eye on your sea bass since it cooks fairly quickly. The exact time for how long to cook Chilean sea bass varies based on factors like the thickness of the fillet.