Pan fried sea bass is a simple, healthy and tasty fish entree that you can prepare in less than 10 minutes. The perfect choice for quick and easy weeknight dinners!
Sea bass is a popular white fish, and with good reason. It's affordable, easily available, and has a very mild taste. The mild flavor makes it really versatile, as you can pair it with a variety of different spices and sauces.
Cooking sea bass is also really easy. I love preparing it in a frying pan or skillet, as it's a really fast process. This recipe is also low calorie, and suitable for most diets and allergies.
Why you'll love it
- Really easy fish entree
- Make it in less than 10 minutes!
- The skin becomes perfectly crispy
- Packed with Mediterranean flavors
- Low carb, low calorie and suitable for the keto diet
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Sea bass: Use fresh sea bass fillets if possible. If you want to use frozen fish, you will have to thaw it first. I prefer to buy boneless fish fillets, as they are easier to eat. You can choose whether you want to use fish with or without skin.
Capers: These are really common in Mediterranean cooking, and you can usually find them jarred in the supermarkets, next to the olives.
Lemon: A little lemon juice lifts the flavor. I prefer to use whole lemon, but you can also use bottled lemon juice.
Seasoning: Salt and pepper add flavor to the fish.
💡 TIP! The seasoning in this recipe is very simple. See the Variations section below for more creative suggestions!
You can find full instructions + ingredient measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of this page
Cooking sea bass is really easy, but the process is quite fast, so you need to keep an eye on the dish.
Season the sea bass well on either side with salt and pepper before cooking.
Heat up some olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the fish fillets to the pan, skin side down, and drizzle lemon juice on top. Cook for a few minutes until the bottom of the fish is starting to look golden. If your fish doesn't have skin on either side, estimate 2-3 minutes.
Then, flip the sea bass, and cook on the other side. Add lemon slices and capers, and allow these to heat up with the fish. Leave the sea bass to cook until it's cooked through, about 2-3 minutes.
Serve pan seared sea bass immediately with your favorite side dishes.
💡 TIP! First time cooking fish? You can easily tell that the sea bass is cooked when the flesh starts to flake when you touch it with a fork. It should easily fall apart with gentle pressure.
- Keep an eye on the fish! It cooks quite fast, and only need a few minutes on both sides.
- Prepare your side dishes before you cook the fish.
- Use a non-stick skillet to prevent the fish from sticking to the pan. If the fish keeps sticking, you will have to add extra olive oil or butter.
- Add lemon juice and seasoning to taste. You might want to use more or less than what's suggested.
Pan fried sea bass is a fantastic fish entree, perfect for easy lunches or dinners. Serve it with your favorite side dishes, and optionally with a flavorful sauce.
Here are some of my favorite sides to serve with sea bass:
- Mexican Potatoes
- Roasted Tenderstem Broccoli
- Slow Cooker Ratatouille
- Spiralized Potatoes
- Avocado Chickpea Salad
- Beetroot and Feta Salad
Looking for a sauce? Try any of these ideas:
For more suggestions, see What to Serve With Sea Bass.
Spicy sea bass: Add some red pepper flakes, chili paste or chili powder to the sea bass.
With herbs: Add any fresh herbs, like thyme, rosemary, parsley or dill to the frying pan. You can also use dried herbs if you prefer.
Cajun sea bass: Replace the lemon and capers with Cajun seasoning.
Store any leftover pan fried sea bass in a sealed container in a refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat it in a microwave or skillet, and serve it warm as an entree, or add it to other dishes like fish soup, fish pie or casseroles.
I don't recommend freezing cooked white fish, as it's so lean that it will become quite dry. It is however completely safe to freeze it if you want to.
Frequently asked questions
You can buy sea bass fillets with or without bones. The packaging will usually indicate whether the fish is boneless.
Yes! Some people discard the skin, and others like to eat it. Pan fried sea bass skin is quite crispy, and some people enjoy the texture and flavor, while others prefer not to eat it.
Yes, you can pan fry frozen sea bass fillets. However, this will result in a longer cooking time, a more uneven cooking result, and the fish will be steamed in the water that forms as the fish thaws in the pan. I usually recommend that you defrost the fish before you cook it if possible.
You might also like these recipes
- Balsamic Maple Glazed Salmon
- Cod Wrapped in Prosciutto
- Salmon and Creme Fraiche Pasta
- Baked Haddock
- Salmon Gnocchi
- Blackened Cod
If you make this recipe, make sure to post a photo to Instagram with #hintofhealthy!
Pan Fried Sea Bass
- Frying Pan
- Season the sea bass well on both sides with salt and pepper.4 sea bass fillets, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Heat up some olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat.1 teaspoon olive oil
- Add the fish fillets to the pan, skin side down, and drizzle juice from ½ lemon on top. Cook for a few minutes until the bottom of the fish is starting to look golden. If your fish doesn't have skin on either side, estimate 2-3 minutes.1 lemon, 20 capers
- Then, flip the sea bass, and cook on the other side. Add a few lemon slices and capers, and allow these to heat up with the fish. Leave the sea bass to cook until it's cooked through, about 2-3 minutes, or until it flakes at the touch of a fork.
- Store leftover cooked sea bass in a refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat it in a microwave or frying pan, and serve warm.
- Feel free to add any extra seasoning if you like! Red pepper flakes or some fresh herbs can make a big difference.
Food safety tips
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw fish
- Wash hands after touching raw fish
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove