Sea bass is one of my favouritest fish. It’s so light and delicate and hardly needs any effort to be delicious. Pan frying with garlic butter is one of my favourite (and most indulgent) ways to eat it.
I first experienced sea bass in Lisbon last year, in a seafood restaurant. They served it salt crusted and it was absolutely beautiful, though not very photogenic:
Sea bass seems a lot easier to find now in supermarkets, and it’s pretty affordable in places like Lidl and Aldi. Here’s the (more good looking) picture of this recipe I made for us one rainy Friday night:
Pan frying this fish takes just five minutes so you can faff about getting your sides ready before hand and then put the fish on when everything else is pretty much cooked. You need to make the garlic butter separately though, if you try and fry the fish in the butter the garlic and shallot will burn and it won’t taste nice.
For the garlic butter, chop up one shallot reaaallly finely and soften in a mix of olive oil and butter on a low heat. Once it’s gone see through add 3 cloves of minced garlic and a tablespoon more butter (yes you need a lot of butter for this) and continue on a very low heat for 5 minutes or so while you cook the fish. You’re basically infusing the butter with the garlic.
For the fish, melt 2 tsp butter and 1 tsp olive oil in a nice big flat frying pan until it’s fizzing slightly, and then put your sea bass skin down. Baste with the olive oil and butter and season as you cook. Give it 3-4 minutes on the first side and then flip it over for another 3-4 minutes. If the fish flakes easily all the way through then it’s ready! Serve with your mash and cabbage, or anything else you like, and then drizzle the butter over the top.
What’s your favourite fish to cook? Let me know in the comments!