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Chilean sea bass pan seared with golden brown crispy skin in an Asian marinade on a white plate with herbs and lemon.
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5 from 38 votes

Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass with Asian Marinade

This pan seared Chilean sea bass is flavored with a delicious Asian marinade of soy sauce, ginger, and mirin. It's perfectly pan fried until it’s flaky and tender with an incredibly crispy skin! A delicious Asian sea bass flavored with soy ginger teriyaki marinade!
Cook Time10 mins
Marinate15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean
Servings: 4
Calories: 84kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 6oz Chilean sea bass fillets scaled and de-boned; total 1½ lbs (24 oz)
  • 1 lemon (optional), cut into wedges
  • chopped fresh herbs (optional) for garnish

Sea Bass Marinade

Instructions

  • Prep: Prep the sea bass by patting it dry with a paper towel. Flip it skin side up and score the skin by making shallow cuts with a knife.
  • Marinate: Add all the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl or a resealable plastic bag. Add the sea bass and massage the marinade into the fish. Let it marinade on the counter for 15 minutes. See Note 1.
  • Heat pan: Heat a non-stick pan over medium to medium low heat and add a bit of vegetable oil to the pan. See Note 2.
    Once the pan is heated, scrape off any excess marinade and place the fillets skin side down. Leave it alone until it starts sizzling and rendering out fat. Leave the pan uncovered.
    Lightly press down with the flat side of your spatula for a few seconds. Let the skin continue cooking until very crispy. Depending on thickness, times will vary. Mine took 4 to 5 minutes. Check halfway through and lower the heat if necessary to avoid burning the skin.
  • Flip: Flip the fish and cook it skin side up until the flesh is opaque and easily flakes apart. Do not cover the pan with a lid as the steam will soften up the skin. See Note 3.
  • Serve: Plate the sea bass crispy skin side up and serve immediately with lemon wedges and herbs.

Notes

  1. Marinate - avoid marinating for longer than 20 minutes as the acid will start 'cooking' the fish. Marinate on counter to bring fish to room temperature to help with even cooking.
  2. Medium to medium low heat - Cooking fish skin side down on low to medium heat slowly renders out the fat, resulting in a crispy, crackly fish skin. Avoid raising the heat too high as it can cause the sugars in the marinade to burn and can result in overcooked fish. Crunchy fish skin needs to be cooked low and slow. 
  3. Cooking time depends on the thickness of your fillet. My fillets were 2.5 inches at its thickest and took 5 to 6 more minutes after flipping until fully cooked, for a total of 9 to 10 minutes of cooking time on medium low heat.

Want to bake it instead?
  • Bake a pre-heated 425°F oven for 15 minutes or until done. Check for flesh easily flaking apart. If it starts to burn, loosely cover with foil.
Storage & Reheating:
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Reheat over low heat in a toaster oven, oven, stovetop, or microwave. It's important not to overheat the fish as it can dry it out so keep the heat low. If using a microwave, set the power to low and check every 30 seconds.
Substitutes for sea bass:
  • cod
  • halibut
  • snapper
  • trout
  • pollock
  • grouper 

See post above for How to Select Sea Bass and How to Cook Sea Bass for Crispy Skin.

Nutrition

Calories: 84kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 686mg | Potassium: 55mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 7IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg