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How to Cook Sea Bass: Simple Mediterranean Sea Bass Recipe

Written by MasterClass

Last updated: Nov 8, 2020 • 1 min read

Mediterranean sea bass is an easy-to-cook fish that’s simple enough for a weeknight and luxurious enough for a special occasion.



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What to Serve With Mediterranean Sea Bass

Like most white fish, sea bass has a mild flavor that pairs well with a variety of sides. Try this Mediterranean sea bass with a bowl of marinated kalamata olives, Mediterranean couscous salad, avocado salad, feta cheese marinated in olive oil and spices, or roasted Mediterranean vegetables such as bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, and zucchini.

Simple Mediterranean Sea Bass Recipe

Prep Time
8 min
Total Time
20 min
Cook Time
12 min


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 5-ounce skin-on sea bass filets (or substitute another white fish such as Chilean sea bass, branzino, or halibut)
  • ½ cup dry white wine (or chicken broth)
  • 1 teaspoon capers
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh herbs such as fresh oregano, Italian parsley, basil leaves, fennel, and/or cilantro
  • Lemon wedges, for serving
  1. Heat a large skillet (preferably nonstick or well-seasoned cast iron) over medium-high heat. Add olive oil. Once shimmering, place sea bass filets skin side down into the pan. Cook until the skin is crispy and light brown, about 4 minutes. Flip to continue cooking until flesh is opaque and flaky, about 4 minutes longer.
  2. Remove sea bass filets from the pan using a fish spatula and plate skin-side-up to keep skin crispy.
  3. Make a quick pan sauce by deglazing the pan with dry white wine. Add capers, salt, black pepper, paprika, and minced garlic cloves. Keep sauce at a simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid has reduced by about half, about 2–4 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and quickly whisk in butter. Gently stir in fresh herbs.
  4. Serve pan-seared sea bass filets with lemon wedges and sauce on the side, to be drizzled over the fish as desired.

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