Culinary Arts

Recipe: Roasted Branzino

Wolfgang Puck

Lesson time 17:54 min

Don’t be intimidated by buying and preparing fish. Wolfgang teaches you how to identify the freshest fish, and he shares his technique for perfectly seasoning and preparing his herb crusted branzino.

Wolfgang Puck
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A lot of people have problems to cook fish, how to handle fish, and how to buy fish. Yet, it can be so simple. You know, you have to find the right market but they really have fresh fish, where they don't cheat you, where you go home and it smells of iodine or something like that or old. Fish has to be really fresh. Then it's really delicious. Now how we handle fish. If you're playing fish home, whole loin fillets, let me show you what we do. I don't just put it in say, with ice. I have here some bags of ice-- see that-- and I cover on my fish with it. And I put a towel on top. See that? So here we have two kinds of fish. One is a farm raised loup de mer or branzino, which comes from the Mediterranean. And this is a black bass from the Atlantic. Both are weirdly delicious. If you look at the fish that is fresh, it has to have nice and clear eyes. Look at that here, see that? And you can look in the gills. Here, we took them out. It has to be nice and red. So it is really important when you get fish that it's really fresh. So when the eyes are sunken in and everything, then you know the fish is not fresh. But for sure, keep the fish on ice in the coldest place in your refrigerator. What I do when I go to a market and my fish-- I always look at the whole fish and I tell the fishmonger, you fillet this one for me. Because at home, I have children, they don't like fish with bones in it. And I'm scared to give them fish with bones. So what do I do? I have to make beautiful fillets, just like that. See that? These are branzino fillets. Then how to cook them right. They cook really fast. So I am going to make an herb crust with it and I'm going to have a tiny little butter sauce-- a quick sauce with capers, lemon, a little shallots. And at the farmer's market, I saw these tiny little tomatoes here. These this tomato berries here. So I'm going to add that to it, plus a lot of fresh herbs. When I cook, I love a lot of fresh herbs, I love a lot of spices. It makes the food sing. It makes the food really so vibrant. All right. So the fish is filleted already. Now the next thing is we're going to make our herb crust. What is the crust? I have bread crumbs here and a food processor. So I'm going to put them right in here. OK. This method of cooking fish, you can do it at home, even if you cook it for 10 people. It's so simple and so easy. So now I'm going to add herbs to it. Here, we have parsley leaves. OK. So you decide what you like. Parsley, tarragon, rosemary, thyme. They are all wonderful. Now if you have a little sprig of rosemary, don't put the whole sprig on it. Take it just like that and take it off the stem. So we're not going to add too much of the Rosemary because Rosemary is probably one of the strongest herbs you can get. ...

Become fearless in the kitchen

Legend has it Wolfgang Puck came up with his famous smoked salmon pizza when his restaurant ran out of bagels—and ended up changing the way America cooks. In his MasterClass, the five-time James Beard Award-winning chef behind more than 100 restaurants brings you into his kitchen. You’ll learn not only how to master starters, mains, sides, and cocktails, but also how to take risks to create memorable recipes of your own.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

I love Wolfgang. He's the extra flavor in the kitchen that everyone needs. Added personality with technique and experience to make really great food. His teaching has helped me pay more attention to color in my plating and to have fun with the meals I create or mimic to make my own.

I am a novice chef and Wolfgang has helped inspire me to create fresh new recipes. I love his experience and passion for cooking.

Too many things to list here, but sauces, prepping (mis en place) and presentation.

More then I can say here. Learned a ton and am going to use it! Thank you!


A fellow student

Hello! I love the way you are able to easily cut everything. Do you have any specific knife techniques you can share with us?

A fellow student

Had to do some changes, seabass instead of branzino and fennel instead of tarragon

Robert M.

This recipe was a “disaster” for me. From the fire alarm going off in my apartment while cooking to how expensive Branzino is in my area, the odds were staked against me. I found that the fish took a very “green” colour from the herbs but the beurre blanc was delicious.

Clau O.

What if we include the spinach into the bechamell for the macaroon? So that you have macaronn spinach & cheese?

Beth A.

So easy. There's a sunny spot on my wall, I saw a nice hanging planter at BigLots, long overdue project to plant fresh herbs, this is defiantly something I will do. Why have I been so afraid to ask the fish monger to do the prep work and debone the fish?

Adam C.

This is a fabulous recipe. I discovered the fish through this recipe and buy it whenever I can. The flavors are probably the best for any white fish. The herbs he uses I started putting into other dishes. I was once afraid to try tarragon but now I put it into most things. Definitely try it. Not hard either.

Marlyse B.

Thank you so much for the spinach with the fried egg. It reminded me of my own childhood. i love it and still do. :)

Dar C.

We just moved to the beach in NC - lots of fresh fish excited to try to try this recipe

Leonardo M.

I gave my very best! I didnt had a good size dish, so i cut the fish a little shorter to fit my plate. Also i had only a fish called "Dourado" at the best shop close to a river that i live. At the end was perfect!!! My girlfriend is in love with the sauce. I´m really surprised how does it taste. Thanks cheef.

Janet L.

All of these people complaining on cross contamination. First of all he is the only one eating the fish, so if he wants to taste his sauce, its no big deal. How many times when we cook for ourselves do we use the same spoon to taste? For all we know he could be given clean towels and they just don't show it, because they have limited filming time. These are meals that we can make at home and I am sure that we are all smart enough to not taste with the same utensil if we are having company for dinner. When I make different dishes I wash all dishes and wipe counters down before doing my next dish. Common sense.