How to cook Sea Bass

“How to Cook Sea Bass”

A few months ago you said in one of your posts that if we had question you would be happy to answer them. . . I need to know how to cook sea bass.  When I cook fish it doesn’t come out very good, whats a good way to cook fish? Specifically a guide on how to cook sea bass.  I have a hard time getting the skin off too, is there some kind of “secret” chef trick to cooking fish, restaurants always make it look so good. . . how to cook sea bass

Jeanne Hughes in Portland, OR how to cook sea bass

P.S. I know I want to know how to cook sea bass, but i’m fine with just learn to cook fish in general.  I know sea bass is expensive, so if you can show me how to cook sea bass that’s great, but if its the same just use another fish, thanks again. how to cook sea bass

I’m not sure about “secret chef tricks,” to how to cook sea bass but I can try to shed some light on how to cook sea bass . . . And maybe throw in a trick or two. . . how to cook sea bass

The First Timer’s Guide on how to cook sea bass and other fish. how to cook sea bass

We will start by learning how to cook sea bass by cooking a lite fish such as Halibut, and a fat fish such as a Salmon.  Lite fish cook up nice and flaky, while the fat fish tend to be meatier and more solid when they cook, like . . . Well, meat.  Even though we are using different fish, these same principles will apply for how to cook sea bass.

Step #1 – How to cook sea bass

Let’s start by adding some fat to our pan (butter and vegetable oil in this case), so that our fish doesn’t stick, and then let the pan get hot. how to cook sea bass

After the pan is hot, let’s see how to cook sea bass (even though we are using Halibut and Salmon). how to cook sea bass

Step #2 – How to cook sea bass

Put the fish in the pan, one piece at a time.  If you put to mush in the pan at once you won’t get that nice golden brown color.  So add one piece, then waiting a moment or two before adding the next piece. how to cook sea bass

Now that we are on step 2 of how to cook sea bass and our fish is in the pan I would like to point one thing out.  I usually put the skin side down first.  For the pictures I have shown skin side up first, but only for demonstration, so that you can see the skin on the salmon.  When you try this, put your skin side down first.  Also, notice that I am using a non-stick pan to help the fish not stick. how to cook sea bass

Step #3 – How to cook sea bass

Let it cook for a few minutes (2-3) one one side and then flip them on over.  What do you see?  Is the fish somewhat golden brown on that side?  If it is then you can say what I said . . . Awesome!  Nice color!  This is the color that you want when you flip your fishy over.  Did the fish stick and leave some remnant stuck to the pan?  If it did, you did not have enough oil/fat in the pan to prevent it from sticking (the non-stick pan makes a big difference too).  Once again, let the fish cook on the opposite side for about 2 to 3 minutes.  That in a nutshell is how to cook sea bass or almost any other fish.

Now that we have cooked the fish on both sides, we will throw in a little “secret chef” trickery.  (here comes the tricky part of how to cook sea bass) Flip the fish back over and having cooked the skin side for a few minutes, the skin should now just pull right off.  At this point you can flip the fish back over and get a little bit of brown color on the skin side (now that the skin is gone) if you would like.  If not, you just pull it out of the pan and let it sit for a minute and finish cooking. how to cook sea bass

Step #4 – How to cook sea bass

Now check out that Halibut! (sea bass will look almost exactly the same) The color has gone from a somewhat translucent white to a nice deep white and is consistent throughout (meaning that the color is the same all the way through.  You don’t want the outside a deep white while the inside is still translucent).  The texture is just right, nice and flaky and “flakes” into small chunks as it is cut into with a fork.  Now how about our Salmon? how to cook sea bass

It looked so good I decided to eat it.  The texture was nice and flaky, it had changed from a dark orange color to a nice pink throughout and I decided to try it out.  We paired it with some potatoes, asparagus, broccoli and then finished it with a nice Hollandaise . . . Move over Rachel Ray, we did all this in about 20 minutes!  This is how we cook sea bass (or Halibut and Salmon)! how to cook sea bass

Now, I had some left over fish, so I thought I would store it to use another day.  So I can show someone else how to cook sea bass (or halibut and salmon tomorrow). how to cook sea bass

So as you can see from the pictures I simply wrapped the fish in some plastic wrap and placed a bag of ice over the top of it, before putting it in the refrigerator.  Why?  Fish comes from the water, so we store it with water.  If I had the same ability at home that I do at the restaurants, I would actually put ice all around the fish, but since I don’t have the same tools at home as I do the restaurants, I do what I can with what I have. how to cook sea bass

There you have it, a first timer’s guide to how to cook sea bass (or fish in general). how to cook sea bass

Hopefully that sheds some light on your efforts to how to cook sea bass.  Once again, if you have questions, all you have to do is ask. . . how to cook sea bass

Want to learn more about how to cook sea bass?  Check out our books and DVD here!

Like what you see about how to cook sea bass?  Want the best price out there? Check out The First Timers Books & DVD!

About the author, Shawn

Chef Shawn has worked in almost every segment of the foodservice industry. He holds business degrees and certificates in Culinary Arts, Hospitality & Tourism Management, Accounting and Professional Sales. He is Certified Executive Chef (CEC) and a Certified Culinary Educator (CCE) through The American Culinary Federation. A Certified Culinary Professional (CCP) through the International Association of Culinary Professionals. He is the author of The First Timer’s Cookbook and The First Timer’s Bakebook. His work has been recognized nationwide as well as being a regular contributor to numerous food service publications and outlets and is the recipient of numerous awards-most recently the 2015 Culinary Educator of the Year through the local American Culinary Federation’s chapter-Beehive State Chef’s Association.

He the owner of multiple food service businesses and currently the host of the Business Chef Podcast.


  1. Jocelyn on 03/05/2009 at 5:26 AM

    My husband recently became a vegetarian. I would like to try cooking with tofu, but have no idea where to start. Can you give me some cooking with tofu tips? Thanks.

    P.S. I love your book!

  2. Chef Shawn on 03/06/2009 at 2:35 PM

    Sure can! See our latest post!

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