Chilean sea bass, also known as Patagonian toothfish, is a delicate, flaky fish that when cooked properly can be a showstopper. Keith Castro, Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill’s vice president of food and beverage, offers a Mediterranean-inspired Chilean sea bass recipe this week that’s easy to make at home, with one caveat: Don’t overcook the fish.
The secret to this recipe is making sure the pan and oil are hot enough before adding the fish, Castro says. Also, make sure you season the fish with salt only before cooking. “If you season with pepper or garlic, it’s going to burn in the pan.”
The fish should be done in 6-8 minutes, Castro says. “If you sear it in high-quality olive oil, you’ll get a really nice crust on the fish. It’s super tender and will just melt in your mouth if you cook it correctly.”
At the restaurant, Castro serves the dish with red lentils and Israeli couscous.
Chilean Sea Bass
- 6 oz. Chilean sea bass, skin off
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- 2 tbsp. olive oil (for fish)
- 1 tbsp. olive oil (for vegetables)
- 1 oz. mini peppers, mixed color, roasted and halved
- ½ oz. grilled asparagus, cut in 2-inch slices
- 1 oz. green beans, blanched and cut into 2-inch slices
- 1 oz. red grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 oz. yellow pear tomato, halved
- ¼ tsp. seasoned salt
- ½ oz. spinach, stemmed
- 1 tbsp. white wine
- 1 tbsp. vegetable stock
- 1 lemon wedge, squeezed
- 1 tsp. basil, julienned
- 1 tbsp. butter
- Place Teflon sauté pan on a burner with high heat. Add oil and allow it to heat until hot.
- Pat fish portion dry with paper towel.
- Season both sides of the seabass with kosher salt and carefully place into the hot oil to sear, skin side up.
- Sear for several minutes until golden brown, then turn over and finish in the oven.
- While fish is cooking, place a regular sauté pan on a burner with medium heat.
- Add olive oil blend for vegetables and allow it to heat.
- Add all vegetables, except spinach to sauté pan and sauté.
- Add seasoned salt. Cook until al dente, then add spinach.
- Quickly sauté, then deglaze with white wine and vegetable stock and squeeze of lemon.
- Allow stock to reduce 50 percent, then add basil and whole butter. Remove from heat.
- Remove the seabass from the oven, take out of the pan and drain oil.
- Place some of the tomatoes on top of the seabass.
- Arrange the remaining vegetable mixture around the perimeter of the fish so that the colors are vibrant. Pour remaining liquid over vegetables.
- Garnish dish with herbs.