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Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass

This Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass is a simple dinner idea that delivers on flavor. All this fish needs is a little ghee, garlic, and lemon to create the high-quality flavor you’d find at a restaurant.

Love pan-seared seafood recipes? Then you need to try out my Pan Seared Salmon with Sage Brown Butter Sauce and Seared Scallops with Corn Relish.

Easy Chilean Sea Bass Recipe

There is a lot to love about this buttery, seared Chilean sea bass. First, it comes together in no time at all. You can have dinner on the table in half hour with very little prep involved. It’s an easy weeknight meal to work into your busy schedule. An added bonus is that It’s also a light and sophisticated dish that you could make for company or a stay-at-home date night.

This sea bass dinner is also pretty healthy. It’s low fat, low carb, and gluten-free. You can enjoy this meal without any worries if you follow a Paleo, Keto, or Whole 30 diet.

Seared sea bass with asparagus on the side

What is Chilean Sea Bass and What Does it Taste Like?

Chilean sea bass may seem like a fish that’s reserved for only ordering at a restaurant. But you can easily make it at home!

It’s also called Patagonian toothfish or Antarctic toothfish. These species of fish live in cold waters like the Pacific, southern Atlantic, and Indian Oceans.

What’s wild about this fish is that it can live to be up to 50 years old. They are also quite big. Some sea bass can be 200 pounds or more.

While it’s one of the most sought-after fish by professional chefs, you can still find it at your local fish market. It’s a white-meat fish (think cod, lobster, and crab) that is extremely popular among seafood-loving diners. My mouth is watering already while thinking of dipping a bite of the tender white fish into the melted garlic-infused ghee.

parsley, ghee, salt, garlic, and lemons prepped to make Chilean sea bass

Recipe Ingredients

Here is the short list of ingredients you’ll need to make this healthy seafood dinner. You’ll want to refer to the recipe card for specific amounts.

  • Chilean Sea Bass Filets – You can use fresh or frozen, just be sure to thaw the frozen filets before cooking.
  • Salt – Seasoning the fish with salt before cooking will help bring out the natural flavor of the fish.
  • Black Pepper – Just a little bit pairs perfectly with the salt for seasoning the fish before searing.
  • Ghee – This is the perfect cooking fat for fish. It has that creamy and rich butter flavor with added health benefits (like being high in omega-3 fatty acids).
  • Lemon – Bright, acidic lemons are another ingredient that enhances the overall flavor of the dish.
  • Parsley – Fresh herbs are a classic garnish for many fish dishes.

How to Make Pan-Seared Chilean Sea Bass

If you can master this recipe, you’re good to go for many other fish dishes. Pan searing Chilean sea bass is the most common (and tastiest) way of cooking the fish. You can use this method with almost any type of fish. You’ll get a beautiful golden crust that’s full of flavor with every bite.

Pat the sea bass dry with a paper towel. Also, make sure you’ve thawed your filets if you’re using frozen ones. Patting the sea bass dry will assure that you get a crispy sear on the fish.

Season with salt and pepper. Season the flesh-side of the sea bass with salt and pepper.

Preheat your skillet. You want to be sure that you’re working with a hot pan. If there isn’t a “sizzle” when you put something into the pan, it’s not hot enough!

Add the ghee to the pan. Let it melt and cover the bottom of the pan.

Sear the Chilean sea bass. Place the sea bass skin-side down in the pan. Sear for 5 minutes.

Flip the fish. Sear the fish on the flesh-side for another 5 minutes.

Make the butter sauce. Flip the fish again and then add in another 2 tablespoons of ghee and the garlic. Let the butter melt and garlic flavor develop. Then use a spoon to pour the butter over the filets.

Add lemon slices and cook. Toss in the lemon slices and let the fish cook for another 4-6 minutes. Keep an eye on it. It’s important not to overcook the fish.

Serve with the butter sauce and garnish. Once the fish is cooked, take it off the heat and plate the filets. Pour the butter sauce over the fish and garnish with parsley.

seasoned sea bass in a pan with lemon and ghee

Tips for Perfectly Cooked Fish

Searing fish is one of the easiest ways to cook fish. If you follow a few rules, you’ll cook your fish perfectly every time.

  • Make sure your pan is hot. I can’t emphasize this enough. If you put fish into a cold pan, it won’t develop a crispy sear and will not have the texture that you want.
  • Salt and pepper are your friends. Don’t skip on seasoning the fish. This touch adds a world of a difference, even if you use just a little pinch. This goes for all savory foods!
  • Keep an eye on the clock. It’s easy to step away from the pan when you’re cooking things like chicken or steak. But when you’re cooking fish, you want to stay close by and keep an eye on the pan. It doesn’t take much for a fish to become overcooked. You’re looking for the fish to lose its transparency and develop a flaky texture and shiny white color.
seasoned sea bass in a pan with lemon and ghee

Serving Suggestions

You’ll need a stellar side to go with this dish. You can choose a flavor-packed salad with loads of fresh ingredients or keep it simple with a basic side dish. The choice is yours!

Seared sea bass with asparagus on the side

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

Fish tastes best when it’s eaten fresh. But, there’s no hard rule saying you can’t have fish for leftovers.

The best way to store your leftovers is to use an air-tight container. The fish will be ok to eat for up to 3 days while stored in the refrigerator.

To reheat the sea bass, heat a saute pan and add any leftover sauce first to coat the pan (so that the fish won’t stick). Heat on both sides until the fish is warmed through.

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plated seared sea bass with asparagus on the side

Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass

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  • Author: Krista
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Fish
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free


This 20-minute fish dinner is incredibly simple to make. Pan searing the sea bass creates the perfect golden brown crust. Then the fish is smothered with rich ghee with added flavors of garlic and lemon.  


  • 4 Chilean Sea Bass filets (46 oz each)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons ghee
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • parsley, for garnish


  1. Pat chilean sea bass dry with a paper towel. Season flesh side with both salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a large skillet to medium high heat.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of ghee to the pan, once melted add sea bass into the pan skin side down first.
  4. Sear for 5 minutes. Flip and sear on flesh side for 5 minutes.
  5. Flip again. Add in 2 tablespoons of ghee and garlic cloves. Spoon the garlic butter over the top of each sea bass to cover.
  6. Add in lemon slices onto the skillet. Cook an additional 4-6 minutes, or until fish is tender and flaky. Do not overcook.
  7. Once fish is cooked through, immediately remove from pan to the stop the cooking process, pour the remaining butter sauce over top and garnish with cooked lemon slices and fresh parsley.

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