Pan-Fried Sea Bass in a Lemon Caper Sauce

Pan-Fried Sea Bass in a Lemon Caper Sauce

Pan-fried crispy skinned sea bass pairs deliciously with a tangy capers sauce. This is one of those quick delicious recipes which is ready in minutes making it a great weeknight meal especially when one is pressed for time.

Sea bass is commonly available, and its tender, flaky texture works wonderfully with the delicate flavours of lemon and caper. Pan-frying is a simple but delicious way to cook sea bass as it only takes a few minutes and helps in crisping up the skin which only adds to the flavour and texture to the finished dish.

Sea bass is an extremely healthy and nutritious fish as it is low in calories and an excellent source of protein, selenium, and essential omega-3 fatty acid. The only downside of seabass is that it contains mercury which means that pregnant women and children should limit the amount of sea bass they eat.

Serve this tasty seafood main course with cooked Hasselback potatoes and/or beetroots, salad, buttered potatoes or just on its own for a perfect meal!

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 grated clove garlic
2 sea bass fillets
Salt

For Lemon Caper Sauce
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3-4 tablespoons capers (drained)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Zest of ½ lemon
Salt to taste
¼ teaspoon black pepper powder
1 tablespoon dried Italian herb
¼ teaspoon chilli flakes (optional)

Directions

Step-1

To make the dressing, mix all the ingredients and leave it aside to infuse all the flavours.

Score the skin of the fish three or four times with a sharp knife.  Sprinkle some salt

Step-2

Heat oil in a non-stick pan/griddle over medium heat and add the garlic. Next carefully place the fish skin side down and press down on the fillets to prevent curling and to ensure even cooking of the skin. Cook the fillets for 3-4 minutes until the skin is nicely golden and crisp and then carefully turn the fillets over to cook for 1 minute. The fish is cooked when the flesh becomes opaque.

Transfer to a serving platter and pour lemon-caper sauce over the fillets.

Serve immediately with salad and/or Hasselback potatoes. 

Tips & Variations

  1. To cook in the oven – Heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Line a baking tray with baking parchment and put the fish, skin-side up, on top. Mix the grated garlic and oil and gently brush the skin with oil. Bake for 7 mins or until the flesh flakes. Arrange the fish on a serving plate and spoon over the dressing.
  2. I use some fresh herbs like parsley, coriander, rosemary if in season.
    In winters, I warm up the caper dressing by adding it to the fish once I have flipped the fish to gently warm up the dressing.
  3. If the fish is not cooked after 1 minute, remove the pan from the heat and leave the fillets to finish cooking in the residual heat of the pan.
  4. To ensure crispy skin, dry the fillets with kitchen roll before seasoning them with salt.
  5. I prefer cooking in olive oil, but butter works well too.
  6. Seabass tends to curl when cooked hence scoring the fish prevents it.

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