Easy Baked Chilean Sea Bass

Baked Chilean sea bass recipe

The Spruce / Victoria Heydt

  • Total: 32 mins
  • Prep: 12 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Servings: 4 servings

Chilean sea bass is white fish rich in the omega-3 fatty acids with a unique large-flake texture and a mild flavor. Healthy fat makes the fish a little easier to cook because it won't toughen up like other fillets if it is a bit overcooked. 

Chilean sea bass is a deep water fish also known by the less attractive name "toothfish," and is caught in ocean waters around Antarctica. Most Chilean sea bass is managed responsibly, but there are still some areas where it is overfished. If unsure, ask the seller if they know whether or not the fish was legally caught. The demand and resulting overfishing mean that Chilean sea bass tends to be relatively expensive, but its mild flavor and delicious texture make it worth the price.

This recipe includes a silky lemon and shallot buerre blanc sauce, which flavors the sea bass beautifully. Feel free to serve the fish plain if you like or use another type of sauce. A simple lemon and butter sauce is another good option, or drizzle the fish with a Parmesan cream sauce. Serve Chilean sea bass with pea puree, potatoes, or buttered rice or pasta to soak up the sauce.

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Ingredients

  • For the Fish:
  • 4 Chilean sea bass fillets (about 6 ounces each)
  • Kosher salt (to taste)
  • Black pepper (to taste)
  • Creole seasoning (or seasoned salt, to taste)
  • For the Lemon Buerre Blanc:
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons shallots (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (or more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 6 tablespoons butter (cold, cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • Garnish: lemon wedges

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for baked Chilean sea bass
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 F.

  3. Oil a broiler pan and rack or baking pan with olive oil.

    Oiled rack on a broiler pan
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  4. Lightly sprinkle the sea bass fillets all over with Kosher salt, pepper, and Creole seasoning.

    Seasoned sea bass
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  5. Place the Chilean sea bass on the oiled broiler rack, skin-side down.

    Chilean sea bass on broiler pan
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  6. Bake the fish fillets at 425 F for about 15 to 20 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillets. The fish is ready when the temperature reaches 145 F on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of a fillet.

    Baked Chilean sea bass on broiler pan
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  7. While the fish is baking, prepare the lemon buerre blanc sauce.

  8. In a saucepan, combine the dry white wine, white wine vinegar, and minced shallots.

    White wine, vinegar, and shallots in a pan
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  9. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until it has reduced to about 2 tablespoons.

    Reduced sauce in pan
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  10. Add the lemon juice, zest, and heavy cream.

    Sauce ingredients in a pan
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  11. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in 1 piece of the butter.

    Add butter to buerre blanc sauce
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  12. Set it back over low heat and continue whisking until the butter has almost melted.

    Buerre blanc sauce in pan
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  13. Continue with the remaining pieces of butter until all are incorporated.

    Butter melted into buerre blanc sauce
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  14. Taste and add salt and pepper, as needed. Whisk until the well blended. If the sauce is too hot or too cold, it can separate, so keep it warm—at least 80 F but no hotter than about 135 F— until serving time.

    Seasoning added to sauce
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  15. Arrange the fish on plates with lemon wedges and drizzle with the lemon buerre blanc.

    Chilean sea bass plated with peas and lemon
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  16. Serve and enjoy!

    Chilean sea bass with buerre blanc sauce on a plate
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt

Tip

  • If the Creole seasoning is salty, omit the Kosher salt.

What Fish Is Similar to Chilean Sea Bass?

The closest fish in flavor and texture to Chilean sea bass is black cod, also known as sablefish. Black cod tends to be less overfished than Chilean sea bass, making it more commonly available.

Is There a Difference Between Sea Bass and Chilean Sea Bass?

If you see "sea bass" on a menu or at a fish market, it's likely referring to black sea bass, often caught in the Western Atlantic. The fish is similar to snapper and is popular served whole. Chilean sea bass is technically not a sea bass, but was labeled as such to increase marketability.