Bass With Lemon Herb Butter

Sauteed bass with lemon herb butter recipe

The Spruce Eats / Ulyana Verbytska

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 2 servings
Yield: 4 fillets
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
818 Calories
59g Fat
18g Carbs
54g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 818
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 59g 75%
Saturated Fat 35g 173%
Cholesterol 248mg 83%
Sodium 392mg 17%
Total Carbohydrate 18g 7%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 54g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 178mg 14%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 853mg 18%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Fillets of black sea bass are enhanced with a simple lemon-herb butter in this quick and easy seafood recipe. It adds a tangy, herbal taste that forms its own sauce as it melts over the lightly battered fish, creating a fresh weeknight dinner.

Prepping the fish for this recipe is simple: soak the fillets in milk for a few minutes, then dredge it in seasoned flour. It's best when sautéed in clarified butter, which won't smoke or burn at a higher cooking temperature. Making clarified butter at home is simple, and having it around can really step up your culinary game. For the lemon-herb butter, use something like a maitre d'hotel butter recipe, or try other flavors of clarified butter.

Serve the sautéed bass with brightly-flavored side dishes. Ratatouille, risotto, and roasted herb potatoes are fabulous with firm white fish, and you can't go wrong with a seasonal green salad.


  • 4 (4-ounce) fillets black sea bass

  • 1 cup milk

  • 1/4 cup flour

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Ground white pepper, to taste

  • 4 tablespoons clarified butter

  • 4 tablespoons lemon-herb butter

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for sauteed bass with lemon herb butter
    The Spruce Eats / Ulyana Verbytska
  2. Soak the fillets in milk for a few minutes, then remove and fully drain them. If they're too wet when you dredge them in the next step, they may become too cake-y.​

    Soak the fillets in milk
    The Spruce Eats / Ulyana Verbytska
  3. Spread the flour in a shallow glass baking dish and mix in the salt and pepper.

    Spread flour
    The Spruce Eats / Ulyana Verbytska
  4. In a nonstick sauté pan, heat a tablespoon of clarified butter over a medium-high heat.​

    Heat clarified butter
    The Spruce Eats / Ulyana Verbytska
  5. Dredge the fillets in the flour, tapping them gently to knock off any excess flour.​

    Dredge fillets in flour
    The Spruce Eats / Ulyana Verbytska
  6. Place the fillets in the hot pan, with the flesh side down.​ Sauté for a minute or two or until browned. Then gently turn them with a fish spatula, making sure not to break the fillets.​ Brown this other side - about 1 to 2 minutes.

    Place fillets in pan
    The Spruce Eats / Ulyana Verbytska
  7. Transfer from the pan to a hot plate, two fillets per portion. Top each portion with a slice of herb butter and serve right away.

    Transfer from pan to hot plate
    The Spruce Eats / Ulyana Verbytska

Recipe Variations

  • This recipe uses black sea bass, but you can substitute striped bass, or any lean fish, such as snapper, tilapia or sole.
  • For a quick alternative to clarified butter, you can sauté the fillets in unsalted butter. Use six tablespoons (2 1/2 ounces, or 3/4 stick) and melt it but be sure to keep the heat in check so it doesn't burn or smoke.
  • Rather than the lemon-herb butter, try this recipe with anchovy butter, shallot butter, or garlic butter.