This delicious pan-seared striped bass is made with fish seared in butter and oil, and then served with a lemon and caper pan sauce.
Bass is one of my favorite types of white fish.
And here at Champagne Tastes, we've tried lots and lots of fish!
One of my favorite ways to prepare bass is, of course, to cook it in butter. This pan-seared bass is cooked with butter and topped with a lemon caper sauce.
What Does Striped Bass Taste Like?
Striped bass is a firm white fish with a delicate, sweet flavor.
To me, it definitely has a stronger flavor than a lot of other white fish I've tried, but I mean that in the best way possible. It's delicious!
Striped bass is considered a sustainable seafood choice, so go ahead and enjoy those tasty flavors!
Is This the Same As Sea Bass?
Yes! Striped bass is also called "true" bass, and is the largest type of sea bass.
Interestingly, another popular "sea bass" fish, Chilean sea bass, actually isn't a type of bass at all. Instead, it's a type of toothfish.
What If I Can't Find Striped Bass?
You can use this recipe with any firm white fish, such as cod, halibut, or walleye.
How to Make Pan-Seared Striped Bass
Start with fillets that have been patted dry and dusted with flour, salt and pepper. (Need a gluten-free option? Try using Cup 4 Cup, an all-purpose substitute.)
In a heavy pan, heat olive oil and butter until the butter is melted. Reduce the heat slightly.
I like using my Lodge 12" carbon steel skillet.
Next, cook the fillets (skin-side down) for about 4 minutes. Test that they're ready to flip by sliding a thin metal spatula underneath. If they don't release, let them cook for about 30 more seconds, or until they release.
After you've flipped the fillets, add a little butter to the top of each.
Cook the striped bass another couple of minutes until done. The actual cooking time will vary based on fillet thickness. Look for the fish to be golden on the surface and opaque all the way through.
Next, it's time to make the pan sauce. You'll use the same pan; just transfer the fish over to some plates, and cover them to keep warm.
On reduced heat, add the lemon juice and capers to the butter that was left in the pan. Stir, add herbs, and keep stirring.
Drizzle the sauce and any remaining herbs over the fish, and serve immediately!
Pan-Seared Striped Bass
- 8 ounce striped bass (2 fillets)
- 1 tablespoon flour Use gluten-free AP flour if needed
- pinch salt, pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 tablespoon capers
- small handful fresh herbs (such as fresh rosemary, chives, or oregano)
- Pat bass fillets dry. Dust with flour, and shake off any excess. Sprinkle them on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Prepare a heavy pan with the olive oil and 1 TB butter. Heat on medium-high until butter is melted but not browned, then turn the heat down to medium.Place the fillets skin-side down in the pan and cook about 4 minutes. (If your fillets don't have skin, it doesn't matter which side you cook first.)Don't touch the fillets until they're ready to flip.Use a thin metal spatula to test the fish. If you can slide the spatula under the fish without the fish sticking to the pan, it's ready to flip. If the fillets won't release, give them another 30 seconds. They'll release when they've finished cooking.After flipping, divide the remaining 1 TB butter over both fillets.
- Cook fish another 2-3 minutes until done. (Thicker fillets will take longer than thin fillets.) Fish will be golden on both the top and bottom and opaque all the way through when finished cooking.Transfer the fish to plates, leaving the excess butter in the pan. Cover fish to keep warm, or set fish in a 200ºF oven.Reduce heat to medium. Add the lemon juice and capers, and stir with a wooden spoon. Add half the herbs and stir again. Serve fish hot with pan sauce and remaining herbs.