One of my new favorite seafood dishes! Get ready to have your taste buds blown away with this easy, pan-fried wild sea bass recipe, served with garlicky tomato wilted spinach and buttery shitake mushrooms. The bright and zesty flavors of the spinach combined with the buttery and flaky sea bass are a match made in heaven! It’s the perfect seafood dinner for spring and summertime! Plus, you can have this delicious dinner ready in 30 minutes!
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How I Prepare This Dish at Home!
My husband and I both love seafood and wild Chilean sea bass but with our busy schedules, I’m always looking for an easy recipe! This sea bass recipe is so quick and easy to put together. I like to have 2 to 3 pans going at once on my stovetop – one for the sea bass, one for the mushrooms and one for the wilted spinach. If I don’t want extra dishes to wash, I’ll use the same pan for the spinach and mushrooms, preparing the mushrooms first. Preparing everything at once also helps keep all the components of the dish hot and ready to serve.
Preparing Wild Chilean Sea Bass
I love, love the soft, flaky texture and buttery flavor of wild Chilean sea bass! It’s so delicious, not too fishy and very delicate. This fish doesn’t need a lot of seasonings because it’s flavorful all on its own! I like to season it lightly with just salt and pepper before frying it. For this sea bass recipe, I recommend using a stainless steel pan to get the fish extra golden and crispy.
The key is a very hot pan!! I preheat my pan over medium-high heat, add avocado oil (which has a high smoking point), and add the fish skin side down first once the oil is slightly smoking. Let the fish fry without touching it until it’s golden, then it will naturally release from the pan. Turn it all over, frying for a couple minutes per side, until it’s golden and crispy all over. Once done, I rest my fried fish on a wire rack so it stays nice and crispy!
*Note: sea bass is a very delicate fish so I recommend using rubber tipped tongs for turning the fish while frying.
Garlicy Tomato Wilted Spinach
You’ll love the flavors of the garlicky and acidic tomato spinach paired with the buttery and rich sea bass! The fried sea bass can be quite rich tasting and this spinach recipe pairs so well with it, cutting through the richness and transforming the dish!
This spinach recipe literally takes less than 5 minutes! I simply fry sliced leeks(you can also use shallot), tomatoes and a bit of thyme in melted butter until the tomatoes are stewed. Then I add in a bit of mushroom broth, which adds so much amazing umami flavor, followed by the baby spinach. Once the spinach is wilted, I add in some minced garlic and chopped fresh basil to brighten the flavors.
Butter-Fried Shitake Mushrooms
My husband absolutely loves mushrooms so I’m always trying to incorporate them into my dishes! Some butter fried shitake mushrooms are so perfect for this fried sea bass recipe! If you don’t enjoy mushrooms, you can simply leave them out of this recipe but I highly recommend them! For the mushrooms, I fry a few cups of sliced mushrooms in melted butter and season them with salt. Super simple and easy! You can also use regular white mushrooms or even oyster mushrooms for this recipe.
Serving This Dish
Once I have my sea bass fried, my wilted spinach and mushrooms ready to go, it’s time to assemble and enjoy the dish! I add a generous amount of the wilted spinach to the bottom of a large dinner plate or bowl and add the fried mushrooms on top. Add the golden fried sea bass on top and dig in! This dish is best served right away while the fish is crispy and buttery! I love to enjoy this dish with some warm, rustic baguette on the side, too!
Where Do I buy Sea Bass?
I usually purchase my wild Chilean sea bass in Costco. They typically have this fish available towards the weekend starting on Thursdays. Whole Foods and Safeway also occasionally have this fish in stock.
Can I Use Other Fish?
Yes, you can absolutely make this recipe with other types of fish. Wild salmon, trout or even cod will work great for this recipe. Try this recipe with salmon or trout with the skin on for even more flavor!
Enjoyed this delicious seafood recipe? Check out some of my other recipes you’re sure to enjoy!
- Pan-Fried Scallops with Risotto – if you love scallops, you’ll love this restaurant-quality dish with a zesty caper sauce and mushroom risotto!
- Seared Ahi Tuna – served with avocado cream and a pineapple salsa! This unique tuna recipe is so incredible!
- Lemon Herb Cedar Plank Salmon – learn how to make the best cedar planked salmon with a zesty lemon and dill spread! Smoky and delicious!
- Smoked Salmon Potato Salad – the most delicious potato salad ever, with salmon caviar, 7-minute eggs, smoked salmon and zesty homemade dressing!
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Need some supplies to make this recipe? You can get them here (Amazon affiliate links):
- Stainless Steel Mauviel Pans – I love to use copper in the kitchen because it heats very quickly and evenly!
- Rubber-Tipped Mini Tongs – I have at least 10 of these, they’re so useful in the kitchen!
- Meat Resting Rack – try resting fried fish and meats on a wire rack to keep them crispy.
- Avocado Oil – I use this oil on a daily basis for it’s high smoking point and mild flavor.
Wild Sea Bass Recipe w/ Spinach & Mushrooms (video)
- 1 to 1 ½ lbs wild Chilean sea bass
- Salt & Black Pepper
- Avocado Oil
For Wilted Spinach:
- 1 ½ tbsp salted butter
- ½ cup sliced leeks, about 1 to 2 leeks
- 1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
- Salt & black pepper
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme
- 2 to 3 tbsp tomato bruschetta
- ½ cup mushroom or vegetable broth
- 5 oz box baby spinach, about 8 cups
- 4 to 5 minced garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp freshly chopped basil
- 3 to 4 cups sliced shitake, oyster or white mushrooms
- 1 ½ to 2 tbsp salted butter
- Salt, to taste
- This recipe can be easily scaled up for more servings. For the sea bass: first clean the skin by removing the scales, if necessary. Portion the filet into 2 to 3 pieces, then pat the fish dry with paper towels and set onto a tray. Drizzle with avocado oil to cover the fish all over and season generously with salt and a bit of ground black pepper.
- Preheat a medium sized stainless steel frying pan over medium-high heat and add a couple tablespoons of avocado oil. Once the oil is very hot and slightly smoking, add the fish to the pan, skin side down first. Fry the fish without moving it for 2 to 3 minutes, until the skin is crispy and golden. Turn the fish to fry on all sides, a few minutes per side, until golden and crispy all over. If making more than 3 portions, fry the fish in batches or in separate pans to avoid overcrowding the pan.
- *Note: sea bass is a very delicate fish so I recommend using rubber tipped tongs for turning the fish while frying. Turn the fish only once it's browned and comes away from the pan easily.
- Once the fish is fried, set it onto a wire rack lined with a paper towel underneath; this will help keep the fish crispy while it rests.
- While the fish is frying, begin preparing the mushrooms. Preheat a large frying pan over medium heat and add the butter. Into the melted butter, add the sliced mushrooms and fry for 7 to 9 minutes, or until golden all over. Season the mushrooms with salt about halfway through the frying process. Seasoning them too early will cause the mushrooms to release liquids. Keep the fried mushrooms warm on the side in a glass bowl.
- Next, prepare the wilted spinach. Keep the pan at medium heat and add the butter, sliced leeks, tomatoes and thyme. Season the mixture with salt and pepper and fry for 3 to 4 minutes until the tomatoes are stewed. Crush the tomatoes with the back of a spatula to release the juices and add the tomato bruschetta.
- Pour in the mushroom broth and bring it up to a simmer. Add the baby spinach and mix into the leek and tomato mixture. Cook the spinach for a couple minutes, until completely wilted down. Add the garlic and fresh basil last, stir it in and cook for 30 seconds. Season the spinach with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve the sea bass dish immediately. Spoon a generous amount of the wilted spinach into a large dinner bowl, top with the fried mushrooms and add the fried sea bass on top. This dish can be enjoyed with some toasted baguette on the side.