Have sea bass to cook? Lucky you! Try this easy Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass recipe made entirely in one pan. One of my favorite fish recipes!

Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass is truly a special dish. I prefer pan searing to cook most of our fish! Sauteed sea bass is definitely one of the most low maintenance ways to prepare this kind of fish, but I prefer this method for the nice, golden crust that it provides.

Your traditional Chilean sea bass recipe will pair it with a lemon butter sauce, a basil pesto or a chimichurri. I’m not knocking any of these sauces. I love them all! But, I wanted to do something just a bit different.

a photo of a seared sea bass filet covered with a tomato caper sauce

The tomatoes in this sauce recipe provide a nice acidic balance to the rich, flaky fish. I love the bite and saltiness of the capers, and the butter soothes the acidity of the tomatoes so it’s not *too* much. The butter also gives your sauce a nice, velvety texture. I just love how the sauce pairs with the mild flavor of the sea bass. It’s perfection! 

Because of the price of sea bass fillets, we save it for special occasions like date nights. It really is an expensive fish! But, it is so, so delicious. 

a horizontal photo of pan seared sea bass

About Chilean Sea Bass 

Chilean Sea Bass is a super desirable type of fish that is known for it’s delicate flavor and buttery texture. It might surprise you to find out that sea bass is not a bass (confusing, right)? It’s a type of Patagonian toothfish typically found in cold, deep waters of the Indian Oceans. 

Chilean Sea Bass is a large, lengthy fish that can weight up to 200 pounds. It’s a mild white fish that has a high fat content and firm texture. Sea bass tastes super rich and moist, and because of the high oil content, it’s pretty hard to mess up! It’s delicious grilled, baked, broiled, or pan seared like in this delicious recipe! 

I would be remiss to not mention that this type of fish is subject to overfishing, which can eventually lead to extinction. So, while it may be pricier, it’s very (VERY) important to purchase sea bass that is Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified for sustainable fishing practices. I purchase my sea bass through Sizzlefish to be certain that it’s been caught sustainably. 

Don’t be afraid to ask the fish counter at your grocery store or fish market to see if their sea bass was sustainably caught!

an overhead photo of pan seared seabass on a plate with tomato caper sauce

Recipe Ingredient Substitutions and Addition Ideas: 

This is a versatile recipe that has a lot of potential for modifications! Here are a few ideas:

  • Add 1-2 closed of minced fresh garlic to the sauce when you add the capers. 
  • Add a splash of balsamic vinegar to the sauce for extra depth of flavor.
  • Add a splash of lemon juice, or serve with lemon slices for extra color. 
  • If you don’t like capers, don’t add them! I understand that they are not everyone’s favorite.

Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass Serving Suggestions: 

I love to serve this fish recipe with a bit of wild rice or polenta, and a fresh steamed green beans, asparagus or brussels sprouts. 

Oh, and don’t forget a nice glass of wine! A dry white wine is the perfect pairing for the rich flavor of this fish. 

Leftover Sea Bass: 

I highly doubt you have any of this amazing sea leftover! But if you do, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. 

I prefer to gently reheat this fish in the air fryer or in a sauté pan for 1-2 minutes on low-medium heat.

a photo of a seared sea bass filet covered with a tomato caper sauce

Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass with Tomato Caper Butter

Yield: Serves 2
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes

Have Chilean sea bass to cook? Lucky you! Try this easy recipe made entirely in one pan. One of my favorite fish recipes!


  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 4-ounce Chilean sea bass filets
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup white cooking wine or chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
  • ½ cup canned, diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons butter, salted


  1. In a cast iron skillet or non-stick large skillet, heat oil over over medium-high heat. 
  2. Prepare seabass by patting it dry with a paper towel, then seasoning with the garlic powder, salt and black pepper. 
  3. To the hot pan, add prepared fish filets. Sear for about 4 minutes per side, until a golden brown crust has formed. 
  4. Carefully flip each filet, and sear for an additional four minutes. 
  5. Remove to a plate to rest. 
  6. Reduce skillet heat to medium-low and allow the skillet temperature to come down a bit. 
  7. Add white wine or chicken broth. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to remove any browned bits leftover from the fish. 
  8. Add capers and tomatoes, allow to come to a simmer, 1-2 minutes. 
  9. Add butter. Stir frequently until the butter melts.
  10. Return seared fish to the pan and spoon the sauce over the top. 
  11. Serve warm. Optionally, garnish with fresh herbs. 


You may need to adjust your cooking time based on the thickness of your filets. Your cook time could vary anywhere between 3-5 minutes per side. My filets were about 1.75 inches tall and needed about 4 minutes per side. The fish is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit using an instant read thermometer. 

My filets were skinless, but if your filet has the skin-on, make sure to place fish skin side down first to sear. 

While the fish cooks, you should have enough time to prep your sauce ingredients!

Nutrition Information
Yield 2 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 522Total Fat 36gSaturated Fat 13gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 20gCholesterol 134mgSodium 1003mgCarbohydrates 4gFiber 1gSugar 2gProtein 40g

The nutrition for this recipe is calculated by an app and may be incorrect.

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