Pan-roasted sea bass with garlic butter

These flakey pan-roasted sea bass fillets topped with chive garlic compound butter will impress your dinner guests every time.

For perfectly cooked fish, sear it on the  stove top until it has a nice golden crust, then finish cooking it in the oven for a fillet that stays moist and flaky. This same technique works will with all types of fish. In this recipe, the sea bass is topped with a flavorful butter to create an instant sauce.

Chive Garlic Compound Butter:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh chives
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Pinch of kosher salt

Pan-Roasted Sea Bass:

  • 4 sea bass fillets (4 to 6 ounces each)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


Make the Chive Garlic Compound Butter: In a medium bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the chives, garlic, and salt and mix until thoroughly combined. Spoon the mixture in the shape of a log onto a piece of wax or parchment paper. Fold the paper over itself. Using your hands, shape the butter into a cylinder about 1 1/2 inches wide (almost like making a Tootsie Roll). Once it is shaped, twist the ends to seal it. Place in the freezer to set, about 20 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to serve or up to a month. When ready to serve, slice the roll into 1/4-inch-thick rounds and remove the parchment. (Only 4 slices of compound butter are need for this recipe.)

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Generously season the sea bass with salt and pepper. In a large cast iron skillet over medium heat, warm the oil until a few water droplets sizzle when carefully sprinkled in the skillet. Sear the sea bass, skin side up, until it is well browned and easily releases from pan, about 4 minutes. Flip over and cook until seared, about 1 minute. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast about 5 minutes or cooked to the desired degree of doneness.

Serve each fillet with a slice of compound butter on top.


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