Sea bass can be prepared in a variety of ways, from grilled to poached or even steamed. The simplest way to prepare sea bass, however, is to roast it. Roasting brings out the delicate flavor of the bass without a lengthy preparation or cooking time. Kids like its mild flavor, and because it is so versatile and easy to cook it will be a favorite for busy parents and kids alike. Remember lemon wedges for the kids -- squeezing fresh juice makes eating fish fun.
When you shop for sea bass, choose bass that are already cut into fillets and are already scaled, or have the fish market fillet and skin the fish for you. This will reduce your preparation time. Choose fish that have a solid, white fillet that springs back when you press on it lightly with your finger. If you are having the fish market fillet a whole fish for you, look for a bass that has clear eyes and scales that are bright silver and firmly attached.
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Brush a baking dish with olive oil, and arrange the bass fillets in a single layer on the bottom of the dish. Brush olive oil over the tops of the fillets to prevent them from drying out. Sprinkle seasonings on top. Add a dash of dry salad dressing and seasoning mix as a quick and easy way to achieve balanced seasonings. Roast the bass for 20 minutes. You will know the bass is done when the fillets turn an opaque white and can be flaked easily with a fork.
The delicate flavor of bass pairs well with almost any seasoning you care to use, but many cooks prefer to use Asian flavors like sesame oil, ginger, or soy sauce. Dry ranch seasoning combined with light herbs such as oregano or tarragon also go well with sea bass. Serve the roasted bass fillets with a light side such as steamed green beans or a steamed vegetable medley and a tossed green salad with fresh tomatoes, feta cheese crumbles and creamy dressing.
Other Cooking Methods
Grilled bass is quick to prepare. Simply brush the fillets on both sides with light oil and sprinkle with seasonings. Use a spicy ranch dry seasoning mix to add some kick to the smoky grilled flavor. If your kids prefer crusted fish, saute lightly breaded bass in a trace of olive oil. Mix dry salad dressing and seasoning mix with bread or cracker crumbs for a lightly saturated flavor enhancement.
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