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Spicy Miso Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass

Let me start by saying I am quite picky about seafood - its really the only thing I’m picky about. I like sushi (even some sashimi), shrimps, scallops, mussels but when it comes to flakey swimmy fish - can’t do it. Until now!!!

I posted about not loving fish (other than shellfish and tuna basically) and instagram gave me SO many recommendations. I guess it was the push I needed to try again. I will say I’ve made a lot of progress since I was younger - I used to not be able to go near the seafood counter at grocery stores without gagging.

I wanted to like seafood because it seemed like the final frontier for me. Slowly over the years I would try bites of this and that when other people ordered it at restaurants. My dad is really great at always letting me try one bite, if I don’t like it no big deal! First it was california rolls, a safe choice, then other kinds of sushi and plain shrimps. Then it was scallops, tuna tartare, and calamari (not fried). Then smoked tuna/ salmon dip, grilled tuna, octopus, mussels as an adult. I’ve tried bites of mahi mahi and swordfish and not hated it but I still wasn’t ready to commit to flakey fish.

Things that worked for me this time:

  1. googling everything about how to cook sea bass (or whatever fish I could have gone with)

  2. buying a nice cut of fish (this 6oz portion was $13 which I find insane but okay)

  3. sticking with flavors I know I already love (miso, sesame, chili paste)

  4. knowing that if its still not my thing, that’s fine too

You’ll need:

  • one 6oz (ish) piece of sea bass (thawed if previously frozen)

  • 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar

  • 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil

  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon room temp butter

  • 1 tablespoon miso paste (yellow, white, or red should all work)

  • 1 tablespoon sambal oelek or other chili paste (sriracha will work)

  • For serving: rice, sautéed veggies, green onion, sesame seeds, fresh chilies


  1. I like to remove the skin before cooking a piece of fish, it tastes less “fishy” that way in my limited but picky experience. Just use a sharp knife!

  2. Mix the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and brown sugar in a small bowl. Add your fish to a plastic baggie or shallow dish. Pour the soy sauce marinade over and refrigerate for 30 min to an hour. If you marinate fish too long with something acidic (citrus, vinegar) it will actually cook the fish!)

  3. While the fish is marinating, make your rice. Also make your spicy miso butter by mixing together the miso, butter, and chili paste. I just use a spoon but the butter needs to be room temp!!

  4. Once the fish is done marinating, use a paper towel to dry it off. Spread spicy miso butter on one side just using the back of a spoon. Heat your skillet or cast iron over medium and place the fish butter side down in the pan. Add miso butter to the other side. After 5 minutes, gently flip the fish and sear another 5 minutes. If you’re concerned about the center because it’s a thick piece, you can either cover and turn the heat lower so it doesn’t burn or put it in the oven at 425* for another 5 minutes.

  5. Plate your fish as soon as its done cooking. I like to eat it on top of jasmine rice with sautéed veggies and then top with diced green onion, sesame seeds, and either chili flakes or fresh thai chili. Enjoy!!

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