I have been trying to make the ‘perfect’ seabass with tender moist flesh and crispy skin for a long time, and now I’ve finally found the way to do it! When cooking the seabass in a hot non-stick frying pan, I ended up either with a crispy skin with flesh that was a bit overcooked and a bit dry (not terrible, but as always I am striving for perfection 🙂 or with tender moist flesh and flabby skin. Please note that the fish should be very fresh (‘sushi grade’) for this recipe.
2 very fresh sea bass fillets, with skin
salt and freshly ground white pepper
extra virgin olive oil
Ask your fish monger to cut the fillets from the fish, or do it yourself (I’ll explain how another time).
Rub the skin side with salt. Rub the other side with salt, freshly ground white pepper and a few drops of extra virgin olive oil.
Now seal into a bag and cook sous-vide at 48ºC/118ºF for 10 minutes (not much more!). The fish will come out slightly undercooked and that is how it should be.
Take the fish out of the bag and pat dry with paper towels. Lightly dust with flour on the skin side only.
In a non-stick frying pan heat a generous amount of clarified butter on very high heat. Now sear the fish over high heat for 30 seconds to 1 minute. The fish will curl up, if needed gently push it down with a spatula.
Serve with a lemon wedge. In this picture I added a nice herb salad that tastes great with it: dill, chervil and tarragon, tough stems removed and dressed with some extra virgin olive oil, salt and just a drop of lemon.
We had this wine with it and it went very well with both the fish and especially the herb salad.
13 thoughts on “Perfect sous-vide seabass”
I cannot argue with crispy fish skin or fabulous wine. Oh, my, Stefan! Best – Shanna
On second thought, the wine and herbed salad?!?!?! A perfect meal, without question. I love that you mention clarified butter often. The rabbi who married us taught me to clarify butter… “It’s easy, just do this…” and you really gave me the knowledge to do it.
Die you ever try this with brill fish (griet)?
I have quite a though one in front of me…
How would Times and temperatures differ?
Hi Frans, I have not tried to eat the skin of turbot (griet). Time and temperature are the same for fillet, or longer for the while fish (30 minutes). https://stefangourmet.com/2012/01/14/turbot-and-white-asparagus-sous-vide-with-hollandaise-sauce/
Thanks for your quick reply!
Just finished diner.
From the skin’s perspective not really a success.
From the fish’s perspective it was perfect.
(Also due to Michel Roux’s heavenly leek sauce 😉
So it was not Turbot, but brill fish (Griet)
I bought it on purpose. Turbot’s skin is tougher and has little warts.
That’s why I chose griet. But I think the skin is still too thick to get a crunchy effect as on the thinner sea bass.
As it was about 1,5 cm thick I tried 13 minutes on 49C.
I used a olive oil with vaudovan seasoning.
After the sous vide time I cooled it down, because the sauce and caramelised carrots were not ready yet (bad planning)
I tried the fish skin side 1 minute in hot oil and clarified butter, but was afraid to overlook the fish. Didn’t work out well…
So fluffy skin, but perfect fish 🙂
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