Pan Fried Fillet of Sea Bass with Tomato & Ginger
Updated: May 18
This dish is one of my go-to weeknight meals when I'm looking to put something quick and tasty together, without spending half my evening making it.
Despite it's simplicity, this dish has a lovely, complex flavour which combines the heat of freshly grated ginger, the acidity of tomato, and the sweetness of red onion (or shallots). The thick, stew-like sauce works wonderfully with the delicate, flakey sea bass which is first briefly pan fried, skin-side down, to give a lovely crispy texture, before being finished off in the sauce.
This easy yet delicious meal requires just 5 key ingredients, along with some seasoning and oil for cooking:
Tinned chopped tomatoes
Red onion or shallots
Boneless fillets of sea bass (Cod also works wonderfully with this recipe)
You can also make this dish with skinless fish fillets, in which case, skip the pan-frying stage and place the fillets directly into the sauce and cover with a lid until cooked through. Although the sauce will be thick before adding the fish, there should be no need to add any water (as suggested in the below recipe) as the juices from the fish will thin the sauce out a bit as it stews.
This dish can be prepared and cooked in just 30 minutes, and can be eaten alone for a light lunch, or served with warm crusty bread or sautéed new potatoes for dinner!
Pan Fried Sea Bass with Tomato & Ginger
Time: 20 mins
2 Tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
2 Fillets of boneless sea bass (1 fillet each, can increase if preferred)
50g Plain flour for dusting
Splash of white wine (optional)
1 Medium red onion, sliced (or 4 small shallots sliced)
12 Cherry or plum tomatoes, halved
1.5 Tsp grated, fresh ginger root
1 Tsp granulated sugar
Fresh coriander, chopped (optional)
Salt & Pepper to taste
1. In a small bowl or plate sprinkle the 50g of plain flour
2. Cut your fillets in half and place them skin-side down into the flour to lightly coat the skin
3. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil or vegetable in a pan on on a medium-high heat. Once the oil is very hot, gently place your fillets skin side down into the pan and cook until the skin is browned and crispy. The flesh should not be cooked through completely at this stage. Remove your fillets and set them to one side, ensuring the skin is facing upwards so as not to become soggy
4. Reduce heat to medium and add a splash white wine or water to the pan and swirl around to deglaze
5. Add the sliced onions and cook for about 4 minutes until softened
6. Add the ginger and cook for a another minute or so, stirring to prevent the ginger burning
7. Add your halved tomatoes and pour in your canned tomatoes
8. Reduce heat to a low simmer, and add your sugar, and salt and pepper to taste
9. We now want to add our fillets to the sauce, skin side up. If your sauce is too thick at this stage and you are concerned about it burning, add a small splash of water, but not too much as it will create too much steam and make the crispy sea bass skins soggy
10. Place your fillets on top of the sauce, evenly spread around the pan and cook for a further 1-2 minutes until the flesh is cooked through (if using a thicker fish such as cod fillet, you will need to cook for a little longer)
11. Remove the fillets from the sauce and stir in some chopped fresh coriander (optional) until is just wilts in the sauce
12. Spoon sauce onto plates and place your fillets on top. Garnish with coriander if desired.