Cast Iron White Sea Bass

Posted by Dave Allee on

One of the ingredients that we are very excited to include in this Fall's Wild Harvest Box is the line-caught White Sea Bass from the Channel Islands of California.  

White Sea Bass is prized, particularly among spear fishermen. I know this, because my brother-in-law, Stewart, finally landed his first White Sea Bass earlier this year after a several year long pursuit.

Fortunately, you don't have to wrestle your way into a 6mm wetsuit and float amongst the kelp forest... you have White Sea Bass filets in your Fall '23 Wild Harvest Box.


  • 2 White Sea Bass fillets (6-8 ounces each)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine (optional)
  • Lemon wedges, for garnish
  • Fresh herbs, for garnish


  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Place your cast iron skillet in the oven as it preheats to ensure it gets hot.

  2. While the oven is preheating, pat the fillets dry with paper towels.

  3. Once the skillet is hot, carefully remove it from the oven using oven mitts, and place it on the stovetop over medium-high heat.

  4. Add the olive oil to the hot skillet and swirl it around to coat the bottom evenly.

  5. Season the White Sea Bass fillets generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper on both sides.

  6. Carefully place the sea bass fillets into the hot skillet, skin side down. Allow them to sear for about 2-3 minutes, or until the skin becomes crispy and golden brown.

  7. Using a spatula, carefully flip the fillets over and sear the other side for another 2-3 minutes. The fish should easily release from the skillet when it's ready to flip.

  8. Once both sides are nicely seared, remove the sea bass fillets from the skillet and place them on a plate. Cover them loosely with aluminum foil to keep them warm.

  9. In the same skillet, add the unsalted butter and minced garlic. Sauté the garlic for about 30 seconds until it becomes fragrant, but be careful not to burn it.

  10. Pour in the white wine (if using) and let it simmer for a brief moment to deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.

  11. Add the lemon zest and juice, fresh parsley, thyme, and dill to the skillet. Stir the sauce to combine all the flavors and let it cook for another 30 seconds.

  12. Return the seared sea bass fillets to the skillet, placing them on top of the sauce.

  13. Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and bake for about 3-5 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork. The internal temperature should reach 145°F (63°C).

  14. Carefully remove the skillet from the oven, garnish the sea bass with lemon wedges and additional fresh herbs, if desired.

  15. Serve the White Sea Bass hot, drizzling the lemon herb butter sauce over the top. It pairs wonderfully with steamed vegetables, rice, or mashed potatoes.

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  • This recipe is absolute perfection. Nothing pairs better with white sea bass than an herby butter white wine sauce. Take it from a fisherman’s wife!

    Whitney on

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