Last week, I saw the Chilean Sea Bass on sale at S&R and just had to take advantage of the discount and feed my family some of that sea bass during the Holy Week holidays since we were just staying at home!
If you frequent restaurants, you’ll know that Sea Bass is one of the more expensive fish items on the menu, and a serving for one would typically cost from P600 – P1,000, depending on the restaurant. This 500g steak, I got for P839.95, a discount of P150 from the regular price of P989.95.
Sea Bass is an oily fish that melts in the mouth when cooked right, and is one of my favorite fish to eat. When cooked right, the fish meat is soft and sweet and flakes similar to a fat crab’s meat
Fish is one of the easiest things to cook, and I love cooking fish on my cast iron griddle. But I wanted to dress it up a bit so it would look nice, but I did’t want it to be too complicated or to drown the sea bass in fatty sauces. It was summer and we had summer things in season, so I decided to make a summer-inspired dish.
My summer sea bass meal is composed of three things: the sea bass, the mango salsa, and the crunchy smashed potatoes.
First order of business was to the thaw the sea bass. Fish thaws quickly, about 30 minutes or less when submerged in water (still inside the sealed pack), depending on the size of the fish.
Next thing to work on was the mango salsa.
- 5-7 ripe tomatoes, or as much as you like, seeded and diced small
- onions, about half a cup’s worth, or as much as you like, chopped small
- 1 ripe mango (half a cheek only, or put as much as you like), diced small
- extra virgin olive oil, about a few tablespoons
- cilantro (wansoy) or chinese parsley (kinchay) or even some spring onions, as much as you like, chopped small
- salt & pepper to taste
As you can see, this mango salsa is very easy and does not require exact measurements.
- Combine. Just combine the chopped onions, tomatoes, and herbs. We had some kinchay I wanted to use up so I used kinchay. Add the mangoes. Mix.
- Add the oil. Add a little extra virgin olive oil, just enough to coat everything, but the salsa should not be swimming in oil. The oil serves as a “lubricant” for the different flavors to mingle.
- Season. Sprinkle a little salt and black pepper. Mix. Taste. Does it need some more salt and/or pepper? Add a little more salt and/or pepper. Mix. Taste again. Keep doing this until you think it tastes delicious. Remember, you can always add more salt & pepper, but you cannot remove salt if you’ve added too much. Optional: squeeze some calamansi or lemon juice on the salsa and mix.
Cover and let the mango salsa sit in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.
CRUNCHY SMASHED POTATOES
My family loves potatoes, and I recently saw this YouTube video on how to make Smashed Potatoes and wanted to try it out. I didn’t have any baby potatoes on hand, so I just used the big ones and quartered them.
- Clean the potatoes, make sure the potato skins are clean.
- Boil the potatoes in salted water until cooked. Pierce a potato with a fork, the fork should slide in easily. Adding some salt to the boiling water will give the potatoes a little bit of flavor. This will avoid the “delicious outside, but bland inside” problem.
- Drain the potatoes.
- Pan fry the boiled potatoes in some olive oil or clarified butter.
- Season with salt.
- Smash the potatoes with something like the bottom of a glass. This will give us more of the delicious crunchy bits we love!
- Move the potatoes around, turn them over, make sure that all of the potatoes are toasted and golden. Add more olive oil or clarified butter. Season with more salt. Mix.
- Cook them until they are golden, toasted and have a lot of crunchy parts.
Pan fry the potatoes until they are well toasted!
Don’t throw away these crunchy bits! They are the best parts!
CHILEAN SEA BASS
Here’s what’s in the package:
I seasoned it with some kosher salt and paprika on both sides, and rubbed the seasonings in with some olive oil:
I poured a few tablespoons of olive oil (you can also use clarified butter) on my cast iron griddle, and once it was smoking hot, I put the sea bass:
I just used the same pan where I cooked the potatoes to save on cleaning. Keeping the heat to medium high, it should not take longer than a minute on each side to cook. Do not overcook.
I overcooked the first one just a tiny bit, but turns out my mom likes it better this way. Try not to lose all that yummy creamy white goo.
I did better on the next ones.
Here is the Summer Chilean Sea Bass, all plated. Chilean Sea Bass with Mango Salsa and Smashed Potatoes.
The Sea Bass was amazing and flaked like a fresh, fat, juicy, sweet crab, but creamier.
Optional: squeeze some lemon or calamansi on it before eating, and you can also drizzle some melted butter if you want it to be more decadent!
The whole family loved the dish! There’s delicious, creamy sea bass, the summer-flavored mango salsa to serve as a foil to the richness of the sea bass, and yummy, crunchy smashed potatoes for carbs.
I hope you enjoyed this recipe and I hope you try it yourself, too! The sea bass is the star of the dish, but all the other ingredients used are very common and easy to find.
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The Barat Queen
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