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Sep 4, 2011 08:24 AM

Help me save my sea bass

hey there,

The receipe called for striped bass; the fishmonger said sea bass was the same and would cook the same. It didn't
So now I've got a 1/2 cooked (grilled) piece of sea bass that cost me $27.50 (and is gorgeous, despite the rawness). I cooled it and refrigerated it.
Can it be saved? Maybe in a soup?
If so -- how to cook?

many thanks!

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  1. There is so little information here, not sure any of us can help. Striped bass and sea bass can indeed be cooked the same way. So, how did you cook it? How big was the fish? What was wrong with the outcome? How long did you cook it?

    What I can glean is that it is undercooked for your taste. You could create a court bouillon and poach the fish to a doneness that you prefer. Serve with a sauce while the fish is still warm. Best I can do without more specifics.

    6 Replies
    1. re: smtucker

      I agree. "Sea bass" is too vague a term. Is it black sea bass? Its a gorgeous fish, and is slightly like striped bass, but it is leaner and much smaller. Most market black sea bass will be 1-2 lbs. Really big ones can reach 5 lbs. However, a striped bass (unless its farmed hybrid bass) will never be less than 5 lbs in a market, usually 7-10 lbs or more, depending on the states regulations. Chilean sea bass will be big, and sold as a thawed fillet or steak. It may be bigger and thicker than striped bass. Its much fattier, and can't really be compared that much to striped bass, but you could compare it to sablefish (aka black cod). Then there is barramundi, which I have seen sold as "Chinese sea bass". While originally from Australia, they are now farmed in Florida. Normal market size is 1-2 lbs, but they can get bigger. While spawning in salt water, they normally live in fresh, and I believe they are farmed in fresh water...but I can't vouch for that. I've never tried it, so I can't really compare it to anything. Lastly, branzino is also called European sea bass. I've never had it, but it it is in the same genus as striped bass, and is the European ecological equivalent. The ones in the market are farmed in Greece and are rarely much more than a pound.

      1. re: smtucker

        sorry about that -- let me fill in details.

        We've never cooked striped bass before, and don't know it. (It was an experiment.)

        The sea bass has no other information attached to it -- It was a pound, and thick one one side, growing thinner on the other. At the thickest portion it was a good 3" at the narrowest it was more like 1".
        We grilled it with a little olive oil and salt., the recipe called for ~3 mins a side, we gave it 4mins each side, then another 4 mins a side and it was still very raw in the center. I'd say it's about 1/2 cooked.

        1. re: lmcsherr

          I'd say take it out of the fridge and let the temp come up for 15 to 20 minutes, brush with a little more oil, and finish it off in a 400 oven for 12 to 15 minutes.

          1. re: lmcsherr

            At three inches thick, I bet it was underdone! I still like the poaching idea since the outer layers are cooked already, but in the oven could work. I just fear that the outside of the fish might get dry. Your other option is to cut steaks and do a quick sear on the stove top and serve with a compound butter to give back a bit of moisture.

            If all of that seems like too much, flake the fish and make fish cakes or croquettes. Serve with a homemade tartar sauce or even a remoulade on top of a bed of greens. You can freeze fish cakes "raw" and then you have a quick dinner on those hard-just-give-me-something-to-eat nights.

            1. re: smtucker

              +1 on the fish cakes. Although it is a shame to waste a beautiful $27 fillet on something that can be made great with trimmings, that will probably give you the best results with a fish that's already half cooked.

            2. re: lmcsherr

              OK. It was a Chilean sea bass. Because it is a very fatty fish, it will take longer to cook than, say, a cod fillet of the same thickness.

          2. At least y'all think there's hope!

            I like the poaching idea, I'm afraid of it drying out too much. This is likely a 9/5 dinner idea -- so feel free to chime in with more oprtions.

            Many thanks.

            3 Replies
            1. re: lmcsherr

              Sea bass is a pretty oily fish, it stands up well to high dry heat. You won't dry it out even if you put it under the broiler.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                I'd say that you're right, but at 3 inches thick, even an especially oily fish can dry out before it's cooked through on high heat. Also, 'sea bass' seems like it can refer to several different fish species depending on where you buy it - some are oilier than others, and none (that I've had) are quite on a mackerel or black cod level of oiliness.

                That said, the OP doesn't necessarily need to go all the way to a slow, low poach either. Any moderate heat method should work too.

                1. re: cowboyardee

                  I'm thinking moderate heat as well -- the sauce is just to help keep it moist. It shouldn't take too long, being partially cooked (grilled) already.

                  The fish does not look particularly oily -- not like mackeral or trout, for example. It just looks. . . thick.

              1. So what'd you end up doing with it, lmc?