Entree, Fish, Food, Recipes

Chilean Sea Bass with Pecan-Bacon Crust

Chilean Sea Bass with Pecan Bacon Crust Ronit PensoWhen I saw this beautiful fresh piece of Chilean Sea Bass at the store, I knew it will result a wonderful dish. This fish has such a rich sweet flavor, and a silky yet firm texture, that can be best described as “buttery”.

As I wrote in THIS former post, Chilean Sea Bass is the commercial name for the Patagonian Toothfish, which is a type of cod. In that recipe, I’ve paired it with the light and fresh flavors of lime and olive oil. The result was perfect for summer. Alas, the weather outside is now far from summery, and so I had to come up with a “warmer” (i.e, heavier) preparation.

Bearing in mind the “buttery” texture of the fish, I’ve decided to use butter as a base for a tasty and crunchy topping. Crispy chopped bacon and pecans were added to the butter, along with some fresh thyme, maple syrup and mustard. For the cooking liquids I chose white wine combined with Grand Marnier, an orange flavored liquor.
In order to keep the topping crunchy, I’ve decided not to cover the dish while baking. However, as the pieces were quite thick, I’ve made a few small horizontal cuts in each, in order to enable the steam to cook the fillets evenly from inside, by the time the topping is golden and crunchy.

The result is a wonderful mix of flavors and textures; the butter melts over the fillet, keeping it moist, the topping adds a salty, slightly sweet, smoky-nutty crunch, while the thyme, wine and Grand Marnier add wonderful aroma.
No doubt this is a dish I’ll be making again. I hope you’ll enjoy it as well.

Makes: 2
Prep time: 15 minutes
Baking time: about 25 minutes

For the fish:
12 oz (340 grams) center cut boneless Chilean Sea Bass, cut in two, at room temperature
Fresh thyme sprigs
¼ cup Grand Marnier liquor
¼ cup fruity white wine
½ tsp salt
For the topping:
1.5 oz (40 grams) butter, soft
3 thin bacon strips, crispy cooked, chopped
1 tsp maple syrup or honey
1 tsp Dijon mustard
¼ cup chopped pecans
1 Tbs chopped fresh thyme
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 420F (215C). Line a small pan with foil and baking paper. Pour in the Grand Marnier and wine. Sprinkle the salt over and scatter the thyme sprigs on. Place the fish on top, and make a few horizontal cuts in each fillet, with a small sharp knife (this will help cook the fish evenly). Dry the top with paper towel.
Chilean Sea Bass with Pecan Bacon Crust Ronit PensoChilean Sea Bass with Pecan Bacon Crust Ronit Penso
2. The topping: gently mix all the ingredients in a small bowl. Divide and spread evenly on top of each fillet.
Chilean Sea Bass with Pecan Bacon Crust Ronit PensoChilean Sea Bass with Pecan Bacon Crust Ronit PensoChilean Sea Bass with Pecan Bacon Crust Ronit PensoChilean Sea Bass with Pecan Bacon Crust Ronit PensoChilean Sea Bass with Pecan Bacon Crust Ronit Penso
3. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 5 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 380F (195C) while the pan is still in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn the oven temperature up to 420F (250C), while the pan is still inside. Bake for 5 minutes. Turn off and leave in the oven for 5 minutes longer.
4. Serve warm, with thinly sliced roasted potatoes, as shown here, or with any other side dish you prefer.
Chilean Sea Bass with Pecan Bacon Crust Ronit PensoChilean Sea Bass with Pecan Bacon Crust Ronit Penso Chilean Sea Bass with Pecan Bacon Crust Ronit Penso


45 thoughts on “Chilean Sea Bass with Pecan-Bacon Crust”

  1. Ugh..I almost bought sea bass at the fish market yesterday…wouldn’t that have been perfect! This looks fabulous, Ronit. The flavors sound absolutely delicious. For now I’ll make my halibut…but next week…Chilean Sea Bass here I come!!! Thanks for sharing your hunger inducing recipe. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, my!!!!! What a feast for the eyes! Can only contemplate the deliciousness of it in real life.

    Here we are – thinking about pancakes, potato/onion/ham patties, and poached duck eggs – and you provide that fabulous photo!

    We don’t eat seafood anymore because of Fukushima, but I might give that delicious-looking combination a go on some boneless chicken thighs, or a bit of pork loin. Or would the extra butter make it too greasy on the thighs?

    Virtual hugs,



    1. Thank you Judie – it so nice to have your enthusiastic comment! 🙂
      The butter mixture can indeed be used for other preparations, as long as it doesn’t require too long baking/roasting. I suggest cooking the chicken/pork halfway through, and add the topping in the last 15-20 minutes.
      I also tried the mixture over toasted baguette, with a bit of blue or goat cheese on top – great success…

      Enjoy your pancake brunch. I’m sure it is superb! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Finally used up all of the bacon in treats like this, but have a 24-oz. package of the thick-sliced kind that I will do up next. I’m thinking . . . cranberry relish and pecans with the butter, but leave out any extra sweetener, lest it burn instead of crisp up. I have some thighs already roasted in the freezer . . . I think I feel a dinner coming on.

        Brunch featured (pseudo) Bananas Foster today. Pix soon! ;->

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Susan! 🙂
      Other side dish that I like for such a dish are potato puree, polenta or Israeli couscous. I find their smooth texture works great with the crunchiness of the topping.
      I hope you’ll enjoy the results. I’ll be happy to hear your comments. 🙂


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