Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Brown Sugar Glazed Chilean Sea Bass

DOUBLE YOU TEE EFF.  This was so outrageously, insanely, do 40 shots of tequila, good.  I'd really like to talk about it, but I can't right now.  I'm too busy doing a victory lap around my kitchen island.  

I mean.  Can we just take it in here?  Yes.  I have been singing We are the Champions for the last 3 hours.

I love love love Chilean Sea Bass.  As my friend Lauren described it, it's a fish, made with butter.  It's so unbelievably tender, moist, and BUTTERY.  I've never seen one in the wild before but I imagine a Land O' Lakes stick of butter with fins swimming around eating a diet of pure bacon. Yum.  I.  Can't.  Even.  Focus.

So it's odd to admit this, but cooking fish terrifies me. Or I should say, terrified me.  I've probably cooked it twice my entire life.  Weird, right?  We are definitely a meat eating family, but regardless, I really love seafood and wanted to get over my fear.  My Dad was never a big fish eater and neither is my husband BUT I'M BREAKING THE CYCLE.

My little friend Lauren is quite the fishmonger so she decided she'd help me get over my fear.  We made a pit stop at Isaacson's in Chicago.  This place is not really for the faint of heart.  Think no frills, pick your own fish up with a plastic glove kinda place.  But it's cheap.  And it's fresh as all get out.  A giant fillet that I actually cut into two servings was $18.  I bought a singular, smaller, fishier tasting piece of Chilean sea bass from Whole Foods for the same price.  Just FYI for all you Chicagoans out there.  Go to Isaacson's.  Actually don't, so there are less lines for me.  
The marinade and cooking style is very easy.  Here are the simple ingredients to pure culinary bliss:

Chilean Sea Bass
Low Sodium Soy Sauce
Dark Brown Sugar

You're pretty.  I'll call you Snow White and the other one Snow Flake.

Throw all of the ingredients together and mix.

Add the marinade to the fish in a large plastic bag and marinate in the fridge.  Mine sat for almost two hours and it was perfection.

I put them in a small casserole dish and added the marinade as well. You don't have to, but I rubbed just a tiny bit of brown sugar on the top of each fillet so it would help along the crust caramelization.

This is how we looked after 10 minutes in a 500 degree oven.  I know what you're thinking.  The first one looks a little dry. This fillet was a bit smaller so it probably only needed about 8 minutes.  I actually PREFER my fish this way, so just keep an eye on it while it cooking and when it feels firm to the touch and flakes easily with a fork, it's done.

This fish needed something simple, but special to go with it.  I added the marinade to a small pan and cranked the heat up to reduce it down so it would form a syrup/glaze.  I drizzled that around the place and a little on top of the fish.  I served it with some Sake Shitake Mushrooms.  OMG.  I mean.  I just can't.


For some crunch and some green, I just chopped up some baby bok choy and sauteed it with a touch of olive oil and a tablespoon of the marinade.  YUM.

Look at that.  Firm, moist, perfection.  It's so easy.  If I can do it you can do it.  Stay hungry!
Brown Sugar Glazed Chilean Sea Bass
2 Fresh Chilean Sea Bass Fillets
3 Tbs Low Sodium Soy Sauce
1/3 Cup Sake
3 Tbs Dark Brown Sugar

Mix all ingredients except fish together and blend well.  Pour ingredients over fish in a sealable container/plastic bag and coat well.  Let marinade sit for 2 hours in the fridge.  Preheat oven to 500 degrees.  Cook fillets until firm to the touch, flakes easily, or is opaque.  Enjoy!


  1. I don't like fish but this looks amazing.

  2. Chilean sea bass is one of the least sustainably harvested beds if fish on the planet. It's delicious, but its stocks are badly depleted. Farmed Barramundi is a better alternative.

    The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch app is really good for information on fish and sustainability.

  3. Holy $&#! that is delicious! Made this the other night and both my girlfriend and I were moaning after every bite of goodness, to the point where we both were like, "Watch it fish-- he's/she's mine." SO GOOD. Probably why their stocks are depleted-- there ain't no shortage of tilapia, know what I mean?

    And to slightly paraphrase one of the few funny lines in How I Met Your Mother, "...I mean, is there a Chilean LAND Bass I don't know about??"

    Stay Moan-y,

  4. Ditto to my boyfriend's above comment. We both openly cheated on each other with this unbelievable sea bass the other night. No regrets either, except that now I'm ruined for any fish dish that doesn't have brown sugar in it.


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment!