Baked Sea Bass with Lemon-Caper Dressing

Jar of Capers

Jar of Capers

By Cat, July 4, 2016 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

I used to love sea bass, but then I got tired of it and took a break – about 10 years. Then this last Saturday I saw a beautiful fillet of “sea bass” with white flesh, and just had to have it. But I’d long since forgotten my recipes using sea bass. Thank goodness for the internet, because I found a delicious recipe on a BBC Good Food site (1), and I tried it out last night. Delicious!

See also: 1. Fish and Seafood Menu 

Baked Sea Bass with LemonCaper Dressing

This recipe is adapted from the original recipe on BBC Good Food (1). It doesn’t specify the type of sea bass used. Most types have white flesh, which is what I prefer, but one common variety has a darker, reddish flesh which I find too oily. I used to use Chilean seabags, but it is endangered, so I avoid it and instead use “Black sea bass” which is more oily than cod or halibut, resembling salmon in oiliness; in fact, it is a good substitute for salmon in recipes.

The other changes I’ve made are to convert metric measurements to cups/pounds, oven temperature from Celsius to Fahrenheit, and to reduce the fish serving size from 6 oz to 4 oz.

If you’re not familiar with capers, they can usually be found in jars (see photo, above) in the canned olive section of your local grocery, but they are not olives. Rather, they are the fruit of the caper bush common to the Mediterranean, that is brined similar to olives (to preserve them).

This recipe is quick and simple to make, but requires a hot oven, so choose a cooler day, or try grilling. I present the ingredients for a single serving but you can easily increase the number of servings.

Ingredients & Equipment

  • Fish
  • one 4-oz sea bass fillet
  • olive oil and unrefined sea salt
  • Caper Dressing
  • ½ lemon for its zest and  2 tsp juice
  • 2 tsp capers
  • up to ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Garnish
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh parsley (flatleaf is best)
  • Equipment
  • small bowl
  • parchment
  • baking pan
  • serving platter


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F; light oil baking pan, then line with parchment.
  2. Prepare dressing: grate zest into small bowl, squeeze juice into bowl. Add Dijon, capers and olive oil; stir to combine. Don’t add parsley as the lemon juice will turn it yellow; instead save it to garnish just before serving
  3. Prepare fish: Rinse fillet and lightly salt; place in prepared pan, skin up and brush with a bit of olive oil.
  4. Bake 7 minutes in preheated oven, then test the fish for flakiness when poked with a knife; if not yet flaky, return it to oven for another 2 minutes and test again; repeat if necessary.
  5. Serve: Remove skin and transfer filet to plate or serving platter. Spoon the prepared dressing over and sprinkle with parsley.


July 3, 2016: Made single serving as written, using 1/2 tsp Dijon in the dressing; my oven doesn’t quite reach selected temperature so the fish took a bit longer to bake, about 10 minutes total. This is delicious and so easy to prepare, but I would reduce the Dijon just a tad; I’ve updated the recipe to “up to 1/2 tsp Dijon”.


  1. BBC Good Food: Baked Sea Bass with Lemon-Caper Dressing

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