Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Grilled Chilean Sea Bass
The first time hubby and I tasted Sea Bass was in a posh wedding banquet of one of Manila's elite couples many years ago. We were served this succulent, flaky, melt-in-the-mouth Pan-Seared Sea Bass. It was simply cooked. There was no overpowering sauce. The flavor really comes from the fish. Since then, whenever we have the chance to go out for "fine-dining," I would order this fish. Needless to say, this imported fish is quite expensive. It costs more than five hundred pesos per order and we would be served only a small portion.
I was very happy to discover than Santi's Deli carries Sea Bass (as well as Angus Beef, but that will be another story.) It is still quite expensive, compared to our local fish. One uncooked fillet, around 8 inches diameter and 2 inches thick would already cost more than two hundred pesos. But that is equivalent to two restaurant-servings already. So, in a way, buying the fish from Santi's and cooking it at home is still cheaper than eating it in the restaurants.
If you wish to have fine-dining at home, without the "fine-dining" price, Grillled Chilean Sea Bass is the way to go. It is easy to cook. It is healthy and you will really enjoy the succulent melt-in-the-mouth taste. Just pair it with a light Salad, a Creamed Soup, a glass of white white, you will truly have that "fine-dining" experience.
1 Chilean Sea Bass fillet
freshly ground salt
freshly ground black pepper
ground cayenne pepper (optional, for those who want it a little spicy)
dried dill leaves (also available at Santis)
4 T Olive oil
1. Wash and pat dry the fish fillet well. (Do not remove the skin at this point yet).
2. Sprinkle the seasonings on both sides of the fillet. Leave for at least 30 minutes.
3. Drizzle Olive oil all over the fish. Make sure all surface are covered or the meat might stick to the grill.
4. Grill over medium heat until meat is cooked. Remove skin before serving. Serve immediately.
I use stove-top grill which is convenient for me. It also produces that charred grill lines we like to see in our grilled foods but without the carbon residue from coals.
Actually, I do not know why it is called Chilean Sea Bass in this country. I am not sure if it is really of a different variety from the regular Sea Bass or if it is just a label the local dining scene added for the 'hype' to make it more elite, and therefore more expensive. What I do know is that Sea Bass does not neccessarily come from Chile. In countries like Europe and America, they prefer their Sea Bass caught in the sea. Just like the Salmon, the farmed variety of Sea Bass contains more mercury than the ocean-caught ones. But then, here in our country, we can never really be sure about the source of our imported fish. So, maybe it is still better to go local.