One of our “Bounty of the Sea” recipes 

After the excesses of the holidays, now is a great time to enjoy some fruits of the sea which, ounce for ounce, have fewer calories than chicken, beef or pork, and can even improve your brain, eye and heart health. Here’s a delicious recipe for grilled sea bass you can make at home this winter, courtesy of America’s Test Kitchen.

Grilled Sea Bass with Citrus and Black Olive Salad

Serves 4

Grilled Sea Bass with Citrus and Black Olive Salad recipe
Photo: Joe Keller for America’s Test Kitchen

Why This Sea Bass Recipe Works

At its best, grilled sea bass boasts firm, moist flesh under a crisp, seared exterior, but many recipes turn out underdone, fishy-tasting filets. To bring out the best in our grilled sea bass, we started by seeking out thick filets. Sea bass skin is too tough to eat, so we removed it and rubbed the fish with oil to keep it from sticking to the grill. Unlike other meaty cuts of fish, cooking this filet all the way through — cooking over the hottest part of the grill for up to 10 minutes before finishing on the cooler side — produced the best flavor; salting the fish before grilling also helped prevent any off flavors. In under 20 minutes, the sea bass had taken on great flavorful char, but these rich filets deserved a bright, fresh accompaniment. A zesty citrus salad of orange and grapefruit segments, balanced out with chopped Kalamata olives and a blend of cumin and paprika, paired perfectly with the fish. Cod and snapper are good substitutes for the sea bass. Use only the citrus pieces in the relish, not the juices, which will water down the flavor and texture.


    • 2 oranges
    • 1 red grapefruit
    • ¼ cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
    • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
    • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
    • ½ teaspoon paprika
    • Pinch cayenne pepper
    • Salt and pepper
    • 4 (4- to 6-ounce) skinless sea bass filets, 1 to 1½ inches thick
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


    1. Cut away peel and pith from oranges and grapefruit. Quarter oranges, then slice crosswise into ½-inch-thick pieces. Cut grapefruit into 8 wedges, then slice wedges crosswise into ½-inch-thick pieces. Combine oranges, grapefruit, olives, parsley, cumin, paprika and cayenne in a bowl. Season with salt to taste, cover and set aside for serving.
    2. Pat sea bass dry with paper towels, rub with oil and season with salt and pepper
    3. Preheat grill
      1. For a charcoal grill: open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal briquettes (6 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over half of grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes
      2. For a gas grill, turn all burners to high, cover and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Leave primary burner on high and turn other burner(s) to medium-low.
    1. Clean cooking grate, then repeatedly brush grate with well-oiled paper towels until grate is black and glossy, 5 to 10 times. Place sea bass on hotter part of grill and cook, uncovered, until well browned, about 10 minutes, gently flipping filets using two spatulas halfway through cooking.
    2. Gently move sea bass to cooler part of grill and cook, uncovered, until fish flakes apart when gently prodded with a paring knife and registers 140 degrees, 3 to 6 minutes. Serve with salad.

Top image: Joe Keller for America’s Test Kitchen

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