*Also called Atlantic striped bass, linesiders, rockfish and stripers, among other names.
Though wild striped bass can grow to six feet in length (and may live up to 30 years!), what’s in the market are fillets cut from smaller, three-to-five-pound whole fish.
Striped bass are also farmed in a hybrid of striped bass and white bass. But there’s no need to look for farmed fish when the real deal is waiting for you. (See a discussion of the difference between wild and farmed fish.)
Thanks to Euro USA Fresh Seafood for this ultra-easy recipe. Pair it with a sauvignon blanc or a Chablis.
SEARED WILD STRIPED BASS RECIPE
4 six-ounce wild striped bass fillets, with skin
Salt & pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
1. Take the fish out of the refrigerator 10 to 15 minutes before preparing.
2. Pat the skin dry with a paper towel and season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper.
3. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over high heat.
4. Coat the bottom of another slightly smaller sauté pan with olive oil (you can use a less expensive oil here—it’s just to keep the pan from burning). Gently place fish fillets skin side down in the larger sauté pan and place the smaller sauté pan directly on top of the fish. This technique creates a lovely crispy fish skin by gently pressing the skin of the bass onto the bottom of the sauté pan.
5. After a couple of minutes, remove the top sauté pan to allow steam to escape and the skin to become very crispy.
6. As fish cooks, it turns from translucent to opaque. Cook the fish two-thirds of the way on the skin side and flip it over for the last third of the cooking time. The rule for fish is about 7 to 8 minutes per inch of thickness, a little less if you like your fish more on the rare side (as we do!).
Serve the bass with your favorite vegetables. We followed the photo and went Asian-style, with steamed snow peas, edamame and water chestnuts tossed with a bit of olive oil and yuzu juice. Include a side of whole grain (barley, brown rice, quinoa or whole wheat pasta tossed in olive oil) and a salad, and you’ve got a delicious, healthful dinner.