Sea Bass with Soy Glaze and Cucumber Salsa

Sea Bass with Soy Glaze

Whenever I want to impress my dinner guests big-time, I make this sea bass with the most wonderful glazed sauce. It’s quite impressive. Not only does it make a beautiful presentation served with the cucumber salsa, but it is also simply beyond-words delicious! I have to say without hesitation that this is one of my most favorite fish dishes ever. The combination of delicate fish and rich sauce is just perfect.–Cristina Ferrare

LC What To Serve With Note

What to serve with this super simple, super stunning glazed fish and salsa? The author prefers creamy mashed potatoes, while we have a penchant for plain old rice. Way we see it, you can’t really go wrong, whatever you choose.

Sea Bass with Soy Glaze

  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 35 M
  • Serves 6
5/5 - 4 reviews
Print RecipeBuy the Cristina Ferrare’s Big Bowl of Love cookbook

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Ingredients

  • For the cucumber salsa
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce (or tamari to make it gluten-free)
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • For the sauce
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce (or tamari to make it gluten-free)
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • For the fish
  • Six 3-ounce skinless sea bass fillets (preferably wild striped bass or substitute cod or black cod)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Directions

  • Make the cucumber salsa
  • 1. In a bowl, combine the cucumber, soy sauce, vinegar, scallions, and cilantro. (You can cover and refrigerate the cucumber salsa for up to 24 hours.)
  • Make the sauce
  • 2. In a medium saucepan over low heat, stir together the soy sauce, mirin, sugar, and wine. Heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar is completely dissolved, about 3 minutes. Pour the sauce into a small bowl.
  • Cook the fish
  • 3. If desired, dredge the fish in the flour. Heat a skillet on medium-high until hot. Add the olive oil and heat until hot but not smoking. Cook the fish for 2 1/2 minutes on each side, until browned. Reduce the heat to medium, pour in the sauce mixture, cover, and cook, without peeking, just until the fish is opaque throughout, 5 to 6 minutes more.
  • 4. Carefully transfer the fillets to a platter or individual plates and spoon the sauce from the skillet over the top. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and serve immediately, spooning the cucumber salsa on the fillets or passing it on the side.

Recipe Testers Reviews

This is definitely an easy recipe to whip up, especially on a busy weeknight or a even on a weekend. The cucumber salsa had a mild flavor. I felt it needed a pinch of salt to balance all the flavors. I found the soy glaze a little too sweet. I would like to either reduce the sugar or offset it with some ginger or red pepper flakes. Otherwise it was a delicious recipe to make. I did omit dredging the fish in flour. I made sure the fish was patted dry, then pan fried it and added the glaze. It presented no problem. I cooked the fillets for 2 minutes on each side. After the sauce was poured in, the fish took about 6 minutes to be done.

This read like it would be a simple, quick recipe for a weeknight dinner and that’s exactly what it turned out to be. The cucumber salsa nicely balanced the sweet sauce and the fish. (Maybe I’d use a little less sugar next time.) After browning the fish I was a little hesitant to pour on the sauce and essentially steam it, but the sauce reduced quickly in the few minutes that the fish needed to finish cooking, producing more of a syrup than “pan juices.” This actually left the fish still a bit crusty and browned—a very nice combination.

For such a simple recipe, the results are spectacular. The only small change I would make is to use just a bit less sugar, and maybe add a sprinkle of cilantro over the fish. The only complaint from my tasters was that the portions were quite small, as 3 ounces is not a lot of fish per person.

Being the huge sea bass fan that I am, I immediately loved the simple presentation laid out in this recipe. The fish turned out moist and oh so flavorful, plus the sauce was like an Asian-flavored caramel. I’d most certainly make this dish again, however I think I would select a less costly piece of fish.

What a lively looking and tasting dish! We can never get sea bass here, so I used cod, which stands up well to powerful glazes. The coolness of the cucumber and scallion salsa complements the punchy flavor of the glaze. I love that in each bite you taste something different, yet it all comes together. Separately the cucumber salsa and the fish with glaze are great. But together? And sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds besides? My, my, my. The varied textures are fun and delectable. The flour for sautéing the fish is optional, but I used just a smidgen rice flour. If anyone in your family thinks fish can be “fishy,” get them to try this. I’ll bet they can’t say that with this dish!

This is a nice alternative to takeout as it takes less time to make than it would to order it and wait for the delivery. Also, this can easily be scaled down for one person. I love to sauté fish. For anyone unsure of themselves, adding the sauce to the pan ensures the fish is cooked and stays moist. The sauce is similar to teriyaki and it glazes the fish nicely. I served the bass with mashed potatoes as the recipe suggests, even though my intention was to make steamed rice. I found the serving size of 3 ounces of bass per person optimistic. The three of us ate two pieces each. I would make this again but I would punch it up by adding some ginger and garlic to the sauce. The cucumber salsa was a refreshing addition and added some much needed texture to the softness of the fish and mashed potatoes.

What can I say about this recipe? WOW! I actually decided to make it as an appetizer over Thai rice noodles. I’m sure that it’s also amazing over mashed potatoes, but I must say that it was absolutely amazing over the noodles. Very mild, filled with delicate flavors, and so very simple to make. The cucumber salsa was a perfect addition to the full experience. This is a recipe I will make very often, both as an appetizer as well as a main course.

So simple and yet so spectacular. The author is correct when she says she uses this to impress her dinner guests. The sea bass is moist and tender, and the salsa is refreshing. A perfect accompaniment. Note: The salsa tastes a bit blah on its own, but it’s perfect with the fish. And it improves overnight. All around, a home run!

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Comments

  1. So delicious and buttery! Added a side of braised baby bok choy with shiitakes and buckwheat soba noodles tossed with toasted sesame oil, fish sauce, and green onions. Was SO amazing—the reduced sauce was to die for! This will be on heavy rotation!

    1. Hi, Sue. Mirin is a sweet, low-alcohol wine made from rice. It’s used a lot in Japanese cooking, and is great for glazes (as in this recipe). You can find it in the gourmet section of large supermarkets or online.

  2. This recipe is culinary perfection. I followed it exactly and it was extremely delicious. Even my toughest 7-year-old critic gave it two thumbs up. Thanks for sharing this incredible recipe.

    1. I love that you have a 7 year old taste tester, Gillian! Please thank him from us for his nice critique.

  3. Wow! Absolutely delicious. I didn’t have mirin so I substituted it with 1/4 of Vermouth mixed with almost 1 tbsp of sugar. Used fluke and sea Bass dredged in the flour. Sauce come out amazing, by adding the sauce to the fish, the fish came out very moist. Served it with Chinese Salad. I can’t wait to make it again!

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