Grilled sea bass in a puddle of avocado crema topped with fresh mango salsa... Mexican Grilled Sea Bass, with its bold Mexican-inspired flavors, is elegant enough for a special occasion, but simple enough for any day of the week! Quick, easy, healthy, delicious!
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks - Recipe Inspiration
This is the last "installment" on our fabulous Valentine's Day meal... unless someone requests the "recipe" for those luscious heirloom tomatoes with cilantro and citrus vinaigrette? If you saw my last post for Mexican Chocolate Mousse With Ancho and Orange, you are aware it was our first course. 😀 The mousse was followed by Oysters With Bacon, Blood Orange, and Jalapeño Mignonette. Lastly, we enjoyed this Mexican Grilled Sea Bass With Avocado Crema and Mango Salsa. What a memorable meal it was!
🐟 About Healthy Sea Bass
If "pretty" fish makes you happy, look no further than sea bass. Sea bass may be my favorite protein. Maybe. Oysters and lamb are close competitors. I love pretty food, and when I am looking to make an impression with a fish dish, I am likely to choose sea bass. 🙂
Describing sea bass gets tricky because "sea bass" is a bit of a catch all name for many different types of fish including ocean perch, grouper, black sea bass, even cod. However, if you go to the fish counter and ask for "sea bass," chances are good that what you receive is Chilean Sea Bass (at least in the United States).
Interestingly, though, Chilean sea bass isn't only caught in Chile, and it's not a "bass." In 1977, the Patagonian toothfish got a name change in an effort to improve its appeal in the U.S. market. I think it worked. I'm not sure I would be featuring this ingredient if it were still called toothfish. 😀 It is actually a species of cod icefish.
If you are interested in sustainability of fisheries (as I am), The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch List is an excellent resource. For a list of responsible choices, check their Toothfish Recommendations. The fishery is mostly well-managed, but there are exceptions. This is a special occasion fish in my mind (sustainability and expense), and I feel good about serving it occasionally, as long as I know the source.
📋 Ingredients You'll Need
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
- passionfruit pulp - Of course fresh passionfruit pulp is an amazing thing, but fresh passionfruit is hard to find, expensive, and very perishable. Breaking them down is tedious for the small amount of pulp you obtain from each one. Even in subtropical south Texas (near the border), they can be $6.00 apiece. If you're using fresh, you'll need to break down 6 to 8 passionfruits. I keep frozen passionfruit pulp in my freezer for recipes like my passionfruit chilcano and my passionfruit vinaigrette.
- pisco - This is an optional ingredient! I have found that booze in my frozen ice creams and sorbets adds an extra layer of (delicious) flavor, and makes it a little more scoopable. See the Real Rules of Making of Boozy Ice Cream for more.
- coconut milk - Not to be confused with non-dairy coconut milk in the "milk" section, coconut milk is usually found in the Asian foods section. I usually use lite coconut milk as I keep it in my pantry. You can certainly use full-fat coconut milk as well.
- sweetener - I specify agave nectar because this is a vegan ice cream. If that is not an issue for you, feel free to substitute honey.
- fine sea salt
I have been "hammering" the idea of mis en place lately. With a dish that cooks this quickly, you need everything prepped prior to grilling the fish - including the avocado crema, the mango salsa, and any side dishes.
We opted for heirloom tomatoes on Valentine's Day; they were lightly dressed with lemon-infused olive oil, orange muscat champagne vinegar, sea salt and fresh ground pepper, and chopped cilantro. My Mexican Cilantro Rice pairs really well with this dish as well.
So, prepare the mango salsa and the avocado crema. Rinse and pat dry the fish portions, then rub the oil, and season with salt and pepper. Get any side dishes going. Preheat your grill or stove top grill pan to very high heat. When everything else is ready, cook the fish on both sides (and the top if applicable). My sea bass was about 2 inches thick. I seared it about 1 ½ minutes on 3 sides... Perfection!
To plate the fish, spoon a puddle of that tasty avocado crema on the plate. Top with the fish and a generous scoop of mango salsa. I know you'll love it.
🍷 Pairing Suggestions
As you can see in the photo, we enjoyed this dish with a bottle of Rombauer Chardonnay. It's a special occasion bottle for us at about $40.00. We love the balance of oak and fruit, and it pairs well with a bold fish dish like this one. A more moderately priced but solid option would be J. Lohr Chardonnay at about $10.00. A good sauvignon blanc or white bordeaux would be fabulous as well!
🧂 Useful Stuff
- Calphalon Grill Pan
- Grill Baskets
- Fish Spatula
- Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar