Sea Bass Veracruzana

  • Active Time 25m
  • Total Time 25m

Serves 4

Seaside restaurants in Veracruz regularly feature fish cooked with onion, garlic, chilies and tomatoes. Sea bass, which takes well to searing and cooks evenly without flaking, makes a good choice. Be sure to get the pan very hot before adding the fish.


  • 1 1/2 pounds sea bass or other firm-fleshed fish fillets, cut into 4 equal portions
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 fresh jalapeño chili peppers, stemmed and cut into rounds 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 lime, cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 ripe tomato, seeded and cut into strips
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 cup small Spanish green olives or other small green olives such as French picholines, pitted
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup fish stock or bottled clam juice


Sprinkle the fish fillets on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat 1 very large or 2 medium-sized sauté pans over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add the olive oil and when it is hot but not smoking, add the fish fillets, skin side up. Turn the heat to high, and sear the fillets on the first side until golden brown, 1-2 minutes. Turn and sear on the second side, 1-2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat.

Using a slotted spatula, transfer the fillets to a rack set over a plate to catch the juices. Return the pan(s) to high heat, add the onion and sauté, stirring often, until lightly golden, 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic, jalapeños, lime wedges, tomato, oregano and olives and sauté, stirring briskly, for 1 minute longer. Add the white wine and boil until reduced by half, 2-3 minutes. Add the fish stock or clam juice and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and return the fish fillets along with their juices to the pan(s). Cover and simmer gently until opaque throughout, 1-3 minutes depending upon the thickness of the fillets.

Taste the broth and adjust the seasonings. Using the spatula, transfer the fish to warmed shallow soup bowls. Ladle the broth into the bowls, arranging some of the vegetables from the broth on the top of each fillet. Serve immediately.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.

RecID 2223

nutrition information per serving

328 calories; 17g total fat; 70mg cholesterol; 536mg sodium; 8g carbohydrates; 1g fiber; 32g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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