recipe for branzino

Branzino Mediterranean Recipe

5/5 (1)
35 mins
Vadim Rachok
04.01.2024
25.03.2024
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8.5 / 10
Health score
Egg free dishGluten free dishLow Carb DishNut Free DishPaleo DishVegetarian Dish

This branzino recipe has a Mediterranean twist and is a must-try! The fish is stuffed with a sauce of shallots, tomatoes, chili peppers, herbs, lemon juice, zest, ginger, and oregano, which gives it a delicious flavor. Trust me, every bite is a feast of flavors.

This Branzino Mediterranean recipe is a culinary journey to the shores of Europe, bringing the vibrant flavors of the Mediterranean to your plate. The delicate branzino, marinated in a zesty blend of herbs and lemon, grilled to perfection, and adorned with a tomato herb relish, offers a symphony of tastes that truly elevates your dining experience. The visual appeal of this dish is as impressive as its flavor, making it an ideal centerpiece for a summer meal.

This baked branzino (sea bass) is an ideal summer meal, thanks to its vibrant colors and flavors. What I love most about white fish is that you can add so many flavors to them. If you enjoy white fish, follow this baked branzino Mediterranean recipe.

All About Branzino (Sea Bass)?

Branzino, also known as European or Mediterranean sea bass, is a beautiful white fish native to the western and southern coasts of Europe and the northern coast of Africa. Its delicate texture and bright flavor make it one of my favorite fish to work with. Branzino’s light, flaky white flesh has a delicate, slightly sweet flavor. It lends itself well to a variety of flavors. It is usually served whole, but fillets are also good.

Here in the U.S., this white fish is most commonly sold as branzino (plural, branzini). However, it also goes by other names such as European sea bass, lavraki, capemouth, loup de mer, and, as mentioned, Mediterranean sea bass.

The Reasons to Make This Dish?

recipe for branzino fish

This recipe for sea bass is perfect for an exquisite meal. Let me explain why you should give it a try:

  • You will learn how to prepare a whole fish.
  • The fish is stuffed with a sauce of shallots, tomatoes, chili pepper, herbs, lemon juice, zest, ginger, and oregano, which makes it tender and juicy inside and adds a delightful flavor.
  • After baking, the fish is topped with the second part of vegetable sauce, which adds a fresh taste to the dish.
  • Not only is this an easy recipe for baked fish, it’s also visually stunning.

Ingredients for Branzino (Sea Bass)

  • Whole Sea Bass: The main ingredient that provides a mild and delicate flavor with tender, flaky flesh that is perfect for baking.
  • Dill, Cilantro, Parsley: Fresh herbs such as dill, coriander, and parsley add a layer of flavor and freshness to the sea bass, complementing the natural taste of the fish with herbal notes.
  • Lemon: Lemon juice is often used to add a bright and citrusy flavor to sea bass that balances out the richness of the fish and enhances the overall flavor.
  • Shallot: It adds depth and complexity to the seasoning by providing a subtle but distinctive onion flavor.
  • Chili Peppers: It adds a hint of heat and spice to the dish, contrasting the other flavors and adding excitement to every bite.
  • Tomato: Tomatoes add a hint of sweetness and acidity to baked fish.
  • Olive Oil: Brushing the sea bass with olive oil helps seal in moisture, adding richness to the dish and promoting even browning throughout the baking process.
  • Butter: Butter helps to give the fish a golden brown crust.
  • Garlic: Garlic imparts an aromatic flavor profile to sea bass, enhancing its flavor and complementing the other ingredients in the dish.
  • Oregano: It adds a Mediterranean flavor and complements the other herbs and spices in the dish with a warm, earthy flavor.
  • Ginger: Ginger adds a subtle yet distinct flavor to the dish, providing a hint of warmth and spice that complements the other ingredients in the dish without overpowering the delicate flavor of the sea bass.

How to Make Branzilo at Home?

Branzino Recipe step by step 1-4

Branzino Recipe step by step 5-8

  1. First, clean and gut the sea bass if the carcass is intact. Remove the eyes and gills and clean the scales, if present. 
  2. Then, dice the shallots and make tomatoes concassé (without skin or seeds). Thinly slice the chili pepper. Next, cut the herbs into strips. 
  3. Blend the chopped vegetables, add the juice of half a lemon, zest, ginger, oregano, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Stuff the sea bass belly with half of the sauce. Drizzle with olive oil.
  5. Heat a frying pan, add a little olive oil and butter, and fry the sea bass with garlic over medium heat for 2-2.5 minutes on each side until golden brown. 
  6. Then, remove the fish from the pan and place it on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Salt the skin on top.
  7. Preheat the oven to 365 degrees F (180 degrees C) and bake the fish for 8-10 minutes. 
  8. Remove the sea bass and pour the remaining sauce over it. Enjoy!

Chef Recipe Tips:

  • If you don’t like the fried crust, place the sea bass in the oven at 320 degrees F (160 degrees C) for 15 minutes (149 degrees F (65 degrees C) on the instant-read probe). 
  • You can add thyme and butter while frying fish.

recipe branzino

How To Choose a Good Branzilo (Sea Bass)?

You can find branzino labeled as European or Mediterranean sea bass in many supermarkets and seafood stores. Here are my tips for choosing a good one:

  • The skin of the object should have a shiny and plump appearance. Additionally, the scales should not be missing.
  • Ensure that the fish’s eyes are bright, not cloudy or dark.
  • If the branzino is fresh, it should not have a bad and strong fishy smell.
  • When touched with a finger, a fresh fish should have a firm texture and bounce back to its original shape quickly. It should not leave any indentation on its body.

what is a branzino fish

Serving Suggestion

Depending on personal preferences and side dishes, you can serve baked branzino in a variety of ways. Here are a few suggestions:
With salad: Serve sea bass with a light salad dressed with vinaigrette or a citrusy dressing. For a refreshing contrast to the rich fish, try a green salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and avocado.
Serve with rice or quinoa: For a more substantial meal, pair branzino with cooked rice or quinoa. The grains can soak up the juices from the fish and sauce, adding depth to each bite.
Asian-inspired: Serve sea bass with stir-fried vegetables and a side of jasmine rice for an Asian-inspired twist. Drizzle with a soy-ginger glaze or teriyaki sauce for an extra burst of flavor.

Leftovers and storage

As this is a shared meal for two, you likely won’t have any leftovers. But if you do, store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. The branzino will be kept for three days. To reheat, place it in a skillet on the stove on medium heat for a few minutes.

Of course, fundamentally, this dish consists of very healthy ingredients. Sea bass is a source of high-quality protein necessary for tissue growth and repair. Herbs such as dill, cilantro, and parsley enrich the dish with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Lemon provides vitamin C and adds freshness and acidity to the dish. Olive oil is a source of healthy fats that can help maintain cardiovascular health. However, the relatively large amount of oil (both vegetable and butter) and the pre-frying of the fish before baking are nuances that prevent me from assigning this dish the highest health score. The amount of oil adds quite a bit of saturated fat, so I would recommend reducing it at least slightly. Additionally, skipping the frying step and proceeding directly to baking is the best thing you can do for your health. Although you may sacrifice the golden crust, which looks so appetizing and satisfyingly crunches in your mouth, you will avoid consuming glycation products, which contribute to aging at the cellular level and can also contribute to visceral fat gain.

Jenny Dobrynina
Jenny Dobrynina
Nutrition Editor
Health score:
8.5 / 10
Branzino Mediterranean Recipe
5/5 (1)
Author:Vadim Rachok
Try the easy, healthy, and delicious recipe for branzino (sea bass).
recipe for branzino
Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
35 mins
Servings:
1
The ingredients you need
1 pc whole sea bass
1 bunch dill, cilantro, parsley
1 pc lemon
1 pc onion shallot
1 pc small chili pepper
1 pc tomato
1,4-1,8 ounces (40-50 g) olive oil
0,4 ounces (10 g) butter
2 cloves garlic
0,04 ounces (1 g) oregano
0,4 ounces (10 g) ginger
salt
pepper
Let’s start !
1
Clean and gut the sea bass if the carcass is intact. Remove the eyes and gills and clean the scales, if present.
2

Dice the shallots and make tomatoes concassé (without skin or seeds). Thinly slice the chili pepper. Cut the herbs into strips. 

3

Blend the chopped vegetables, add the juice of half a lemon, zest, ginger, oregano, olive oil, salt and pepper.

4

Stuff the sea bass belly with half of the sauce. Drizzle with olive oil.

5

Heat a frying pan, add a little olive oil and butter, and fry the sea bass with garlic over medium heat for 2-2.5 minutes on each side until golden brown. 

6

Remove the fish from the pan and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Salt the skin on top.

7

Preheat the oven to 365 degrees F (180 degrees C) and bake for 8-10 minutes.

8

Remove the sea bass and pour the remaining sauce over it.

Nutrition Information
Servings Per Recipe: 1 Calories: 917
% Daily Value *
 % Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g16%
Saturated Fat 2g12%
Cholesterol 117mg39%
Sodium 237mg10%
Total Carbohydrate 7g2%
Dietary Fiber 1g5%
Total Sugars 2g 
Protein 53g 
Vitamin C 25mg126%
Calcium 58mg4%
Iron 1mg8%
Potassium 855mg18%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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Watch How To Make It

To ensure a perfect grill on your branzino, rub the grates with half of a raw potato before cooking. This simple trick prevents sticking and ensures that your fish retains its smoky essence. Additionally, experiment with variations in the marinade and relish, incorporating leftover herbs and vegetables for a personalized touch. Serve alongside grilled asparagus, Greek lemon rice, or Mediterranean grilled vegetables for a delightful Mediterranean feast. Enjoy the freshness of this dish right off the grill for the best experience!

Vadim Rachok
Vadim Rachok
Pro tip from chef
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