Black Sea Bass With Capers and Herb-butter Sauce

Martha Stewart Living, March 2019 Photo credit: Ryan Liebe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Total Time 34 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Seafood
Servings 4 servings


  • 4 pounds skin-on black-sea-bass fillets about 1 1/4total
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Instant flour such as Wondra, for sprinkling
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup dry vermouth
  • 1 tablespoon capers drained and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed chopped fresh tender herbs such as parsley, dill, tarragon, and chives


  • Pat fillets dry; score skin several times. Salt and pepper, then pat with Wondra.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. When oil shimmers and wisps of smoke rise from skillet, add fish in a single layer, skin-sides down. Reduce heat to medium; cook, undisturbed, until skin is crisp and flesh is opaque halfway up sides and almost cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes, depending on thickness.
  • Flip and continue cooking until just cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to plates, skin-sides up. Add vermouth to skillet; boil until mostly evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Add capers and butter; cook until butter simmers and sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in herbs. Return fish to skillet, skin-side up; spoon butter sauce over top. Serve immediately.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!