A platter of pan fried fish with herb sauce and lemon slices.
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4.96 from 24 votes

Pan Fried Sea Bass with Lemon Garlic Herb Sauce

This pan fried sea bass with lemon garlic herb sauce is packed with flavor from fresh herbs. It's a delicious 20 minute Mediterranean recipe that's perfect for a busy weeknight!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Seafood
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 318kcal
Author: Elizabeth Lindemann


  • 3 tablespoons butter divided
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1.5 lbs. sea bass such as barramundi
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more if needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper plus more if needed
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine such as savignon blanc
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock/broth or water, in a pinch
  • juice of one lemon about 2 tablespoons
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley roughly chopped
  • lemon wedges for serving optional


  • Pat the fish dry with a paper towel.
  • In a shallow dish, mix together the flour (1/4 cup), salt (1 teaspoon), and black pepper (1/2 teaspoon).
  • Dredge each piece of fish in the flour mixture, coating the entire surface, and shake off any excess.
  • In a large skillet, preferably stainless steel or nonstick, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium high heat and add the olive oil (1 tablespoon).
  • Cook the fish in the skillet for 3-4 minutes on each side, until golden brown and fully cooked. Try not to move the fish too much, especially if you are using a pan that isn't nonstick, otherwise the fish may be more likely to stick to the bottom and not get browned as nicely.
  • Remove fish from the skillet to a plate.
  • Turn down the heat to low. Add the white wine (1/4 cup) to the skillet to deglaze, stirring up any browned bits. Continue heating until almost all the wine has evaporated.
  • Add one more tablespoon of butter to the skillet. Once it's melted, add the minced garlic (2 cloves) and fresh herbs (1 tablespoon each of oregano, thyme, and parsley) to the skillet and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Add the chicken broth (1/2 cup) and bring to a simmer.
  • Turn off heat and stir in remaining 1 tablespoon butter and lemon juice (about 2 tablespoons). Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
  • Serve sauce on top of fish.


  • For a paleo option, you can use almond flour or coconut flour instead of all purpose flour, and or more olive oil instead of butter.
  • For a dairy-free option, substitute the butter with more olive oil or ghee.
  • I used oregano, parsley, and thyme because it's what was growing in my garden. You can feel free to use other fresh herbs- dill, basil, or cilantro would be delicious as well!
  • Sea bass comes in all kinds of different thicknesses. You may have to adjust the cooking time if yours are especially thick- mine were thin.
  • The provided nutrition information does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. Feel free to calculate it yourself using this calculator or by adding the recipe to Yummly.


Calories: 318kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 158mg | Sodium: 883mg | Potassium: 480mg | Vitamin A: 585IU | Vitamin C: 6.7mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 2.2mg