Crispy Skin Black Sea Bass with Avocado, Tomatillo and Fennel Relish

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 25 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 2 servings
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1 medium fresh tomatillo, husk removed, rinsed well, cut into small dice

1/2 large ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into small dice

1/2 serrano, seeded and cut into fine dice

1/4 small head fennel, cut into julienne

1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced against the grain

1 tablespoon canola oil

Juice of 1/2 fresh lime

Touch of red wine vinegar


Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Crispy Skin Fish:

Canola oil

1 black sea bass, cut into 4- to 6-ounce fillets, skin on, slits cut into skin

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon butter

Extra-virgin olive oil, for finishing


  1. For the relish: Combine the tomatillo, avocado, serrano, fennel and onions in a medium bowl. Drizzle with the canola oil, lime juice, vinegar and honey. Season with salt and pepper, and fold in the cilantro.
  2. For the crispy skin fish: Heat a saute pan over medium-high heat until very hot. Add some canola oil and heat until hot and smoking. 
  3. Meanwhile, sprinkle the fish on both sides with salt and pepper. Lay the fish in the hot pan, skin-side down, pressing down with your fish spatula. Add the butter to the pan and let melt. When the edges of the fish look golden brown and crispy, after 3 minutes, flip the fish. Reduce the heat and cook another 2 minutes. Using a spoon, baste the crispy skin with some of the butter.
  4. Remove the fish to a plate. Serve with the relish. Finish with some extra-virgin olive oil.