Orange Glazed Chilean Sea Bass with Dill Cucumber & Orange Champagne Relish

 One of my favorite restaurants of all time is Michael Mina in the Bellagio.

Scott and I got married in Las Vegas and each year for our first few anniversaries, we’d go to Vegas to celebrate.

A meal at Michael Mina is a must-do if you’re in Vegas. It’s fancy, it’s fabulous, and they have phenomenal food, including amazing Chilean sea bass.

I wanted to recreate something a little bit fancy at home because weekend trips to the Bellagio with a five year old in tow aren’t happening any decade time soon.

You know the old expression, champagne taste, beer budget? Champagne taste, champagne vinegar budget is fits, too.

I tossed oranges, cucumbers, dill, and ground mustard with agave and champagne vinegar and this little relish turned out so well that I plan to make it during warmer weather as a side salad or a topping for just about anything from tofu to grilled portobellos.

Champagne vinegar is about $10 dollars for a bottle and that last you many, many recipes.

Or you could make this relish with rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar.

The sea bass was perfect. Was it Michael Mina at home? I don’t want to give myself that much credit but Scott said it was the best at-home fish I’ve ever made. I’ll take it.

And I’ll take a trip to the Bellagio, too, thanks honey, love ya. I can dream.


Orange Glazed Pan-Seared Chilean Sea Bass with Mustard Dill Cucumber & Orange Champagne Relish (Gluten-Free)

Mustard Dill Cucumber & Orange Champagne Relish

2 tablespoons champagne vinegar (or rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar)

1 teaspoon agave (or 1 teaspoon sugar + 1 teaspoon water)

1/4 teaspoon ground yellow mustard

1/4 teaspoon dill

pinch of salt and pepper, to taste

Optional pinches: cayenne, garlic, onion, curry or a seasoning blend such as Mrs. Dash

1/2 cup diced cucumber

1/3 cup diced orange (half of an orange)

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except cucumber and orange, stir to combine. Add the sliced cumber and orange to the bowl, stir and toss to coat. Set aside. You can make this ahead of time, up to 24 hours in advance, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. The longer the relish sits, the more the cucumber and orange will release juices, but the more the flavors will marry.


Orange Glazed Pan-Seared Chilean Sea Bass

2 Chilean Sea Bass filets (mine were very generous, about 8 ounces each)

1/2 orange (the unused half from the relish)

2 tablespoons olive oil+

generous pinch of sea salt or kosher salt and pepper, to taste

fish sauce for final drizzle, optional

Spray a large, non-stick skillet with cooking spray, place the fish in it, squeeze the juice of half an orange evenly over the top of the fish, drizzle evenly with the olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover the skillet and cook fish over medium-high heat for approximately 6 minutes on the first side, flip and cook (covered) for  2-3 more minutes, adding more oil as needed. Since all pieces and cuts of fish differ, cooking times will vary. Fish is done when it’s opaque and white. Due to carry over cooking, the fish will continue to cook even after removed from the heat source; take care not to overcook while it’s still in the pan, as it will become tough and rubbery as it cools and when served. Allow fish to rest for a couple minutes, plate it, spoon relish over the top or on the side, drizzle with fish sauce if desired, and serve.

Note: If you can’t find Chilean sea bass or want to substitute a less expensive or easier to find fish, I suggest Mahi Mahi, red snapper, tuna steaks, tilapia, cod, or whatever looks good in the fish case. Or, try unbreaded frozen fish filets, which will likely be cheaper than fresh, and which can be prepared using this recipe after they’ve thawed.


If you’ve never had sea bass, it tastes like chicken because everything tastes like chicken, right?

Okay, no, it does not taste like chicken. It has an ever-so-slightly sweet undertone and it’s not “fishy”. It’s not a particularly strong-flavored fish like salmon or tuna can sometimes be with their very distinctive flavor. Rather, it’s neutral but in a perfectly understated way.

It’s also a fairly firm and hearty fish and not flaky or too delicate and stands up very well to pan searing.

I simply drizzled olive oil and the juice of half an orange over the fish, seasoned with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, and cooked over medium high heat, flipping once.

While the fish is cooking, you can make the relish, or if you plan ahead, making the relish up to 24 hours in advance is not only okay, it’s preferred because the flavors have time to marry.

After the fish was done cooking, I drizzled some fish sauce over the top, added the relish and a side salad, and dinner at Michael Mina’s at my house on a Monday night was served.

This was a splurgey dinner, but I think it’s important every now and then to keep dinners from feeling humdrum and this sure beats frozen corn dogs on a stick.

Plus, meals like these are reminders of fun times and delicious meals Scott and I used to eat out at fancy restaurants.

The family could have torn through another $50 dollars worth of sea bass if I had it, but I didn’t.

So we moved onto dessert.

Other fish and seafood recipes include:

Pan Seared  Caribbean Citrus Mahi Mahi with Brown Rice Noodles

Pan Seared Lemon Pepper Grouper with Sweet Dipping Sauce

Szechuan Shrimp Stir Fry with Fried Rice

Do you like fish and do you make it at home? (links welcome if you have a great recipe)

How often do you cook “fancier” food versus more “average” fare?

Life can be one series of busy weeks. It starts Monday, it ends Friday, it’s rush-rush-rush, blur-hurryup-fast-paced in between.

Sometimes it’s not only nice, it’s necessary to put down the frozen pizza box and venture into fancier territory.

And then when I’m done being fancy, making strawberry cake in a mug in the microwave is great. Everything has its place.

Thanks for the Enjoy Life Plentils Chips Giveaway entries

75 comments on “Orange Glazed Chilean Sea Bass with Dill Cucumber & Orange Champagne Relish”

  1. Looks like my kinda dinner- love it!

  2. My kind of meal! I love sea bass and this relish is making my mouth water like crazy!

  3. I am OBSESSED with Chilean sea bass – thank you for the recipe!

  4. I might not eat that at all, but it sure looks spectacular!

  5. LOVE this averie, aboslutely love everything about this (okay except the cucumber but I could easily sub that). And I’ve never had sea bass but I can tell I’d love it, it looks like a mild tasting fish and I do love most all fish these days. Bet the family loved this one!

  6. WOW! I can almost smell those oranges from you pics, great new way for me to try fish without a half inch of batter! Do you think it would work just as well with Mandarin Oranges? They had some ones fresh at the Asian market this week. Thanks!

  7. Mmmmm yum yum.
    love love love this!

  8. This sounds incredible! I need to try Sea Bass, and dill is a favorite of mine!

  9. You sure do cook some beautiful fish dishes! Seafood lover that I am, I will certainly try this–I just hope I can get sea bass (haven’t seen it at my usual grocery store in a few months). I make fish quite often–it cooks quickly and I usually do a simple seasoning so I think fish is a fast, easy meal. The relish looks like a perfect compliment–I can see why the meal got rave reviews!!!

    • Thanks for the compliments, Paula. Sea bass can be tricky to find sometimes but you could use the preparation technique with so many different types of fish like I mentioned if you want to make substitutions based on what’s available.

  10. This is why I love the new direction of your blog!! I am all about the desserts, clearly, but this right here? YES!!

    Simple, easy, elegant, and it looks like something someone slaved over. I am not a big fan of fishy fish at all, and I’ve never actually tried sea bass. Wait, no. I had some on a beach in Costa Rica. I bet this dinner came together super fast too!

    That relish has my name all over it! I can see that going with so many things – roasted/grilled veggies, stuffed into mushrooms and baked, on chicken, as a side. It makes me think of BBQs. Gah, I can’t wait for summer…

  11. I thought you were deathly allergic to seafood and it sent you to the hospital in a Thai restaurant??

  12. You’re eating fish…oh my gosh!

    had no idea!

    I am TOTALLY craving fish right now so DANGIT woman!!!!

    I think I have some white fish in the freezer so I may have to be creative and make something fancy for myself.


  13. MMMMM I want to try that Chilean Sea Bass recipe. Again, thanks for keeping the gluten-free people in mind :)

  14. Gorgeous plate of food Averie! Definitely looks like a restaurant-quality meal. We just went to Vegas for the first time last summer and absolutely loved it. We’re already planning a return trip :)

  15. Delicious relish … I love to cook and think I am good at it … however I do not or at least am not confident in my fish making abilities … if there is a seafood or fish recipe to be cooked or cooked with lime or citrus I am your gal, but fish itself … I am not so confident … I must try your gorgeous recipe!

    • You are an amazing cook & anyone who can just whip up a batch of jelly or anything else you make at the drop of a hat can handle fish. I never used to be confident either but seriously, put it in a pan, 6 mins first side, 2-3 mins next side, done (for thicker fish) or 4-5 and then 1-2 mins for thinner cuts. So easy!

  16. Dill is (hands down) one of my very favorite herbs; it’s so fresh and distinct. The orange, cucumber, dill combo sounds so exciting . . . sounds like I’m going to have to get some sea bass :)
    One last thing – I made a vegan version of your mug cake/muffin using your suggestions (flax egg and coconut oil) and it turned out great! Thanks for your help!

  17. “Champagne taste, champagne vinegar budget”—love it. I really wish I cooked more fish at home—frozen shrimp is about as fancy as it gets lately. I might have to change that soon. It’s been way too long since I’ve made pan-seared anything.

  18. Ok averie, this post belongs in a magazine. these pictures are incredible. oh, and the recipe isn’t so bad either… ;) i LOVE LOVE LOVE fish and that orange glaze has me falling off my seat! looks sooo scrumptious. :)

  19. This looks so yummy! I love the bright relish! Perfect light meal!

  20. I just made the relish because I happened to have all the ingredients (no fish unfortunately!) and
    Its AWESOME!! I ate it as salsa with chips. So good! Thank you! I can’t wait to try it on fish.

    • I think you get the award for the fastest recipe-making in recent memory…that was fast!

      And I am soooo glad you liked it! So good, easy, and just an all-around good thing to put on everything from chips to fish to grilled veggie burgers, right! :)

      Thanks for the feedback!!

  21. Hi Averie. This looks so fresh and healthy. I love eating dishes like this because I feel so good afterwards. I also think my kids would dig this as well.

  22. i am the biggest seafood fan you may ever meet….and this just made me salivate!!! need it now averie!

  23. Love this seafood recipe! We both had fish on the brain today

  24. I love cooking fancier dishes at home– even now, before we have kids, I’d almost rather do that than eat out. So many times, we go to eat out at a nice, fancy restaurant…and I’m a little disappointed by the food, and it feels like a waste of money!

    • The more I’ve learned to cook and the higher I set the bar, the more disappointed I am when I go out many times! For the money and time investment, I want it to be amazing and many times it’s just “okay”. I bet you’re the same way :)

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