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Grilled sea bass on a bed of pearl couscous with chorizo, garnished with a lemon slice and fresh herbs

Pan seared Sea bass with Pearl Couscous and Chorizo

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  • Author: Margaretha @myconvenientkitchen
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


This pan seared Sea bass (or also known as Barramundi in Australia) with Pearl Couscous is a flavour-packed recipe that’s simple to whip up and super tasty.


Units Scale

For the Sea bass / Barramundi:

  1. 4 sea bass fillets or barramundi
  2. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  3. Salt and pepper to taste
  4. 1 lemon, sliced (for garnish)

For the Pearl Couscous:

  1. 1 cup pearl couscous
  2. 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  3. 1/2 cup diced chorizo sausage
  4. 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  5. 1 small onion, finely chopped
  6. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  7. 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  8. 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  9. Salt and pepper to taste
  10. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  11. Fresh parsley for garnish (optional)


First prepare the chorizo and Couscous. Pan sear the sea bass just before serving.

For the Chorizo:

  • In a large skillet or pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add the diced onions and sauté for a few minutes until they become translucent.
  • Add the chorizo and cook until it becomes crispy and releases its flavourful oils, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Stir in the minced garlic, smoked paprika, tomato paste and cumin. Sauté for another minute or until fragrant.

For the Couscous:

  • In a separate pot, bring 2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth to a boil. Once boiling, add the pearl couscous and cook according to the package instructions, usually for about 8-10 minutes. Be sure to stir occasionally.
  • Once the pearl couscous is cooked and has absorbed the broth, combine it with the chorizo mixture. Mix everything together and let it cook for another 2-3 minutes, allowing the flavours to meld. If the mixture seems dry, you can add a bit of extra broth or olive oil. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.

For the sea bass:

  • Preheat your pan or cast iron skillet or pan to medium-high heat.
  • Season the fish with salt and pepper and brush them with olive oil to prevent sticking.
  • Pan sear the fillets for about 3 minutes per side, or until they are cooked through and have nice grill marks. Cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of the fillets.
  • To serve, plate the pearl couscous and chorizo mixture and place the grilled seabass on top. Garnish with fresh parsley and lemon slices.


Here are some tips to help you achieve perfectly pan seared sea bass / barramundi:

  1. Choose Fresh Sea bass:
    The key to a great seabass dish is to start with fresh fish. Look for fillets that are firm, moist, and have a mild ocean scent. Check for clear eyes and pink gills.
  2. Pat Dry:
    Before cooking, pat the fillets dry with a paper towel. Moisture on the surface can prevent the fish from getting a nice sear.
  3. Season Adequately:
    Season the fish with salt and pepper just before cooking. This helps enhance the natural flavour of the fish.
  4. Preheat the Pan:
    Use a non-stick skillet or a well-seasoned cast-iron pan. Preheat the pan over medium-high heat and add a small amount of cooking oil (like olive oil or butter).
  5. Sear Skin-Side Down:
    If your sea bass has skin, start by placing it skin-side down in the hot pan. This allows the skin to become crispy. Hold the fish down for a few seconds with a spatula to prevent it from curling.
  6. Don’t Fiddle:
    Once the fillets are in the pan, resist the temptation to move them around too much. Let them cook undisturbed until you see the edges turn golden brown. It usually takes about 3-4 minutes on the skin side.
  7. Flip Carefully:
    Gently flip the fillets over using a spatula. Be cautious, as the fillets can be delicate, and you don’t want them to break apart. Cook for another 2-3 minutes on the flesh side or until it flakes easily.
  8. Check for Doneness:
    Sea bass cooks quickly, so be cautious not to overcook it. The fish is done when it easily flakes with a fork, and the flesh is opaque and moist. Cooking times may vary depending on the thickness of the fillet.
  9. Rest Before Serving:
    Allow the cooked seabass to rest for a minute or two before serving. This lets the juices redistribute and keeps the fish moist.
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Category: Seafood
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean