Tonight's dinner: Pan fried sea bass with brown butter, capers, anchovy and fresh herbs 

Serve the fillets with a few steamed new potatoes and a green salad
Serve the fillets with a few steamed new potatoes and a green salad Credit: Eleanor Steafel

When grappling for inspiration for a quick, easy dinner, most of us (myself included) reach for some sort of carb. Pasta, stuff on toast, a jacket potato — they are the cornerstones of the weekday supper. But there are very few things which will cook quicker than a pan-fried fillet of fish. Dusted with flour for perfectly crispy skin and doused in the most deliciously salty, herby brown butter, this dish will transport you to all the best holiday meals you've ever had. 

Serve it with a green salad and a few new potatoes or some good bread for mopping. 




  • Sea bass fillets, skin on (as many as you think you can eat - one is often not quite enough, I find)
  • 1 tbsp flour 
  • Olive oil 
  • 50g butter 
  • 1 tbsp capers 
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • 2 anchovy fillets 
  • A handful of parsley, roughly chopped
  • A handful of basil, roughly torn
  • A lemon, cut into wedges
Add the herbs at the end so they stay nice and fresh Credit: Eleanor Steafel


  1. Warm a plate in the oven on a low heat. 
  2. Dust the skin side of the fillets with flour and a little salt. 
  3. Set a large frying pan over a medium-high heat with a splash of oil. When the pan is hot, place the fish skin side down in the pan and fry for two minutes, then flip over and fry for another two minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside on the warmed plate (not in the oven, or the fish will overcook). 
  4. Put the butter, capers, garlic and anchovies in the pan and swirl around to melt the anchovies and caramelise the garlic. When the butter has melted and everything is smelling amazing, turn the heat off and chuck the herbs in. 
  5. Spoon the hot butter and herbs over the fish, and serve with wedges of lemon.