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The Instacart guide to sea bass

About sea bass

We all know that seafood is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and essential vitamins like D and B12, so it's safe to say a little bit of fish every so often is a good thing. Part of a healthy diet, fish comes in a variety as wide as the ocean. Sea bass is a name given to various fishes in the family of Serranidae, which are found in shallow areas with warm and tropical waters. There are about 475 species within the sea bass family. These fish are popular for those who enjoy fishing for food or sport.

Some fish in the sea bass family include Goliath Grouper, Coney, bass, and sea bass. These fish all have a similar body shape that is elongated with a large mouth and small scales. They feed on other sea life like crustaceans and small fish, while their size varies from 6-9ft and 500-900lbs. The types of sea bass sold in stores include Grouper, Black sea bass, and Graysby.

With so many different types of sea bass available, it can be a bit confusing what kind of fish you're buying or want to cook. Sometimes fish are marketed as bass when they're not even in the same family. In the U.S., you are more likely to buy a fish that is similar to bass but unrelated to the bass family, like the Chilean sea bass. 

Since there's a lot of information about sea bass in general, we'll go over the similarities of authentic sea basses, the not-so-authentic ones, and some tips for cooking this delicious fish. It's a versatile fish that is not just restricted to upscale restaurants and can be cooked at home.

There is a variety of fish that are not necessarily closely related to the sea bass family, but that are often sold as bass. The most popular include:
  • European Sea Bass: This silvery fish is found off the coasts of Europe and North Africa and farmed in Greece and Turkey. They are also known as Branzino and are usually served whole.
  • Striped Bass: Native to the East Coast of North America, these fish have dark stripes and spawn in rivers and lakes. Most fish of this breed are farm-raised for consumption in the U.S.
  • Hybrid Striped Bass: A cross between the striped and white basses, these fish are raised in freshwater ponds. You will recognize them by their distinct stripes.
  • Black Sea Bass: Found on the east coast of North America, the Black sea bass is part of the Grouper fish family and is small with black scales. It has firmer meat than striped bass but a similar mild taste.
  • Chilean Sea Bass: This fish's name contains two misnomers. Not only is Chilean sea bass not sea bass; it also isn't fished in Chile. Sometimes known as the Patagonian toothfish, it has white flesh, large flake, and high oil content.
  • White Sea Bass: This fish is found in Pacific waters. It's commercially harvested and is popular as a sport fish.
  • Barramundi: Named after the Australian aboriginal word meaning "large-scaled fish," the Barramundi has a mild flavor and high oil content with moist flesh. It's a popular fish in Australia and is both affordable and delicious.

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