Salt and Vinegar Potato Chip Crusted Baked Sea Bass, a lighter healthier version of “fish and chips.”
Sometimes I do.
Yet from day to day, I try to avoid fried foods, and focus on getting lean protein and lots of veggies in my diet. I try to reserve heavy comfort foods and desserts for weekend splurges. Sigh…
Sometimes I get bored with lean healthy dishes. Don’t you? On these days I need a compromise to keep me on the straight and narrow.
My hubby Lt. Dan actually came up with the concept for today’s recipe, Potato Chip Crusted Baked Sea Bass. After tossing fish fillets with panko bread crumbs to give it a crispy exterior, he suggested we crust the fish with potato chip crumbs.
See folks? This is why I married him.
After I little thought, it dawned on me that Salt and Vinegar Potato Chips would offer all the flavor and appeal of classic fish and chips without all the fat and calories.
You get the crispy coating on the fish. You get the flavor of salty potatoes. And best of all, you get a punch of vinegar flavor, as if you’ve doused your fish and chips with malt vinegar.
Potato Chip Crusted Baked Sea Bass is a light healthy compromise I can live with.
Lean protein with only a little bit of naughtiness on top!
I went with sea bass because it is the most sumptuous buttery fish I can get my hands on here in the mountains of North Carolina.
Yes, it is expensive. Yet if you’ve ever tasted sea bass, you know it’s worth it. The luxurious texture and mild buttery flavor make it a stand-out against the striking flavors in the potato chips.
However, you can use this Potato Chip Crusted Baked Sea Bass recipe with any type of white fish you prefer… Halibut, cod, even catfish.
Simply brush the tops of the fish fillets with a little mayonnaise to act as the glue that holds the potato chip crumbs on top. Then salt and pepper.
Crush salt and vinegar potato chips into itty bitty pieces and press the top of each fish fillet into the crumbs.
Place them crust-side-up on a baking sheet and bake until just barley cooked through. All fish is the most flavorful and moist when it’s just cooked, not thoroughly cooked. Over cooking fish dries it out.
The oils in the potato chips help crisp the chips even a little more, creating a decadent crust with bold flavor.
Potato Chip Crusted Baked Sea Bass is not only a healthy alternative to classic deep-fried fish and chips, it’s a quick and easy dinner you can feel good about serving your family.
Potato Chip Crusted Baked Sea Bass
- 4 pieces sea bass (4-5 ounces each)
- 1 tablespoon low-fat mayonnaise
- 2 cups salt and vinegar potato chips (3/4 cup crushed chips)
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set the sea bass on the parchment and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Brush just the tops of the sea bass fillets with a thin layer of mayonnaise. Sprinkle the tops with salt and pepper.
- Then place the potato chips in a food processor and pulse until the chips are broken into fine crumbs. (You can also crush the potato chips by placing them in a large zip bag and crushing with a rolling pin.)
- Pour the crumbs on a plate. Press the top of each piece of sea bass into the crushed potato chips, then set them back on the parchment with the potato chip crust up.
Bake the sea bass for 10-15 minutes—10 minutes for thinner pieces and 15 minutes for pieces closer to 2 inches thick. Be very careful not to over to overcook. Sea bass is better enjoyed slightly undercooked than over cooked. Serve warm.
NOTE: If using a white fish other than sea bass, follow the same instructions and make sure not to over cook. Bake for 5-10 minutes for thin fish fillets, like mahi mahi, snapper, or grouper. Bake 10-12 minutes for thicker cuts of of fish like cod, and halibut. The fish should be flaking around the edges, yet still slightly soft in the middle.