On one particular trip to Atlantic City to visit my mother-in-law, we stopped at one of the casino's restaurants. On that menu, that night was something that made both my husband and his mother laugh out loud: Sea Bass.
You see, my husband's stepfather was an immigrant from Italy. Although he came here as a young adult, he never lost his accent. This naturally led to some funny mispronunciation of certain English words.
One of which came up at dinner. If they ever went out to dinner he would always order the same thing: Sea Bass.
The problem was whenever he spoke those words, it came out "Sea Bastard."
When my husband was young, he heard this and responded, "Hey, those fish's parents could have been married. Don't judge."
He passed more than 10 years ago, so whenever one of them sees sea bass on the menu it makes them chuckle and think about better times.
Branzino at the end of the day is sea bass which by the way is different from Chilean Sea Bass. Chilean Sea Bass is an entirely different species: Patagonian toothfish.
Inside of this bag is 4 individually frozen fillets. They are not wrapped individually.
I was sharing dinner with my mother-in-law that evening so I had defrosted the entire bag.
If you've never had Branzino, then the texture is flaky and the taste is very mild and will take on the flavor of whatever you surround it with.
But the most important thing for me was making sure this didn't taste fishy as sometimes frozen fish can do that.
I can tell you it made for a pretty outstanding meal. I chose to give this a quick pan fry.
If you are into crispy skin or looking to get a sear going then be sure to use a paper towel to dry the fish before putting it into the pan.
Also, if you want a more impressive presentation where the skin is crispy, then be sure to plate this skin side up.
My mother-in-law was impressed with this tasting pretty close to fresh. I was too.
The only other key thing you need to know is with fish you want to go by cooking times by how it looks rather than what is printed on the package as each fillet was a different size.
For $9.99 for a one-pound bag, this is pretty well priced. If you need a recipe idea then here is one for Five Ingredient Crispy Skin Branzino.
Would I buy this again? Yes, I would buy Trader Joe's Branzino Fillets again. It made for a really solid and easy dinner.
Did you try it? Let me know what you think in the comments section!
A visual rundown
The bag of Trader Joe's Branzino Fillets:
The nutritional information, the ingredients, and instructions
After being cooked you get:
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Trader Joe's Branzino Fillets
Product Name: Trader Joe's Branzino Fillets
Product Description: Trader Joe's Branzino Fillets are a new addition to the frozen aisle.
Trader Joe's Branzino Fillets are new and make for a quick and easy dinner.
- Quick and easy fish that wasn't fishy in smell or taste
- Defrosted well
- Bag can be resealed in case you are only defrosting part of the bag.
- I haven't seen them in all stores yet.
- May or may not be a great price depending on where you live and availibility
- Cook by what you see rather than the directions as fillets can vary in size.
Thanks Brenda, you have never steered me wrong, I will be buying these. Great to have you posting again!
Have u tried the new sofritto seasoning yet? It's divine! That would be good on top of fish. Brush with olive oil. I like how they kept it unseasoned so you can go different approaches.
I went out and picked this up based on your review. We loved it. I pan fried with dusting of flour and made a quick pan sauce with some onions, lemon juice and chicken stock. Its mild and flaky but not as flaky and a bit firmer than cod or flounder. Delicious, love having a new fish in my rotation other than salmon.
Interesting that this fish has come all the way from Turkey to be with you, that’s a big trip for a fish
I have bought the Branzino several times and they are delicious. I usually just roast it with a bit of olive oil, lemon juice and fresh garlic. It comes out fantastic!
Thanks for sharing Sandi!