Achiote-Grilled Sea Bass


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Cooking One on One

Cooking One on One

By John Ash

Published 2004

  • About

Here, I’ve marinated the fish in a paste made with annatto seeds, or achiote, before grilling. Annatto seeds are used extensively in Mexican and Caribbean cuisines. They contribute not only a bright orange-red color, but also a subtle flavor. You can buy prepared achiote pastes that are perfectly fine to use, though I’ve included a recipe. If you cannot find annatto seeds, substitute paprika, either sweet or hot. Citrus Salad is a fantastic accompaniment if you feel like doing a little something extra.


  • Achiote Paste
  • pounds fresh sea bass fillets or other firm-fleshed white fish or large scallops
  • 2 cups mixed young savory salad greens, such as arugula, watercress, and spinach
  • 1 large avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced


Prepare a Charcoal fire or preheat a gas or stovetop grill. Smear the Achiote Paste on both sides of the fish and marinate for 15 to 30 minutes. Quickly grill the fish over high heat until just done. Be careful not to overcook it. Arrange the greens on a serving platter or plates, top with the fish and avocado, and garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired.


If you like with fresh cilantro sprigs


Citrus Salad

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