The secret to successful sea bass cookery is to not overcook it. Whichever of the following cooking methods you choose, your sea bass will be cooked when its flesh becomes opaque yet is still moist on the inside. Most sea bass and groupers should be cooked as skinless fillets, steaks, or chunks, as the skin is tough and strong tasting.
Place sea bass in a greased baking dish and place on a baking sheet. Chilean sea bass do well brushed with melted butter or oil and seasoned with salt and pepper. Other sea bass are good baked covered with a creamy sauce. Bake in a preheated 450°F (230°C) oven until done, about 10 minutes per inch (about 2.5cm) of thickness.
Place fillets or steaks directly on a greased grill, 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15cm) above prepared coals or fire. Cut Hawaiian sea bass and baquetta into 1-inch (about 2.5cm) squares and skewer for kebabs. Baste with butter, oil, or marinade. Cook until opaque and moist on the inside, 6 to 8 minutes.
Place seasoned and/or marinated sea bass on a well-greased broiler pan. Dredge Chilean sea bass in flour, cornmeal, or crumbs. Broil under preheated broiler about 4 to 5 inches (about 10 to 12.5cm) from heat. Cook until opaque and moist on the inside, 6 to 10 minutes.
Fry sea bass in a small amount of hot butter or oil, turning once halfway through cooking time. Cook until opaque and moist on the inside, 4 to 8 minutes.
Cut sea bass steaks or fillets into bite-sized pieces. Coat with cornstarch, and stir-fry gently and briefly in hot oil before adding to your favorite stir-fried vegetables.
Pour oil into a wok or deep fryer; it should be at least 1 1/2 inches (about 3.8cm) deep, and the cooker should be less than half full of oil. Heat oil to 375°F (190°C), using a thermometer to monitor temperature. Cut any type sea bass, with the exception of Chilean sea bass (a fatty fish, better cooked with dry heat), into similar-sized pieces, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches (about 3.2 to 3.8cm) thick. Dip in batter, drain, then slip fish into hot oil. Cook until brown, 2 to 3 minutes.
Bring poaching liquid, consisting of water, broth, and herbs and spices, to a simmer. Slip sea bass in, then cover pan and keep liquid at a simmer for about 8 minutes per inch (about 2.5cm) of thickness.
Place sea bass on a greased perforated rack over 1 to 2 inches about (2.5 to 5cm) of rapidly boiling water. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and keep water at a constant boil through cooking time, 8 to 10 minutes per inch (about 2.5cm) thickness of fish.