Grape seed oil has minimal flavor on its own and has a high smoking point, so it’s great for searing. Get the skillet nice and hot, then add the oil. Dry the sea bass well with paper towels and salt and pepper it right before you put it in the pan. I salt and pepper just one side first, the side that’s going down on the pan. Then salt and pepper the other side when you are ready to flip the fish over. A dry fish means better searing and less splatter.
When you lay the fish in, press on it to make sure the entire surface of the fish is touching the pan to get an even sear. Let it sit, unmoved for about 2 minutes. I am always tempted to move it or lift it up to check on it. It’s hard not to do this, but it is also key to a good even sear. Flip the sea bass over and repeat for the other side.
I made a little coconut red curry sauce to go with the fish by combining the following ingredients and simmering for a few minutes.
5.6 oz can of unsweetened coconut milk
1 1/2 tsp Thai red curry paste
4 fresh kaffir lime leaves
2/3 tsp fish sauce