Crispy Sea Bass with Green Curry Sauce

What is better on a rainy or snowy day than a hot bowl of soup?  This delicious and flavorful green curry sauce, made with coconut milk, gives you that same warmth that makes this a perfect fall meal.  It has a delicate flavor profile from the lemongrass and ginger.  If you like heat you could go with more curry paste but I went with mild to medium in this recipe.  I chose sea bass for this recipe because that’s what I found fresh and wild caught at my grocery store.  You could use halibut or any other fish you like, preferably with the skin on to achieve a crispy texture on both the top and bottom of the fish.  Also, the skin helps keep the filet together when searing.  If you aren’t a fish person you could do this exact recipe with a skin on chicken breast, but with a longer cooking time on the chicken than the fish.  You know the fish is perfect when you have that nice brown crust and the middle is just a little flaky.  It’s a crime to overcook good fish so this is the most critical step to a perfect dish.  Treat yourself.  You deserve it.

Curry Sauce

  1. Heat a medium sauce pan over medium heat.  Add 1 Tablespoon of the canola oil to the pan and then, when hot, add in the ginger, lemon grass, and shallot.  Sautee for 1-2 minutes until the ingredients starts to soften. 
  2. Next add in the garlic, sauté for a few seconds more and add the fish sauce, curry paste, brown sugar, and coconut milk.  Stir to combine and turn the heat down to medium low.  Let the mixture simmer at a low temp to combine the flavors without boiling, stirring often.  Taste for seasoning and add more curry if you like more heat or brown sugar if you like it sweeter.
  3. Cook for about fifteen minutes and then carefully puree the ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.  Return to pan or refrigerate until ready to serve.  Can be made up to 1 day ahead and gently reheated before serving.


  1. Pat the fish with a paper towel to dry it and then season generously with sea salt and pepper.  Brush the flesh side with a little bit of canola oil.
  2. Heat a heave skillet over medium high to high heat and add 1 ½ Tablespoons of the canola oil to the pan.  Make sure the pan is very hot and then add the fish skin side down.  Cook without moving about 4 minutes.  Turn the filets over to the flesh side and cook for another 3-4 minutes without moving.  Very important not to move the fish in order to get the nice crust on it.  Remove from the pan.


  1. Ladle the curry on the serving platter or individual plate and top with the fish.  Sprinkle cilantro and scallions around the plate and serve with lime wedges.
Curry Sauce

1 teaspoon ginger, chopped

1 lemon grass stalk (outer stalk removed), chopped

1 whole shallot bulb, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 teaspoons fish sauce

4-5 teaspoons green curry paste

1 Tablespoon dark brown sugar

1 13.5 oz can coconut milk

2 ½ Tablespoons canola oil, divided


1 lb Sea Bass (about ½ inch thick), skin on

¼ cup scallions, chopped (garnish)

¼ cilantro leaves (garnish)

1 lime, quartered (garnish)

Serves 4
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