Removing the Skin
You do not need to remove the skin from bass before cooking as the skin is edible. Removing the skin does allow you to remove the fat deposits just below the skin, which contain extra calories and may store contaminants. Remove the skin from bass fillets by slicing the skin near one end and gently pulling the skin up and away from the fillet. Run your knife between the skin and the flesh as necessary. If you are working with a whole fish, start removing the skin from the tail of the bass and work your way towards the head.
Pan frying crisps the exterior of bass fillets while leaving the interior moist. Pan fry your fish by heating 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil in a pan until the oil is hot. Place a wooden chopstick or the handle of a wooden spoon into the oil. When bubbles form around the wood, the oil is hot enough to use. Fry the fish on each side until the exterior is crisp and golden.
Foil Packet Cooking
Foil packets trap the moisture created by cooking and allow easy cleaning. Place the bass fillet in the center of a large rectangle of aluminum foil. Add sliced onions, diced tomatoes, chopped bell peppers and spices directly on top of the fish. Drizzle a olive oil or lemon juice over the fish. Wrap the foil tightly over the top of the fish and fold in the sides so that the ingredients will not leak. Bake or grill the foil packets at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 to 15 minutes. Be careful when opening the foil packet, as trapped steam will flood out and could burn.
Coat the bass with bread or cracker crumbs or crush cereal such as bran flakes, corn flakes or puffed rice cereals. Pat the bass dry with a paper towel to remove some of the excess water and dredge the fish fillets through milk or a beaten egg. Roll the bass in the crumbs to coat both sides of the fillet. Deep fry the bass in a wok full of hot oil or a deep fryer until the coating is crispy and browned. Other options include frying the breaded fillets or baking them in a 400-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes.
Test for Doneness
Bass is properly cooked when the flesh flakes apart easily when cut with the side of a fork. Raw bass flesh has a slightly transparent appearance but it becomes opaque and white when finished cooking. Undercooked bass may have a rubbery texture and a gamey flavor so make sure that the bass is finished cooking before eating.