Recipe video above. 3 key tips to ensure your pan fried fish comes out beautifully golden and crispy every time: pat the fish dry, press flour on well but shake excess off well, and heat the pan first before adding the oil or use a heavy duty non stick pan. With a good fish, well seasoned and crispy skin, I don't need a sauce....but I've added a couple in the notes just in case! :)
Keyword: cook fish on stove, pan fried fish
2thin fish fillets, around 150g/5 oz each, 1 cm / 2/5" thick, skin on or off(Note 1)
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup / 35g flour(plain/all purpose, wholemeal)
1tsppaprika, optional (Note 2)
2 - 3tbspoil, enough to mostly thinly cover base(I use vegetable or canola)
Finely chopped parsley or dill, for garnish, optional
Use scrunched up paper towels to pat the fish dry on both sides. This is especially important if you are using thawed frozen fish.
Season the fish well on both sides with salt and pepper (key!).
Mix the flour and paprika on a plate.
Coat fish on both sides with flour, pressing down firmly so it adheres, but shake well to remove excess. (Note 2)
Heat a heavy based skillet (normal or non stick) over medium high heat until you see wisps of smoke. Add oil and swirl to coat the pan - it will heat within seconds.
Add fish - it should sizzle straight away. Shake the pan lightly to move the fish. Cook for 2 minutes until golden and crisp, pressing down gently, then flip. Cook the other side for 2 minutes until crisp then remove.
If it's browning too quickly, just remove pan from the stove briefly. If it's stuck, don't move - it will release naturally once golden.
Serve fish immediately with lemon wedges and garnished with dill or parsley, if using. It starts to lose crispiness after 5 minutes.
1. Fish - This recipe will work with any fish fillet (skin on or off) but I tend to make it with thinner fillets - more crispy skin to flesh ratio, more evenly golden and crispy. I used silver dory in the video and half the photos.Make sure your fish has been pin boned (i.e. bones removed) and if there is skin, that the scales have been removed. Shop brought fish should come already prepared.2. Shaking off excess flour is important for crispy skin because otherwise, the excess flour crisps but then falls off when flipped. Also, excess flour burns in the pan and you get black bits on the fish.3. Sauces: I don't need anything more than a squeeze of fresh lemon with this dish, however, here are a few sauce options:
Simple Lemon Butter Sauce: Melt 50g/3tbsp salted butter, add 1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (or to taste).
(Rich) Lemon Cream Sauce: Simmer 1/2 cup cream over medium heat, add 1 tbsp butter, zest of 1/2 lemon and 1/2 tbsp lemon juice. Simmer for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened.
Asparagus, butter beans and peas in lemon butter sauce (pictured in post): Use Simple Lemon Butter above and add 3 tbsp water. Bring to simmer, add 2/3 cup drained canned white beans, handful of asparagus cut into 5 cm / 2" lengths, 1/4 cup frozen peas. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until asparagus is just cooked and liquid is thickened. Stir through 1 tbsp chopped dill, adjust salt & pepper to taste. Spoon onto plate, place fish on top. The sauce doubles as sauce for the fish.
It would also not be unheard of to serve this with tomato ketchup!4. Nutrition per serving, assuming 1.5 tbsp oil is used and all consumed (which it is not), skinless fish fillet.