Wednesday, June 18, 2014

How to Pan Fry Fish Fillets

How to Pan Fry Fish Fillets
For some reason I fall into the trap of associating cooking fish with being overly complex. I believe my reality about cooking fish has been distorted by watching too many chefs prepare it on cooking shows.

Their fancy creations make cooking fish look complicated when in fact pan frying fish fillets is straight forward, fast and flavorful. Perfect for weeknight cooking!

Here are the steps I use to pan fry frozen sole fillets.

Thaw First

When using frozen fish fillets, thaw them first. Leave them in the fridge overnight or thaw them under cold running water for about 10 minutes.

How to Pan Fry Fish Fillets Step 1: Remove excess moisture from fillets
To remove the excess moisture from the fish fillets, I give them a spin in my salad spinner. Saves using loads of paper towel. Works great! 

Dredge in Flour

Once the excess moisture is removed, dust each fillet in flour.

How to Pan Fry Fish Fillets Step 2: Dredge fish fillets in flour
For extra flavor I use 1/2 cup all-purpose flour and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour. Then I season it with one tablespoon of Italian Seasoning. I follow my favorite television chef's (Michael Smith) advice. His tip is to use 1 tablespoon of your favorite fish seasoning per cup of flour. I also add a few big pinches of salt and pepper.

Cook in Butter and Oil

From past cooking experiences I've learned butter burns easily.

Step 3: How to Pan Fry Fish Fillets: Melt butter in skillet
To prevent butter from burning, without losing the butter flavor, melt 1/2 tablespoon of butter in 1/2 tablespoon of cooking oil over medium heat. Add the fish fillets to the skillet once the butter has melted.

How to Pan Fry Fish Fillets Step 4: Cook 2 to 3 minutes per side
Sole fillets are thin and cook quickly. Two to three minutes per side is all it takes.

How to Pan Fry Fish Fillets
Four to six minutes later you have delicious golden brown fish fillets like these!

Drizzle with Lemon Juice

To make a quick sauce, add more butter to the pan along with freshly squeezed lemon juice, after you've removed the fillets. Stir over medium-low heat scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.

How to Pan Fry Fish Fillets Step 5: Drizzle with fresh lemon juice
Or simply drizzle the cooked fillets with fresh lemon juice - much easier. Pairs really well with the Italian seasoning!!!

How to Pan Fry Fish Fillets

Brent Garell from Cookapalooza

Hi I'm Brent! The recipes you will find on this blog, and in my weekly updates, are easy-to-make dinners my family and I have enjoyed. You will also find favorite weekend recipes, along with a few greatest hits from my cookbook - and some boiled down wisdom on how to save a ton of time (and frustration) when cooking.   

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  1. Yum! Great tutorial for cooking fish and whipping up a pan sauce! Now I need to get my hands on some so I can give it a go!

  2. great advice! Thank you for sharing! I was looking for an easy way to cook frozen fish fillets. Thanks again :)