Pan seared fish fillet. It’s what for dinner. Pronto. And it’s so easy to make and tastes so darn delectable with its lemon butter sauce that you’re going to completely forget it’s good for you. Here’s how to make it.
This pan seared fish fillet recipe shows you exactly how to make a restaurant-quality dinner in just 15 minutes. We’re talking shatteringly crisp skin and tender fish that’s not at all dry. The technique is surprisingly simple but the result is ridiculously good.–Angie Zoobkoff
Pan Seared Fish Fillet Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 10 M
- 15 M
- Serves 1 to 2
- 1 fish fillet, such as cod, snapper, sea bass, or salmon, with the skin on (about 8 ounces or 230 grams)
- Ghee or grapeseed oil
- 1 to 2 tablespoons ghee or unsalted butter (1/2 to 1 ounce; optional)
- 1/2 lemon
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1. Set a heavy cast iron or stainless steel skillet over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking, about 3 minutes.
- 2. While the skillet is heating, wash the fillet, then pat it really dry with paper towels. The drying part is critical, otherwise the skin won’t crisp. Season both sides of the fish fillet with salt and black pepper.
- 3. When the skillet is hot, carefully add just enough ghee or oil to evenly coat the skillet. Wait a few seconds for the oil to heat and then quickly add the fish, skin side down. The fillet will contract and curve upwards. When this happens, take a flexible spatula and press the entire fillet gently back down and hold for a few seconds to ensure even cooking and crisp skin all over. Let the fish cook without messing with it too much. Cook the fish until you can see a golden brown color on the edge of the skin and the edges of the fish flesh become opaque, 3 to 4 minutes. Carefully and gently use a spatula to lift up the fillet and flip it over. Add the butter, if using, and baste the fish until cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Gently transfer the fish to a plate and serve with a squeeze of lemon.