Pan fried fish can be as good or better than deep fried fish...
depends on how you do it. I like a pan fried fish with no flour or
coatings other than seasonings. This pan fried fish recipe is not
blackened fish, but the fish is browned.
I use a big non-stick pan, you can use a cast iron skillet if you
wish. Remember; sticking can be a problem if the pan is not prepared
correctly. I prepare my pan by putting it on a high fire and
spraying a light coat of cooking spray on it. Let it to continue to
heat until it just starts to smoke. Then turn the fire off and let
it cool for at least 10 minutes. You can do the same thing with a
cast iron skillet.
I used catfish filets to do this, you can use any fish you can
Emeril's Fish Rub (or any combination of seasonings you like)
2 tbs. butter
Season all the filets by sprinkling the seasoning and pressing it
into the meat.
Get a spatula to handle the fish. If you have 10-12"
filets cut them in half unless you're using a fish spatula; it's all
about handling the fish easily without breaking it up when it's
almost cooked. You may also want to use a splatter shield.
Before we start, understand that we're going to work with heat
Heat the pan on medium heat and add the butter. When the butter
is melted put some fish in the pan. Leave it on one side for about
three to four minutes. Move them around every so often to
assure they're not sticking Flip one piece to check the brownness. If
it's partially browned flip them all and continue to cook until the
other side is browned. NOW, we've got our browning done so let's
finish the cooking. Turn the heat down to med-low and continue to cook
until it's done. When is it done? How can I tell?
Let's stop here... cooking time depends on the thickness of the
Testing the degree of doneness is as simple as taking your
spatula and gently pushing on the thickest part of the filet in the
spinal bone line. If you actually have to push it's not done. If you
very gently push and the meat separates... it's done.
Here's what it looks like in pictures. This the level of brown I
like. Notice the amount of oil in the pan...very little.
Here the fire is lower and I'm testing doneness on the spinal
line (the thickest part of the meat) with the spatula.
Once it's out of the pan put six or eight drops of lemon juice on
each piece. Not to much, you just want a tinge of lemon flavor. If
you have other sauces you like on your fish go for it. This recipe
is not a secret seasoning venture but more so a "how to"
I didn't tell you this up front but the side for this meal was
angel hair pasta.
Boil the pasta on the side and strain.
Here's what I'm thinking... We have a pan with butter and fish
grimeens (bits of browned meat left after cooking)... not letting
that go to waste right? I sautéed some
purple and green onion in the fish pan. Threw the pasta in and sprinkled a little
Cajun seasoning and parsley flakes on it. Stirred it up and
"bingo"... a simple side.
Enjoy your meal!