Crispy Pan Fried Fish

dinner, goto


2 thin 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)

1 tsp paprika , optional (Note 2)

1 1/2 - 2 tbsp oil, enough to mostly thinly cover base (I use vegetable or canola)


Lemon wedges

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 (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 3)
Heat a heavy duty 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. Cook for 2 minutes until golden and crisp, pressing down gently, then flip. If it's browning too quickly, just remove from the stove briefly. Cook the other side for 2 minutes until crisp then remove.

Serve immediately with lemon wedges and garnished with dill or parsley, if using. It starts to lose crispiness after 5 minutes.


From the site: 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 (crispy skin isn't as good in flimsy non stick pans). 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! 🙂