How to Pan-Fry Ocean Perch

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Perch can be pan-fried with or without a batter coating.
Perch can be pan-fried with or without a batter coating. (Image: Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images)

"Ocean perch" is actually a rosefish or redfish and is not actually a perch at all; rather, it's closely related to haddock. Ocean perch is a saltwater fish found in the North Atlantic Ocean near North America and Europe. Ocean perch has a meaty, firm, white flesh that can stand up to many styles of cooking, including baking, deep-frying and pan-frying. Pan-fried ocean perch can be made two ways: with or without batter.

Things You'll Need

  • Perch fillets
  • Bowls
  • Paper towel
  • Skillet
  • Vegetable oil
  • All-purpose flour
  • Corn meal
  • Cornstarch
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Whisk
  • Fish spatula
  • Platter
  • Ground dill weed
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder

Battered Pan-Fried Ocean Perch

Place the perch fillets in a large bowl filled with ice and water. Refrigerate them for one hour. Remove them from the bowl and pat dry with a paper towel.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 to 1-1/2 cups of vegetable oil (depending on the size of the pan) until a 1/2-inch layer of oil forms in the skillet. Check to see if the skillet is ready for frying by dropping a couple of water droplets into the pan; if they sizzle, it's ready.

Mix 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup cornstarch, 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal, 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper in a bowl with a whisk.

Dredge the ocean perch fillets in the flour mixture and place them gently in the skillet, laying them in the pan away from you.

Pan-fry the fillets until lightly browned on one side -- about four minutes. Flip the fillets gently with a fish spatula and pan-fry the other side.

Remove the fried fillets from the oil and let them drain on a platter lined with a paper towel. Lightly sprinkle salt over them, if desired.

Pan-Fried Fillets Without Batter

Place the perch fillets in a large bowl filled with ice and water. Refrigerate them for one hour. Remove them from the bowl and pat dry with a paper towel.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. In a small bowl, add 1/4 cup of unsalted, room-temperature butter with 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper, 1 tsp. ground dill weed, 1 tsp. onion powder and 1 tsp. garlic powder. Blend well using a whisk.

Use your hands or a butter knife to spread the butter mixture on all sides of the fish fillets.

Place the buttered fillets gently into the skillet, laying them away from you.

Pan-fry the fillets until they easily lift away from the pan -- about three to four minutes. Flip the fillets gently with a fish spatula and pan-fry on the other side.

Remove the fried fillets from the skillet. Let the excess butter drip away through the fish spatula before placing the fillets on individual plates or a serving platter.

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