How to Pan Fry Fish

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Pan frying is an easy and delicious way to prepare fish. Choose thin fillets for the most effective process, and be sure to use clean oil and the freshest fish. Pan frying a decent-sized fish should take no more than about five minutes.

Things You'll Need

  • Fish
  • Seasonings
  • Batter
  • Pan
  • Oil
How to Pan Fry Fish
How to Pan Fry Fish (Image: Lark Gillespie)

Step 1

Use a good quality oil with a high smoke point. Avoid virgin or extra virgin olive oil. Use plain old olive oil or, for higher temperature frying, light olive oil. Other types of oil, such as almond oil, can be used to give an interesting taste. If you want something cheap, corn oil is a good choice.

How to Pan Fry Fish
How to Pan Fry Fish (Image: Lark Gillespie)

Step 2

If the fish are frozen, thaw them first. Use cold running water or leave it in the refrigerator overnight.

How to Pan Fry Fish
How to Pan Fry Fish (Image: Lark Gillespie)

Step 3

Use thin pieces of fish. For pan frying, the thinner the better. Usually, you want the fish to be 1 inch thick or less.

How to Pan Fry Fish
How to Pan Fry Fish (Image: Lark Gillespie)

Step 4

Use breading if you want to. With basic ingredients such as eggs, milk, bread crumbs, and lemon, there are dozens of ways to prepare your fish.

How to Pan Fry Fish
How to Pan Fry Fish (Image: Lark Gillespie)

Step 5

Bring the oil up to temperature. Depending on the stove you use, you should set the dial to medium or medium-high.

How to Pan Fry Fish
How to Pan Fry Fish (Image: Lark Gillespie)

Step 6

Add a few fish or fish pieces. Each piece of fish should have enough room to sit on the bottom of the pan and you should be able to easily flip them.

How to Pan Fry Fish
How to Pan Fry Fish (Image: Lark Gillespie)

Step 7

Flip the fish when the bottom is getting brown. Times vary widely between fish, but it shouldn't take longer than five minutes or so to pan fry a fish.

How to Pan Fry Fish
How to Pan Fry Fish (Image: Lark Gillespie)

Step 8

Remove the fish and place them on a piece of paper towel. This will remove excess oil.

How to Pan Fry Fish
How to Pan Fry Fish (Image: Lark Gillespie)

Step 9

Season the fish to taste. Use salt, pepper, paprika, lemon, or any other seasonings you desire.

How to Pan Fry Fish
How to Pan Fry Fish (Image: Lark Gillespie)

Step 10

Serve the fish while they are still hot.

How to Pan Fry Fish
How to Pan Fry Fish (Image: Lark Gillespie)

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Tips & Warnings

  • Fresh fish will give you the best tasting final dish.
  • Be careful to not start the oil burning. If it begins to smoke, remove the pan immediately from the fire and place it on an unoccupied burner.
  • Be sure to use clean oil. Dirty oil smokes a lot and gives the fish a bad taste.

References

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