Pan Seared Fish

This is more a technique than a recipe. Using a very sharp knife, make Xs in the skin. This will prevent the fish from curling and allow the skin to get nice and crispy.

A cast iron skillet and a fish spatula are key to getting a nice crispy skin and for easy flipping.

  • 2 6-ounce fish fillets: black bass, fluke, striped bass, tilefish, snapper or salmon, 1 inch thick
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil or grapeseed oil
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme, tarragon, chives or sorrel
  • Juice  of one lemon and  lemon wedges for garnish

Pat fillets dry with a paper towel. Season on both sides with salt and pepper.

Heat a heavy 10-inch cast-iron skillet over high heat. When the pan is hot, add the oil.

Place the fillets in the pan, skin side down. Lower heat to medium and allow to cook and sizzle (we call this “hard”) until fish is golden and caramelized around edges, about  3 minutes.

Flip the fillets and add butter and thyme to pan. Squeeze lemon juice over fish and allow the butter and lemon to melt together with the herbs.Baste the fish with the butter mixture.

Depending on the thickness of your fish, take a few more minutes to cook.

Plate the fish and spoon the butter mixture over it. Serve with lemon wedges.

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