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Perfect Pan-Fried Fish

Perfect Pan-Fried Fish

My family comes from the coastal state of Orissa in India and I've grown up eating lots of fresh seafood. Fried fish is a family favorite. Cooking fish seems so much more intimidating than it actually is. If you grasp the few basic truths about cooking fish, you can have the crispy skin and buttery center right at home. Of course, I've kept my seasonings here very simple but you can easily improvise and add whatever else you like. It's really more about the technique than anything else.

So what are these simple truths? a) Make sure your fish isn't cold - take it out of the fridge and bring it to room temperature. b) Pat it down with a paper towel to remove the moisture. c) And lastly, make sure the pan is very hot before you add the fish. Generally, if you stick to there three rules, your fish won't break or stick to the pan. Oh also...use a little bit of Pam. That feels like cheating but it's my secret weapon. 

I served this trout with roasted acorn squash and some wheat berry salad. I'll be sharing those recipes soon!



  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 fillets of trout (or any other mild but firm fish)
  • Pam cooking spray
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lemon or lime wedges to serve


  1. About 15-20 minutes before cooking, remove the fish from the fridge and bring to room temperature. Pat dry the fillets with a paper towel.
  2. Heat up a stainless steel pan or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. The pan is hot enough if the oil starts to smoke. 
  3. Add the trout skin side down, press down once with your spatula, and cook for 5 mins. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Spray the top of the fish with a little Pam and flip the fish over to cook the other side. Season again with salt and pepper. Lower the heat a little bit and leave in the pan for 5-6 mins.
  5. Turn off the heat and leave the fish in the pan for 3-4 mins before serving. Squeeze a little lemon or lime juice and eat!
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