Pan Fried Fish

Total Time:
30 min
15 min
15 min

2 servings

  • 1 large or two small skin-on fish fillets, about 8 ounces (rainbow trout, small salmon, brown trout)
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Flour for dredging
  • 2 tablespoon Canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1 lemon, juiced

Heat a heavy pan over medium high heat.

Season fish on meat side with salt and pepper. Lightly dredge fish in flour and shake off excess. When pan is good and hot, add Canola oil followed immediately by 1 tablespoon butter. As soon as foaming subsides, place fish in pan with the skin side down. Jiggle pan for the first 10 seconds to keep the fish from sticking. Cook until golden crust forms on meat. Carefully turn fish away from you and again jiggle pan for the first few seconds. Cook until skin turns golden brown. Remove to a warm plate.

Pour out the cooking fat, add remaining butter and quickly fry the capers. Remove pan from the heat, add lemon juice to pan and swirl. Pour sauce over the fish and serve.

View All

Cooking Tips
Loading review filters...

    62 Reviews
    5 62
    0/1000 characters
    Your Rating:
    Sort by: 
    This fish recipe was the best ever. I used Haddock, delicious!!!!
    This fish was excellent. My husband loved it too.
    I told my husband: "59 people reviewed this recipe and all gave it 5 stars". He said: "make is 60 because it's DELICIOUS!" And this is coming from a man nearly impossible to please! Yummy and super easy to make! (I used trout for this recipe 
    P.S. There is a mistake in the directions though, it tells you to first put it skin down on the skillet and wait until the meat gets golden brown....clearly, for that to happen you need to put it meat down first. So, meat down, then skin down - the most delicious thing ever!!!  
    Bon Appetit!
    really easy and tastes great. - some of that might have to do with the fact that my son had just caught in Irvine Lake in Orange County, CA - In order to prevent it from getting too brown - I had fairly fat fish - I finished them in a 375 degree over for about 4 minutes, until they flaked in the middle. I put four asparagus spears on the plate, put the fish over it and then the sauce. I put baby greens from my garden over that and topped it was a mayo/buttermilk/scallion/ shallot/lemon dressing - sorry, it's based on one of Emeril's recipe - anyway, it was as good, if not better, than any fish I gotten in a restaurant. thanks Alton.
    Wow! This recipe was wonderful. The fish was crispy & the sauce added a dimension of flavor that we loved. I followed Alton's recipe pretty closely, especially his technique of heating the pan and then adding the oil & butter. I have previously always heated the oil with the pan but this worked much better. I also changed the sauce slightly by using onions instead of capers, I didn't have any capers on hand. As well I used 1/4 cup white wine & 1/2 squeezed lemon instead of the whole lemon in the sauce. My husband raved about this meal, its' definitely a keeper.
    I set up an account with foodnetwork just to rate this recipe. IT IS AMAZING AND EASY!
    Best and easiest fillet recipe - simple and always works great. One thing to note that I didn't do correctly the first time is to make sure to carefully follow the directions about first frying it "skin side down". Then you "turn the fish" which places the skin side up and "cook until skin turns brown". It can be confusing because it takes a while for the skin to brown when it is no longer skin side down. But you have to be patient if you want it come out perfectly. Remember, follow the recipe exactly and wait until the "skin turns brown" as Alton Brown describes it and you won't be disappointed!
    this was delicious! Definitely recommend to even those who are terrible at cooking!
    I'm an oblivious idiot and this was delicious! Definitely recommend to even those who are terrible at cooking!
    Less is more, it's true. This is one of the most simple recipes, yet it's the best Pan Fried Fish recipe I have ever cooked. I did add one ingredient, however. I mixed Panko bread crumbs with the flour, so it was "extra" crunchy, as that's what my guys like. They LOVED this recipe. For a fried fish recipe, I will search no more. The sauce is the piece de resistance!! Bravo!
    I have to say... this is my first time cooking fish I was so damn nervous lol but I'm totally impressed. It was awesome I feel great haha I can't stop smiling the dish is so damn good. thanks so much
    I just came back from the lake with 5 nice trout and tried this recipe. It's simply the best I have ever tasted. Thanks Alton been a long time fan keep up the good work.
    I have never cooked fish before now. Thank you Alton
    this recipe is excellent! It is very easy to prepare
    and tastes really great. I used a couple of whiting
    fillets with the skin on and i mixed dill weed in with
    the flour and it turned out really well. I made a tartar
    sauce out of mayonaise and Caussen kosher dill pickles i cut up
    and put some dill weed in with that and mixed it all together
    and it complimented the pan fried fish beautifully
    I will deffinately be shareing this one with my friends.
    well done Alton.
    Wow, we did this with Grouper and my wife thinks I am a chef now. This was just perfect, neat and easy. Try a little white wine while cooking and with the capers. The wine clears the fish from sticking so much to the pan and gives you more crunchies. May have to have this again tomorrow - 3/26/12
    A perfect 5 stars after 47 reviewers? I had to try this recipe, and I'm glad to bump up the total to 48 extremely pleased reviewers. I love fish but always shy away from bringing it home because it never seems to turn out right for me; an unpleasant meal and lots of money wasted on an expensive piece of fresh fish. But after this recipe, I'll be bringing home lots and lots of trout and other fish to try. Thank you, Alton Brown and fellow gourmands! 
    Easy and incredibly good. Will definitely make again.
    Best fish dish I have ever made. Simple, quick and delicious!! I dusted the fish with Old Bay, salt and pepper and then used 1/2 Tablespoon of butter and 1 1/2 Tablespoons of chicken broth instead of the remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter for the sauce. Amazing taste with fewer calories. I have also tried this with Haddock, Halibut and Tilapia. Very versatile recipe!! Delish!!!!!
    Why go to a restaurant when you can prepare trout like this??? Fantastic! I prepare this at least once every two weeks. Thanks!
    Excellent recipe. I used it on steelhead trout and it turned out perfect. This tastes like something I would order in a restaurant.
    Really savory and flavor-ful way to cook fish, and really easy too. Thank you Alton!! :)
    I made the recipe as directed but skipped the caper sauce. I served this fish over Giada's spaghetti with garlic, olive oil, and red pepper flakes. I added the capers to the pasta along with a pad of butter and it was a fantastic combo!
    Really yumming and quick.
    Alton you are the greatest! Your recipes never let me and my family down. Thank you!
    Quick and easy dish. I added Old Bay to the flour and skipped the caper-butter sauce to make light fried fish (cod) and chips.
    I'd make it again, if I need a quick fish dish.
    Made this tonight with a Salmon filet and really liked it, use real lemon juice :-)
    Used recipe to a tee except when adding capers also added two 'skinned' tomatoes and sauteed with capers and butter - good-good - good!!!
    Quick and easy recipe. Lemon caper sauce compliments the trout beautifully.
    Made this with salmon, both my girlfriend and I love it! We make this at least once a month now.
    I'm not much of a fish lover, but I've used this recipe with Tilapia and Red Snapper and it's now one of my favorite quick meals. So simple, yet so divine!
    Flag as inappropriate

    Thank you! your flag was submitted.