Fried fish fillets with herbs and lemon

Fried fish fillets with herbs and lemon

By
From
River Cottage Every Day
Serves
2
Photographer
Simon Wheeler

This simple dish relies on a sort of deconstructed salsa verde – a mixture of fresh herbs, lemon and capers – which is thrown in with the frying fish to flavour it and create an instant, aromatic sauce. It is one of my favourite ways to cook white fish fillets, but it also works with fillets of trout and salmon, and the real ‘oilies’, such as mackerel and sardines/pilchards.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 fish fillets
a dash sunflower or groundnut oil
20g unsalted butter, at room temperature
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

For the herb mix:

Quantity Ingredient
1 small garlic clove
a small bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves only
10-12 basil or mint leaves
2 teaspoons capers, rinsed and dried
1 small lemon, Juiced and finely grated zest
a little rapeseed or olive oil

Method

  1. Start with the herb mix: chop the garlic finely, then add the parsley, basil or mint, capers and lemon zest to the board and chop the whole lot together fairly finely. Scrape the mixture into a bowl, add the lemon juice, some salt and pepper and just enough oil to give a thick purée; set aside.
  2. To cook the fish, heat a little sunflower or groundnut oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Season the fish fillets with salt and pepper. When the pan is hot, put the fish in, skin-side down, and fry for about 3 minutes, until crisp and well coloured underneath. Turn it over carefully and cook for another 1–2 minutes.
  3. When the fish is just about done, add the butter and the herb mix. As the butter melts, stir it together with the herbs and spoon them over the fish in the pan – this last stage of cooking, with the herbs and butter going over the fish, should last only 30 seconds or so.
  4. Transfer the fish to warm plates, spoon all the buttery, herby juices over and serve straight away – with a generous spoonful of creamy mash and perhaps a green salad to follow.
Tags:
River Cottage
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
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