Crispy Pan Fried Fish


  • ½ cup soybean oil (aka vegetable oil), for frying
  • 3-4 tablespoons soybean oil, enough to cover base of pan about ¼-inch
  • 2 (5-8 ounce) fish fillets, best no thicker than a half inch thick, skin on or off
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika, or substitute with favorite herbs and seasonings
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Lemon wedges
  • Finely chopped parsley or dill
  • Tartar sauce


  1. Pat the fish dry on both sides.  Season the fish well on both sides with salt and pepper.
  2. Mix the flour with paprika (or, seasonings of choice), ground garlic in shallow bowl.  Coat fish on both sides with flour, pressing down into flour mixture so it adheres, but shake to remove excess flour.
  3. Heat a heavy-bottomed sauté pan over medium high heat and add oil.  Swirl oil to coat the pan – it will heat within seconds.
  4. Add fish – it should sizzle when touches pan.  Cook for 2 minutes until golden and crisp, pressing down gently, then flip with a hard metal spatula.  Cook the other side for 2 minutes until crisp then remove from pan when golden brown. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.
  5. If it’s browning too quickly, just remove pan from the stove briefly.  If it’s stuck, don’t flip or move – it will release naturally once cooked to a golden brown (too much moving will break fish apart).
  6. Serve fish hot with lemon wedges, garnished with dill or parsley, and a tartar sauce if using.