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How to Make Fantastic Pan Seared Fish

Many people want to eat healthier but the thought of cooking fish scares the heck out of them.

We’re here to make it easy.

Cooking fish fillets in a pan is one of the simplest cooking methods you’ll find.

Best of all, your meal can turn out both health and tasty.

So let’s learn how to pan sear fish!

Pan Seared Fish

Let’s start with what to buy.

When purchasing fish from a fish counter or fish market, look for fillets with a mild smell. Fresh is preferable, though frozen and defrosted is very common. A strong “fishy” or strong ocean smell is an indicator that the fish is not fresh.

Thin fillets, like tilapia or sole, will require less cooking time and are more prone to breaking when flipped. Thicker fillets like halibut, sea bass, or cod are much sturdier and will hold together better. Fish steaks like swordfish or salmon require much longer cooking times, about 8-10 minutes per inch of thickness.

Step 1 – Use a sharp knife to trim the fish of any undesired skin. Most fish can be eaten with the skin on. This is a matter of personal preference. If you choose to cook your fish with the skin on, sear the skin side first.

Step 2 – Season both sides of each fillet with your desired seasonings or immerse in a marinade for up to 15 minutes.

You can use seasonings as simple as salt, pepper and lemon juice or get much more creative.

Check out the video below for tips and details about seasonings and marinades.

Step 3 – Heat a heavy skillet over high heat. Once heated, add in cooking oil and let heat briefly until shimmering, about 1 minute.

Step 4 – Lay fillets carefully into the hot oil. Cook the fish 2/3 of the way through.

Step 5 – Once fish is 2/3 of the way through cooking time, flip and continue cooking until done.

Cooking Times for Fish

Step 6 – Sprinkle your choice of lemon juice, lime juice, vinegar, etc., over fillets. You always want to finish cooking fish with acid, like lemon juice.

Step 7 – Check fish to see if it is cooked through.

Actual cooking time will depend on how thick the fillet is. The fish should no longer be translucent and should flake easily with a fork.
If it needs additional time, lower the heat to medium and continue cooking until done.

Then eat and enjoy!