Read More

Pan-Frying

Pan-frying, also called shallow-frying or sautéing, is one of the quickest and simplest ways to prepare seafood – and one of the tastiest. The contrast of the moist flesh and crisp skin provides great texture and the butter or oil used to fry, plus simple seasonings such as salt, pepper and lemon juice, add great flavour.

Tips for Successful Pan-Frying:

  • Remove seafood from the fridge 15 – 30 minutes before cooking to allow it to come to room temperature. This is particularly important if fish is quite thick or being served rare.
  • Have garnishes, sauces and other accompaniments ready before you start to cook the seafood, so it can be served as soon as it’s cooked.
  • Pat food dry on paper towel before cooking.
  • Oil the food rather than the pan to prevent excess smoking.
  • Season food with salt flakes, freshly ground pepper or other spices before cooking.
  • Use a clean, heavy-based pan and preheat over a high heat – this will help prevent food from sticking.
  • Arrange fillets in a single layer, with enough room to use a thin wide fish slice (egg lifter); don’t use tongs as they may break delicate fillets.
  • Cook fillets with the skin on to help hold the flesh together and protect it from the heat of the pan.
  • Cook skin-side down first for about 70% of the cooking time (until the sides are opaque), then turn and cook the other side briefly to finish.
  • Thin fillets with skin on will sometimes curl as they begin to cook, to prevent this, press down gently with a fish slice or flat spatula until skin starts to cook.
  • Remove seafood from the heat just before it’s fully cooked; the flesh is so delicate that it will continue cooking in the residual heat.
  • Sashimi-grade fish can be seared and served rare in the centre.
  • Add a knob of butter to the pan once the fish is turned and use this to baste, finish with a squeeze of lemon juice just before removing it from the pan.
  • Chefs often pan-fry fish fillets or steaks to brown one side, then turn them and place the pan in a 200ºC oven for a few minutes to finish cooking; if doing this ensure the pan has a heatproof handle and remember that the handle will be hot for some time after it’s removed from the oven.

What to Pan-fry:

  • Any fish fillets, steaks or cutlets.
  • Peeled prawns.
  • Yabby, marron, bug or rocklobster meat.

Accompaniments:

Whatever you have in the fridge or pantry can make a quick accompaniment to pan-fried seafood:

  • Boiled or baked potatoes.
  • Tomato salsa.
  • Green salad.
  • Canned white beans tossed with chopped herbs.
  • Steamed vegetables.
  • Whole-egg mayonnaise mixed with chilli paste, herbs, wasabi, horseradish or chutney.
Seared Chermoula Yellowtail Kingfish with...

Seared Chermoula Yellowtail Kingfish with...

Chermoula is a spicy North African marinade which marries well with oily fish.

Serves 4 as an entrée
Crumbed Pan-Fried King George Whiting with...

Crumbed Pan-Fried King George Whiting with...

Whiting is one of the best fish for good old fashioned fish ’n’ chips.

Serves 4
Pan-Fried King George Whiting Fillets with...

Pan-Fried King George Whiting Fillets with...

King George Whiting is widely considered the best of all the sweet, delicate Whiting species.

Serves 4
Whitebait Fritters

Whitebait Fritters

This recipe is made in New Zealand during the brief season when Whitebait is available. In...

Serves 6 as an entrée
Silver Warehou with Dukkah & Watercress Salad

Silver Warehou with Dukkah & Watercress Salad

Dukkah is an Egyptian spice mix.

Serves 4
Silver Warehou with Fennel Slaw & Beetroot Yoghurt

Silver Warehou with Fennel Slaw & Beetroot Yoghurt

This colourful dish has great flavour contrasts from the tangy beetroot yoghurt and creamy...

Serves 4
Deep-fried Whole Blue Warehou with Tamarind Sauce

Deep-fried Whole Blue Warehou with Tamarind Sauce

The fruit of the tamarind tree is commonly sold in dried blocks containing seeds and fruit pulp.

Serves 2
Spanish Tuna ‘Meatballs’

Spanish Tuna ‘Meatballs’

Albondigas, meatballs, are a standard part of the Spanish tapas repertoire. These ones are made...

Serves 6 as an entrée
Salade Niçoise (Provençal Tuna Salad)

Salade Niçoise (Provençal Tuna Salad)

This modern adaptation of the classical southern French salad replaces the more traditional...

Serves 6 as an entrée
Seared Tuna with Salsa Verde

Seared Tuna with Salsa Verde

This vibrant green sauce will keep covered in the fridge for a week; serve drizzled over any...

Serves 4
123456