Have you ever wondered how restaurants always seem to serve the best looking pan seared fillets of fish that just look and smell amazing? Some of those pictures of this style of cooked fish in menu items at sit down restaurants and Friday-night-get-outs just beg you to order. Well it’s really not as hard as a $20-something menu item might lead you to believe. Actually, it all comes down to a little trick that a lot of chef’s around this country probably keep secret just for job security at their current place of employment. This simple secret? Add sugar.
Perfect Pan Seared Fish
- Fish Fillets
- Vegetable Oil
This recipe is really no different than most other pan seared fish recipes. As I said in the intro, the biggest secret is a very sparse layer of sugar that needs to be sprinkled on fish fillets before they hit the pan. For this meal, I used two store bought steelhead fillets, but just about any fish would work.
First, Remove the skin if there is any. Make sure the fillets are dry as well. A light sprinkle of sugar needs to coat the entire fillet followed by salt, pepper, and a little bit of thyme. In my opinion, fish can always use just a little but more thyme.
Heat about two tablespoons of vegetable oil to the point the oil is smoking in a 12″ pan. Once the oil is good and hot, place the fillets in the pan, seasoning side down. The combination of the hot oil/pan and cold dry fillets will create an instant sear on the fillet. The continued high temperature will begin to caramelize the sugar creating a delicious sugary coating. Be sure to coat the side of fish facing up with the same seasoning. After a few minutes, flip the fillet as carefully as possible. What you should see if a beautiful golden brown fillet that will instantly make you drool. Cook the opposite side for several more minutes then remove from the pan and place on a plate for a few minutes to rest before eating. It may take a few attempts before getting it down just right, but after a while your wife (or husband) will beg you to make it again and again….at least mine does! If you like this recipe, follow me on Twitter at @Bradsmith319 or on Facebook for more!