Looking for an easy weeknight meal that does not involve chicken? I got you! This Easy Pan Fried Cod with Lemon Butter Sauce is a delicious, healthy dinner that can be on your table in 15 minutes!!! Tender, flaky cod is gently coated in seasoned flour, then pan seared to create a most perfect crust. A buttery, lemon sauce only takes minutes to prepare and is the perfect compliment to any white fish.
This protein-packed, weeknight fish dinner recipe will easily feed three adults, or two adults and two children.
WHY THIS EASY PAN FRIED COD RECIPE IS PERFECT FOR A QUICK WEEKNIGHT MEAL
First, this is a really quick and easy fish recipe. Secondly, if you are feeding a family, cod is a great choice as it is not only budget-friendly, but it’s mild flavor will be kid-approved! Lastly, this easy fish dinner is full of protein and low in carbs!
What does cod taste like?
Pacific or Atlantic Cod is found in most markets. Cod has a firm, white flesh with a flaky texture. The flavor is mild, and not “fishy,” making cod one of the most versatile types of fish for meal preparation.
Fresh fish is best, but frozen can also be used in this easy fish recipe. Thaw frozen cod, prior to preparation.
If cooked properly, cod will have a flaky, soft texture and will take on the flavor pairings.
If you do not have access to cod, or do not enjoy this mild fish, any of these substitutions will work in this easy pan fried fish recipe:
- haddock (probably the closest substitute, mild, sweet flavor)
- pollack (stronger flavor)
- hake (mild flavor)
- flounder (mild, near the same price point, thinner fish so cooking time would be reduced)
- halibut (stronger flavor and very pricey)
- tilapia (mild flavor, smaller, thinner filets)
- mahi-mahi (mid-range in price and flavorful)
- grouper (a bit stronger flavor and also rather pricey)
- Chilean sea bass (firmer texture, buttery flavor and pricey)
TIPS ON MAKING THE BEST PAN FRIED COD
- avocado oil or vegetable oil are great substitutes for canola oil.
- Make sure the oil is hot prior to adding the fish to the pan
- Do not overcrowd the pan (this will cause the fish to steam and not brown)
- Allow the fish to brown on one side before flipping or moving around in the pan
- Cook time will depend on the thickness of the fish filets (thick filets allow about 5 minutes on one side and 3 minutes on the other)
- Cod is done once it starts to flake and turns opaque (inside temperature should be 145°)
- Transfer fish to a paper towel to absorb any excess oil before plating
Why is my fish sticking to the pan?
Your pan is probably not the problem! It’s all about technique. Here are a few tips that may help prevent any fish from sticking to any pan when searing on a stovetop:
- allow the fish to come to room temperature
- do NOT forget to pat dry
- seasoning will help provide a barrier between the fish and the pan
- the pan (oil) needs to be hot
- just let it be! (the more you mess with it, the more likely the fish will stick to the pan and break apart)
What to serve with Pan Fried Cod?
This easy pan fried cod with lemon butter sauce is so versatile and can be served in so many ways:
- steamed rice and vegetables
- mashed potatoes
- french fries
- steamed vegetables
Storage and leftovers
Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to three days. Reheat in the oven, air fryer or on the stovetop.Print
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