The process of pan searing or frying fish is not difficult, but you do need to know what you are doing. You need about 15-20 minutes of well planned attention. The key to working and getting that great well seared fish is working with well dried fish and a hot pan. I know, you might have heard this before, but this is very important with fish as it is a high protein, low fat creature. This is what makes it healthy, however if the protein does not seal quickly (hence the hot pan) you will be left with that awful think that happens when your fish sticks to the pan when you are ready to turn it.
Now, when you are adding a spice crust to the fish, you are adding another dimension of complexity as you want the fish to be perfectly cooked and moist without burning the spices. So, I usually add the crust to the non-skin side and cook it after I have cooked the skin side. The second thing that I look for is a firm fleshed fish, that is relatively thin. So, today I have used is perch, a fish that I like and can usually find wild caught readily in most places.
I have used this spice rub and it worked very well. I made this for everyone in the evening after my daughter’s birthday party, it was relatively simple and we ate it hot and within minutes after we made it.
A simple dish of spice crusted pan fried fish.
- 2 pounds of perch fillets
- 1/3 teaspoon salt
- 1 recipe of pecan, thyme and coriander rub
- 4 tablespoons oil
- Lime or Lemon
- Chopped basil or cilantro to garnish
- Pat the fish perfectly dry. Make sure that the fish is thoroughly dry and not cold. If the fish is refrigerator, bring this out of the refrigerator about 20 minutes before cooking.
- Rub this with salt and then press the pecan rub on the non skin side, pressing down well to coat.
- Heat a heavy bottom wide pan for 2 to 2 minutes. Test with a couple of drops of water, the water should sizzle and roll of the surface when ready. Add in the oil and heat for a couple of minutes.
- Place the fish fillets into the oil, skin side down. The fish curls a little on contact, this is a sign that the oil is the right temperature. Cook the fish for about 3 minutes and carefully turn the fish and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Carefully place the fish, skin side down on the plate, squeeze the lemon or lime over the fish, garnish with the chopped basil or cilantro and serve.
A basic flavorful seasoning rub that can be used for fish or chicken.
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 3 tablespoons pecans
- 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 11/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- Gently toast the coriander seeds for about 2 minutes.
- Place the coriander seeds, pecans, thyme, salt and red pepper flakes in a spice or coffee grinder and grind until well blended.
- Use immediately or refrigerate up to 2 weeks.