About Sauteed Fish Fillets with Lemon and Capers

So, fish is pretty delicious, huh? And it's also really healthy for you, so long as you're not eating like, enough to get mercury poisoning or eating anything you fish out of the Tidal Basin with a stick and a plastic bag, NOT that I've ever actually done this or anything, but in this day and age with the need to save money and whatnot, those floaters might look awfully appealing to some folk, and if you have no idea what I'm talking about, what I'm talking about is all the dead fish floating about the Tidal Basin THANK YOU POLLUTION.

But then there's the other way to make fish not really healthy, and that's to cook it the super classic Frenchy way, and while I don't always do anything the super classic Frenchy way, every now and again I'll whip this recipe out because (1) it's easy, and (2) HELLO BUTTER. And for this you'll need to use any kind of thin white fish fillet, kinds like catfish, flounder, fluke, sole, haddock, bass, snapper, rockfish, or tilapia (I used tilapia) and thin like 1/4-inch thin.

To feed two, you'll need:
  • 2 fillets o' fish (duh)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • Flour for dredging (just put a small pile of flour in a shallow dish large enough to dip and roll your fish around in)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • Minced parsley leaves
This recipe moves fast, so make sure your mis en place is placed.

Season the fillets o' fish with salt and pepper on both sides.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat for 2 or 3 minutes. Then, add the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter; when the butter stops foaming dredge the fillets o' fish in the flour, one at a time, shaking off any excess.

Add them to the pan. Raise the heat a notch and cook until golden on each side, about 4 to 5 minutes total. Then, remove the fillets o' fish to warm plates.

Now to make the sauce! Lower the heat to medium-low and add the remaining butter.

When it foams, add the lemon juice and capers and stir that around a bit, scraping the bottom of the pan as you go, for about 15 seconds. Throw in the parsley, give it a final stir, and pour the sauce over your fillets o' fish. And if you happen to have some potatoes or vegetables on your plate, you might as pour your sauce over that, too.

FINE. You're right; this recipe is really just a conduit for butter. Sue me, but BUTTER IS DELICIOUS.


  1. We all love tilapia, except for Grayson (whom we're certain must have been switched in the nursery, because tilapia is delicious). So on tilapia night, Gray just has to buck up. Maybe this recipe -- which is vastly different than my usual method of prep -- will change his mind. I'm willing to try. Because this? Looks yummy!

  2. I make tilapia all the time, and I love capers in all their salty goodness, so any recipe that combines them I'm excited to try.

  3. True story: I did not know what capers were until I read this. And I've eaten them before.

  4. This is almost English, only it looks too good for that to actually be true.

  5. Ooh Kat, this looks delish. And you used french fried potaters, mmmmm (said in a Billy Bob Thornton voice)!