Fish markets in Saskatchewan have changed over the years. Today, fish are frozen and sold whole, and sales to local buyers have decreased.
Considering whitefish are a good source of beneficial fatty acids, and among the most nutritious freshwater species in the world, maybe it's time you try a local catch again.
Pan frying fish is easy, tasty, fast, and versatile. Use the recipe below from Chef Michael Smith as a base, and then add your own twist.
Pan Fried Whitefish
- 1 cup whole wheat or any flour
- sprinkle or two sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp any dried herb or spice
- 1 zest and juice of a lemon
- 4 – 6 (2 pounds) white fish fillets
- large splash vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
Preheat your skillet over medium-high heat. Whisk together the flour, salt, pepper, paprika, herb, and lemon zest. Pour the seasoned flour into a shallow dish large enough to hold 1 or 2 fish fillets. Dredge fillet pieces in the seasoned flour until they are evenly coated.
Pour vegetable oil into the pan, enough to cover the pan's bottom in a thin film. Add the butter to the centre of the oil. The oil will protect the delicate butter from burning, and the butter will add lots of brown flavour. When the butter begins to brown and sizzle, swirl it around the pan and quickly add the fish fillets. Turn up the heat, adjusting it as needed to keep the pan sizzling hot.
Cook the fish in batches so they will all brown evenly. Cook the first side of the fillets for a few minutes until the're golden brown. Carefully flip them and continue with the other side. You may find it useful to add a bit more butter after you flip the fish over.
Continue until the fish cooks through. Add the lemon juice and swirl the pan. It will sizzle, form a quick sauce with the butter and coat each fillet. Serve immediately.
See more about the tradition of commercial winter fish harvest in our online-exclusive gallery: Netting a Cold One.
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