Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I'm almost embarrassed to post this recipe because it was so simple to make.  I had purchased some halibut fillets wanting to cook them in a completely different manner, but my mother convinced me to pan fry them.  That's her favorite way to eat fish, so I could not say "no" to her.  I didn't know how breaded pan-fried halibut would taste, and I was a bit nervous about the outcome.  I shouldn't have worried.  The fish came out delicious. 

The most important thing was to make sure the fillets were completely dry before being prepared for cooking.  So I washed them well and then patted them dry with paper towels.  Next, I seasoned them with salt and pepper.  I got the frying pan ready:  a nice heavy one, large enough to accommodate the fillets and have room to spare.  They should not be overcrowded while being cooked.  I poured some canola oil in the pan, enough so that it would reach about 1/4 up the sides of the halibut fillets.  I prepared three bowls.  In one I poured some flour.  In the other I beat an egg along with the juice of half a lemon.  Then I chopped a large basil leaf and added it to the egg mixture.  In the third bowl I poured some panko bread crumbs.  Panko is good to use here, because it doesn't absorb too much oil and because it stays crunchy after cooking.  I waited for the oil to heat up and then I dipped each fillet first in the flour, then in the egg mixture and then in the bread crumbs.  As soon as each fillet was well coated on both sides, I placed it in the frying pan.  I cooked each side until it was browned, then I placed the halibut on a serving platter.

The last step was to sprinkle just a little lemon juice on each fillet.  Yup, never forget the lemon juice.  It's a Greek thing.  Greeks are obsessed with lemons and lemon juice.  Good in savory foods or desserts, makes one's hands really soft, deodorizes the kitchen, and I think sprinkling a little lemon juice on laundry will make it come out of the washing machine a lot cleaner... well, I haven't really tried lemon juice on laundry, but who knows, there might be something to it.   

To keep things tidy while frying, I used  one hand to do the dipping in the flour, egg and bread crumbs.  I kept my other hand clean so I could use it to touch surfaces and utensils without leaving spots of batter all over them.  That's a really neat trick!  Anyway, the halibut came out moist, not greasy at all, and it made a great dinner.  We had a panzanella salad with it, with tomatoes and cucumbers fresh from the garden.  Simple, summery and delicious!


  1. Absolutely beautiful, Ana! I will definitely try this as we eat a lot of fresh fish. Really good fish doesn't need much handling - and I think this treatment is perfect.

    I love lemons, too! Even if the laundry wasn't any cleaner, it would smell good! LOL! My mom actually uses a paste of lemon juice and salt to clean vintage linens.

    Have a great weekend!

  2. Greek Girl from QueensAugust 18, 2011 at 2:18 PM

    This looks so delicious, and so easy and quick to make, that I'm making it...tonight! I'd just gone out and purchased some fresh fish at the supermarket (halibut as well as cod fillets), and then I got your post today - perfect timing!

    Your mom's decision and request to pan fry is definitely the way to go. Sure, maybe a bit more calorific than, say, under the grill, or to bake them (I usually do that), but I'm in a pan-fry kinda mood (thanks to your mom's suggestion! Thanks, Ana's mom!)

    I'll let you know how dinner turns out tonight...but I'm sure, just as you've said here, that I needn't worry or stress, as I know it's going to taste absolutely dee-lish.

    Thanks for sharing, Ana!

  3. When I was young and living in my parents home, and when we could afford it, my mom always made pan fried flounder for dinner Friday nights during Lent because we couldn't have meat, according to the church, not my mom and dad.
    Anyhow, I think because my mom grew up in Newfoundland and cod fillets were abundant , when she came to the USA flounder was the abundant fish, thus Friday night dinner during Lent. I love pan fried fish, any kind flounder, halibut, or cod. My mom used to make it the same way, as yes it it simple, but tasty, however she use Italian style bread crumbs. Which by the way, you can make using regular bread crumbs and adding your own choice of spices such as oregano, parsley, basil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Nice dish Ana.

  4. Thank you for your comment Donna. How well I remember your mother's fried flounder! I don't think Panko bread crumbs were even available in the USA back then. The nice thing about them is that they don't absorb a lot oil when frying, something which cuts down on the calories. They are also really crunchy. Panko on fish, but always, always "Progresso Italian" on chicken cutlets!

  5. Greek Girl from QueensAugust 21, 2011 at 10:40 AM

    Just as yours did, my pan-fried halibut and cod came out perfectly, and oh-so-delicious. I couldn't decide (actually, it was my hubby who couldn't make up his mind, and left the decision to me) about what to make with the fish, but in the end, I made some creamy mashed potatoes with garlic, and some sauteed green beans with lemon and pepper.

    Once again, thanks to both you and your mom for the idea, and the perfect timing of this blog post.