The only way to pan-fry fish – finish en klaar!

Here’s the fail-safe way to fry fish and get that golden, crispy result.
Less than 30 minutes
Serves 4



We get it, frying fresh fish can be intimidating. But now’s the time to let you in on the secrets to getting it right every time.

How to keep fish from sticking to the pan:

  1. Heat canola or sunflower oil in a pan until smoking hot, it should be enough to cover the entire base of the pan.
  2. Optional: Add a piece of baking paper on hot oil, drizzle with a bit of extra oil and place fish on top. Baking paper won’t burn and will prevent the fish from sticking to the pan.
  3. Pat fish dry, season all over and fry fish skin-side down first.
  4. Fry for 2-3 minutes. Don’t move fish with your spatula or try to move it around. Shake pan to test if the fish fillet is ready – it’ll move easily when well seared.
  5. Flip and fry on the other side for about 1 minute, following the same method.

You might not have access to fresh fish at the moment, so here’s some frozen fish pointers to keep in mind:

  • For pan-fried fish, frozen fish filets with skin on is best. The skin keeps the fish together and will ensure you’re not left with a flaky mess in the end.
  • Frozen fish needs to be defrosted at room temperature – don’t defrost in a microwave or in water. Once completely defrosted, they’ll be a bit more moist and slightly watery, so make sure you pat them dry with kitchen paper.
  • Defrosted fish might also be a little bit more flaky, so it’s advised to fry on baking paper to avoid pieces getting stuck to the surface of the pan.
  • Remember, frozen fish fillets are just as nutritious as fresh ones, the texture might just be slightly different, so it’s a great option for your lockdown freezer.

Now, let’s put it to the test and cook dinner…

Pan-fried fish and Mediterranean hash


  • 3 Tbsp (45ml) canola oil
  • 6 large potatoes, parcooked
  • Salt and milled pepper
  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) butter
  • Juice (30-60ml) of ½ -1 lemon
  • 1 packet (200g) vine tomatoes
  • 1 packet (200g) black or calamata olives
  • A few sprigs thyme
  • 1kg skin-on hake, cut into portions
  • Salt and milled pepper
  • Handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


  1. Heat half the oil in a pan over high heat.
  2. Fry potatoes for about 8-10 minutes or until golden. (Occasionally shaking the pan softens the edges of the potatoes and helps with browning.)
  3. Season well and add butter and lemon juice.
  4. Add tomatoes, olives and thyme and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
  5. Using tips above, pan-fry fish in a separate pan with remaining oil.
  6. Serve fish on vegetables, scatter with herbs with lemon wedges on the side.


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