Here I share with you some vital tips and tricks to cooking perfect Pan Fried Cod. Served with a brown butter sauce, this quick and easy weeknight dinner couldn’t be more delicious if it tried!
You know it’s funny, I’m a huge seafood fan. I really am. But I don’t cook it near enough as I should. It’s just not something I reach for in the grocery store and I don’t really know why! Anywho, today I took one step closer to changing that, in the form of a quick and easy weeknight dinner.
Cod is one of my favourite fish dinners. I was actually gonna work on a homemade fish and chips recipe, but realised I’ve been deep frying way too much lately 😂
Yes, apparently there is a thing as too much deep frying..
*runs to gym*
So here we’ve gone for a healthier version – pan fried cod with a browned butter sauce. Yeah, couldn’t quite commit to the full healthy version.
There are actually a couple of different ways to pan fry cod, usually revolving around the flour or no flour debate. This time I’ve gone for cod without flour, but I’ll give you a few tips and tricks to cook it either way!
How to Pan Fry Cod
In any instance, I’ll always opt for boneless and skinless cod loins. Boneless because who’s got time for removing the bones? Skinless just through personal preference, not a huge fan of fish skin. Lastly I’ll usually get cod loin opposed to a whole cod, just because it’s a little more manageable for one person.
How to Pan Fry Cod without Flour
- Pat dry and generously season both sides of the cod with salt and black pepper.
- Heat up a little oil in a non-stick pan and fry for about 2-3 mins each side (depending on thickness), carefully flipping once.
- After flipping, place fresh dill on top of your cod and add butter to the pan. Baste until the cod is just about cooked. Take out the pan.
- Lower the heat to medium and brown the butter, seasoning to taste. Pour a couple tsp over your cold, sprinkle some fresh parsley and a good squeeze of lemon juice.
How to Pan Fry Cod with Flour
- Season 2 tbsp flour with salt and pepper and carefully coat both sides of your cod. Remove excess flour by patting it down before you place in the pan.
- Fry with a dash of olive oil for around 2-3mins each side (depending on thickness), carefully flipping once. Again, in a non-stick pan.
- Take the cod out of the pan and then add the butter and dill. Brown the butter and continue the same steps without flour.
The main difference here is that you want to keep the pan dry (besides oil) if you’re using flour. The whole point of coating the fish in flour is to give it a crispy finish, basting it in butter is going to ruin that. Simply make the brown butter after taking the floured cod out of the pan and pour over at the last second to keep the crispiness.
How to Brown Butter
Brown butter is essentially just melted butter that is cooked long enough to toast the milk solids. By cooking the butter just a few minutes past melting point, you get this gorgeous nutty aroma that is just to DIE for.
Here’s how easy is is to make:
- Melt the butter over medium heat, swirling the pan so it cooks evenly.
- Once melted, it should then begin to foam. Gently stir as the foam subsides and the butter turns from a lemony yellow to a lighter brown colour.
- After a few minutes you should start to see tiny dark specks form on the surface, these are just the milk solids.
- Once you see it turning a deeper brown and the nutty aroma hits you, serve immediately, trying to avoid pouring over the burnt specks.
I can’t even explain how good brown butter and cod tastes. UGH. Heaven.
Pan fried cod is the perfect quick and easy midweek meal or date night dinner. Served with a brown butter sauce, you really can’t go wrong!
Okay, let’s dig in shall we?
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How to Pan Fry Cod (Full Recipe & Video)
Here I share with you some vital tips and tricks to cooking perfect Pan Fried Cod. Served with a brown butter sauce, this quick and easy weeknight dinner couldn't be more delicious if it tried!
- 2 Skinless Boneless Cod Loins
- 3-4 knobs of Unsalted Butter
- 1 Lemon
- 2 sprigs Fresh Dill
- Fresh Parsley, to taste
- Salt & Black Pepper, to taste
- Olive Oil, for frying
Pat your cod dry with a paper towel. Generously season each side with salt and pepper.
Heat up a glug of oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Fry the cod 2-3 mins each side (depending on thickness) carefully flipping once.
After you turn the cod, add your butter to the pan and place your dill on top of the cod. Baste the melted butter over the top of the cod until it's just cooked through.
Take cod out the pan and brown the butter. Season as necessary.
Pour over a couple of tsp of the brown butter, a sprinkle of parsley and a good squeeze of lemon juice.
Watch how to make it!
a) Alternate method using Flour - Using flour will give you a slightly crispier cod, but less 'buttery' and arguable less moist. Lightly coat your cod with seasoned flour, patting to remove any excess. Fry in a little oil for the same duration, but WITHOUT basting in butter. Remove from the pan, then make the brown butter. Pour over at the last second to keep it crispy.
b) How to brown butter - Melt the butter over medium heat, swirling the pan so it cooks evenly. Once melted, it should then begin to foam. Gently stir as the foam subsides and until the butter turns from a lemony yellow to a lighter brown colour. After a few minutes you should start to see tiny dark specks start to form on the surface, these are just the milk solids. Once you see it turning a deeper brown and the nutty aroma hits you, serve immediately, trying to avoid pouring over the burnt specks
c) Lemon Juice - Try not to think of this as just garnish, a good squeeze of lemon juice will cut through the richness of the butter.
d) Non-stick pan - Either method, it's essential to use a non-stick pan, otherwise you risk the cod flaking apart when you flip it/remove it from the pan.
e) Calories - Based on using 3.5 knobs of butter and 1 tbsp olive oil.
For another quick and easy dinner for two, check out my Pan Fried Pork Chops with Peach Salsa!