How to Cook Flounder Filet in a Pan

Cooking flounder in a pan on the stovetop is a simple way to prepare this mild fish. Whether you make pan fried flounder or saute them, flounder fillets need only some seasoning and a splash of fresh lemon juice when cooking to become a flavorful dish.

Cooking flounder in a pan on the stovetop is a simple way to prepare this mild fish. Credit: hlphoto/iStock/Getty Images

Flounder is naturally low in fat and calories, containing only 100 calories and 1.5 grams of fat in a 3-ounce serving, according to the USDA. It is also a good source of phosphorus and vitamins B12 and D. It also provides healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart health, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Cooking the fillets in oil or butter adds a few calories, and fried flounder with cornmeal adds more, so choose your cooking technique carefully if you are counting calories.

Read more: Which Fish Has the Highest and Lowest Mercury Levels?

Try Sauteed Flounder

Step 1: Season Your Fish

Season the flounder fillets with salt and pepper to taste. Experiment with other seasonings that will complement the fish as well, such as lemon-pepper or dill.

Step 2: Coat the Pan

Coat the bottom of a heavy skillet with olive oil, and preheat it over medium heat.

You can also use butter to saute the flounder, but avoid other cooking oils, such as vegetable or peanut oil, as they will add calories but won't add much flavor to the finished dish.

Be aware that butter also adds saturated fats — the kind that can contribute to heart disease, according to the American Heart Association.

Step 3: Cook Your Fish

Add the seasoned flounder fillets to the pan when the oil begins to shimmer. Saute the flounder for roughly three to four minutes per side, or until the flesh becomes opaque and is firm to the touch.

If you are unsure if the fish is done, use an instant-read thermometer. The flounder is thoroughly cooked if the internal temperature is 145 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the USDA's FoodSafety.gov.

Step 4: Remove and Serve

Remove the flounder from the pan and let it rest for a few minutes. Serve it with wedges of fresh lemon. To add color to the dish and a little extra flavor, sprinkle a touch of paprika or freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley or dill over the fish.

Pan-Fried Flounder

Step 1: Heat Your Pan

Add an equal mix of olive oil and butter to a heavy skillet. Preheat the mixture over medium-high heat.

Step 2: Season the Flounder

Place the flour in a shallow dish and season it with salt and pepper. Add any other dried spices at this point as well, such as lemon pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika or garlic powder.

If you prefer a light coating on your flounder, prepare it with just the seasoned flour coating. Continue on to the next step for a heavier breading.

Step 3: Add Some Breadcrumbs

Combine the eggs and milk, and place the mixture in a shallow bowl. Place the breadcrumbs or panko in another shallow dish. Panko is a very light Japanese breadcrumb that will give your dish a lighter texture and flavor.

First dip the floured fillets in the egg mixture and then in the breadcrumbs or panko for baked flounder with bread crumbs.

Step 4: Fry It Up

Lay the breaded flounder in the skillet when the butter has melted and the oil begins to shimmer. Fry the fish for three to four minutes per side, turning only once to prevent the breading from coming apart from the fish before it has bonded.

Remove the fish from the pan when an instant-read thermometer reads 145 Fahrenheit.

Step 5: Serve With Sauce

Serve the breaded fish simply with wedges of fresh lemon and a side of tartar sauce.

Read more: Fish With Low Potassium Levels

Things You'll Need

  • Skinless fillets of flounder

  • Sauteed flounder:

  • Heavy-bottomed saute pan

  • Olive oil

  • Kosher or sea salt

  • Coarsely ground black pepper

  • Instant-read thermometer

  • Fresh lemon wedges

  • Panfried flounder:

  • Olive oil

  • Butter

  • All-purpose flour

  • Kosher or sea salt

  • Ground black pepper

  • Eggs, lightly beaten

  • Breadcrumbs or panko

  • Spatula

  • Fresh lemon wedges

  • Tartar sauce

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