Haddock, often used in the British menu staple of fish and chips, thrives in the Northern Atlantic Ocean and is appreciated for its high-protein, low-calorie and low-mercury content. Cooking pan-fried haddock simply in olive oil and garlic maximizes this white fish's nutritional value and flavor.
For a simple pan-fried fish recipe, season fresh haddock fillets with salt and freshly ground pepper. Sauté four thinly sliced garlic cloves in olive oil until fragrant. Remove the garlic and cook the fish in the olive oil for three minutes on each side until flaky all the way through. Serve topped with the garlic.
How to Cook Pan-Fried Haddock
The Marine Stewardship Council lists haddock as a white fish that is a member of the cod family. It has a mild flavor, firm flesh and moist texture. It can be substituted for cod in many recipes, although it does have a slightly sweeter taste. Haddock is sold fresh, frozen or smoked. The USDA notes that it measures favorably nutrition-wise against other fish.
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If you're hankering for the traditional taste of breaded, pan-fried fish but want to avoid the heavier caloric hit, try pan-fried haddock in olive oil (according to Harvard Health, olive oil for cooking is considered heart-healthy). Make sure to season your fish well with salt and pepper before you cook it and add garlic for additional savory flavor. Haddock makes for an ideal pan-frying fish as it is fairly sturdy.
You'll know your fillets are fully cooked when they look opaque in appearance and run with white juices. They will flake easily when gently touched with a fork. You could also use an instant-read thermometer to tell if your fish is cooked. According to the USDA, a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the fillet should read 145 F.
A Crispy Fried Fish Recipe
Use this pan-fried fish recipe to create a tasty dinner. Buy four 5- to 6-ounce fresh haddock fillets. You may remove the skin if you wish.
Pat the fillets dry with a paper towel. Season the fish on both sides with salt and freshly ground pepper and place on a plate.
Place a heavy 10-inch nonstick or cast-iron skillet over a medium heat. Add 5 tablespoons of olive oil. Thinly slice four large garlic cloves and add to the pan. Cook the garlic, stirring frequently, for one to two minutes, until golden and fragrant. Watch carefully to make sure the garlic doesn't burn. Using a slotted spoon, remove the garlic and set aside.
Return the pan with the oil to the stove and turn the heat to high. When the olive oil is hot, place the haddock fillets in the pan skin side down (if the fillets have skin on them). Lower the heat to medium and cook the fish, sizzling, for around three minutes until it is golden and caramelized around its edges. Flip the fillets and continue to cook on the other side for a further three minutes until the fish is golden, cooked through and starting to flake.
Place each cooked haddock fillet on a plate and drizzle the cooked garlic and any remaining olive oil over each portion. Serve with fresh, chopped parsley and lemon wedges if desired.