Pan Fried Fish

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Frying fish in a skillet is one of the easiest and time-saving tasks. I will share how to make spicy, juicy, succulent fish filets using minimal ingredients in this recipe. Plus, I’ll share a tip on infusing the spices deep into the fish for an even more indulgent experience.

pan fried fish

There are so many fried fish recipes; some prefer a crispy layer over the filet, and some adopt the traditional way of pan frying. 

I’ve traveled around many regions of the world and found that every continent has specific ways of cooking fish. Being a south asian, we are big fans of seafood. If you’ve ever had a chance to visit Singapore, Indonesia, or Malaysia, you will witness that these people mostly live on sea food. And their culinary traditions are full of seafood. 

fried fish

Today’s pan-fried fish recipe is from South Asia, and I got this recipe from my grandmother, who has spent 20 years of his life in Indonesia. I’m sure you will never encounter a similar recipe on the internet. 

Why Does This Pan-Fried Fish Recipe Win Your Heart?

  • Tangy Taste: The dressing I will prepare for this recipe is super tangy, spicy, and umami. Instead of a crispy texture, these fish filets are softer and juicy. Even these fish filets are more savory and flavorful from the inside. 
  • Very Easy To Make: This fried fish recipe is easy to make. Very few ingredients are required to make the seasoning, and each ingredient is easily available in your pantry.  
  • Time Saver: You don’t need to dredge and marinate the fish for hours. Yup! This is the beauty of this fried fish recipe: just dip the fish in batter and fry. 
  • Frying With Skin: I’m going to fry the fish along with the skin; no need for skinning because the top layer of fish filet contains important nutrients, and It’s very tasty.

Crispy Fried Fish Vs Simply Fried Fish?

crispy fried fish

Two options stand out for frying fish in a skillet: crispy fried and simply fried fish filets. While there are countless fish recipes, these two methods offer distinct choices, each with its appeal and flavor profile.

I like both methods of frying fish, but the crispy fried method is time-consuming; you have to prepare the batter and coat the fish filet for hours, which is boring. 

On the other hand, simply fried fish tastes much juicier and softer. Typically, most people love the natural and indulgent taste of fish meat, and the natural taste gets diluted with a crispy layer. That’s why I preach more about simply frying the fish. 

In the end, you still need spices for both methods, and everybody likes to prepare fish filets in their own way, so it’s based on personal preference. I just shared my personal thoughts. 


  • Fish: There is a beautiful pond near our home, and I often get fresh silver carp fish from there. But you can use any kind of fish based on your taste and preference. 
  • Dressing: My tangy dressing contains soy sauce, red chili sauce, red wine vinegar, corn flour, coriander powder, garlic powder, vinegar, salt, and black pepper
  • Oil: Lastly, you need oil to fry the fish. I’m using all-purpose canola cooking oil. You can use vegetable oil or any other type of cooking oil.

Let’s Make Our Tasty Fried Fish 

  1. Prepare The Dressing: First, blend all the dressing ingredients in a mixing bowl, including corn flour, salt, all the sauces, red chili flakes, garlic powder, black pepper, and vinegar, and thoroughly mix all the medley.
prepare the dressing
  1. Deep Cuts On Fish Fillet: Before dipping the fish in dressing, make deep cuts in the filets with a knife. This allows the dressing to infuse perfectly inside the fish, enhancing its flavor. Now, soak all the fish filets in dressing and mix thoroughly with your hands. And let it rest for 10 minutes. 
coat with dressing
dip the fish in derssing
  1. Frying: Fry the filet in small batches, stirring and flipping with a mesh spoon. Finally, use the spoon to remove the fish and drip off excess oil. Place the tissue paper on the dish to soak up excessive oil from the filets.  
frying fish

Vinegar Sauce

As Pakistani, we are spice lovers always trying to infuse fiery flavors in our main courses. When serving sauces with fried dishes, we always strive to stay one step ahead of the rest of the world.

I often make a famous vinegar sauce with fried fish, which is super easy and pairs perfectly with tangy-fried fish. 

For this, simply add three tablespoons of vinegar in a small bowl, one tablespoon of red chili sauce, and 1/3 tablespoon of red chili flakes, and here we go. The sauce is ready. Dip the fish in this citrus and zesty sauce and soothe your plates. 

Try These Salads With Fried Fish

Cucumber Salad: The fried fish filets are spicy and tangy, so a creamy cucumber salad pairs well with this treat. After enjoying the zesty fish bites, you will find that they act as a soothing agent for the tongue.

Asian Cucumber Salad: This salad is sweet, refreshing and savory. So, if you want something sweet and pleasant, try this cucumber salad. 

Classic Pasta Salad: For a more umami taste, you can use this pasta salad as a side dish, along with fried fish filets. 


First, wrap the fish in foil and store it in an airtight container; you can refrigerate the fried fish in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. When reheating, simply fry the fish in heated oil again, but this time, don’t fry for more than one minute. Alternatively, you can use the oven. 

Increase the number of red chili flakes, paprika, and vinegar in the dressing to make the fish filet tangier and spicier. Squeeze some lemons after frying the fish and serve it with citrus and tangy vinegar sauce (I have shared above). 

pan fried fish

Pan Fried Fish

Frying fish in a skillet is one of the easiest and time-saving tasks. I will share how to make spicy, juicy, succulent fish filets using minimal ingredients in this recipe. Plus, I'll share a tip on infusing the spices deep into the fish for an even more indulgent experience.
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes


  • 1 kg silver carp fish
  • 3 tbps corn flour
  • 2 tbps white vinegar 
  • 1 tbps red wine vinegar 
  • 1.5 tbps soy sauce 
  • 2 tbsp red chili sauce 
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste 
  • 1 tbsp black pepper 
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1.5 tbsp red chili flakes


  • Mix the Dressing: Combine all the dressing ingredients in a bowl: corn flour, salt, sauces, red chili flakes, garlic powder, black pepper, and vinegar. Mix them well until they form a smooth blend.
  • Making Deep Cuts: Before dipping the fish in the dressing, use a knife to make deep cuts in the filets. This helps the dressing penetrate the fish, enhancing its flavor. Soak the fish in the dressing, ensuring they're fully coated, and let them rest for 10 minutes.
  • Frying: Fry the fish filets in small batches, stirring and flipping them with a mesh spoon. Once cooked, use the spoon to remove them from the oil. Place them on a dish lined with tissue paper to absorb any excess oil.
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