Skillet-Roasted Fish Fillets

skillet fish

It can be really easy to overcook fish and really difficult to get a nice brown crust, but once you learn this simple technique you will always cook beautiful fillets. This recipe is from America’s Test Kitchen/Cook’s Illustrated (the cooking geniuses), is complete in under 15 minutes, and will become a go-to technique for delicious fish.

To make this work, you need a thick fillet (thin pieces cook too fast) and a dusting of sugar that quickly produces a brown exterior while maintaining a moist and tender interior.  Don’t worry, the sugar will not sweeten the fish. You will also need an ovenproof skillet – I use my cast-iron skillet.  Thick, meaty fillets like cod, halibut, or red snapper work best.

Skillet-Roasted Fish Fillets
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 4 skinless white fish fillets, at least 1 inch thick
  • S/P
  • ½ tsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • Lemon wedges for serving
  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat to 425 degrees. Dry fish thoroughly with paper towels and season with S/P. Sprinkle a very light dusting of sugar (1/8 tsp.) evenly over 1 side of each fillet.
  2. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over high heat until smoking. Place fillets, sugared sides down, and press down lightly to ensure even contact with the pan. Cook until browned, about 1 minute.
  3. Using 2 spatulas carefully flip the fillets and transfer the skillet to the oven. Roast fillets until centers are just opaque and register 135 degrees, 7 to 10 minutes. Immediately transfer to serving plates and serve with lemon wedges.




15-minute Coconut Salmon Soft Tacos

coconut salmon tacos

Hello! Meet your new favorite, quick and easy weeknight meal. You might be tired and busy, but with only a handful of ingredients and 15 minutes and you have a bright and tasty dinner on the table. Serve with some rice and beans on the side and dinner.is.served!

This recipe doesn’t contain any actual coconut – you simply cook the salmon with coconut oil and you end up with a nice coconut-infused crust. If you don’t dig coconut (oh no!), simply cook with olive or canola oil. I use Earth Balance’s coconut oil blend, but any variety should work fine.

Also, tricks for getting the nice seared crust on a fillet of fish – first, once you plop the fillet in a hot skillet don’t mess with the it until you are ready to flip and don’t use a nonstick skillet if you want a good crust (I always use my cast iron for fish).

salmon tacos1

15-minute Coconut Salmon Soft Tacos
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 4-6
  • 4 salmon fillets (about 5-6 oz. each), skinless
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil (I use an Earth Balance coconut oil blend)
  • Soft taco tortillas
  • Suggested toppings: cilantro, lettuce, scallions, tomatoes, sour cream, lime or lemon for squeezing
  1. Heat a large skillet on high heat and add 2 tbsp. coconut oil/coconut oil blend. Once the oil is hot, swirl it around the pan and add the salmon fillets. Lower the heat to medium-high. Cook for about four minutes until nicely seared – don’t move or mess with the salmon if you want a nice crust – then flip and cook another 4 minutes on that side. Remove from the heat and let rest for a few minutes before serving.
  2. Using a fork, flake the salmon into bite-size pieces and fill tortillas with salmon and your desired toppings.

salmon tacos

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