How to Perfectly Pan Sear Fish

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Enjoy crispy pan-seared fish at home with this how-to guide by Chef Nicole Gaffney of

Coley’s Tips for Pan-searing

  • A well-seasoned cast iron skillet is highly recommended for the job.
  • Heat the pan on high and use a little olive oil.
  • If you’re using a fish with skin, place the skin side down first.

Optional: pre-score the skin to prevent curling, but you can remedy this by gently pressing down on piece with a fish spatula.


Step 1
After the removing the fish from the pan, reduce heat to medium.

Step 2
Add butter to pan, allow it to melt. Then add thyme (stand back! They may pop!) and capers. Quickly stir for 15-20 seconds to mix.

Step 3
Add lemon juice to sauce and turn off heat. Pour sauce over the fish and serve immediately.

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