Pan-Roasted Fish with Fried Capers

Pan-Roasted Fish with Fried Capers

  • Prep time

    10 minutes

  • Cook time

    10 minutes

  • Course

    Main

  • Skill level

    Intermediate

  • Season

    Summer

  • Serves

    2
Chef’s notes

Pan roasting fish creates a fillet with crispy skin and a moist interior. Paired with lemon, wine, and fried capers, this dish is perfectly balanced between acid, fat, salt, and some umami punch.

I use skin on striped bass for this recipe, but almost any thick fish fillet will work, skin on or off. Perfectly cooked striped bass is a near perfect food. These delicious fish offer large, semi-firm flakes with a hint of brackish sweetness. They’re the most sought-after fish in the Chesapeake Bay for good reason.

This recipe is rich without being heavy, with plenty of acidity to pair with warm summer evenings. As an added bonus, I only use one pan for the fish and sauce, so less cleaning up and more time for messing with the boat and the tackle after dinner.

The fried capers offer a salty, crispy, and slightly funky pop. I make a batch of these ahead of time and store them in a paper towel lined container. They will stay crispy for a few days, but if they start to get soft you can always dunk them in some hot oil to crisp them back up.

Pan roasted striped bass

Ingredients

  • 2 striped bass fillets
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. fried capers
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • Juice of ½ lemon

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Heat a heavy bottomed pan over medium-high heat with a small amount of oil. Season fish fillets. Place the fillets in the hot pan, skin side down. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the skin is golden brown and crisp.
  2. Flip the fillet over and cook for 1 minute, then place in the center of the oven. After 1 minute, add the butter to the pan and cook for another 2 minutes. Roasting time for this recipe is for a fillet about ¾-inch thick. Add time if using thicker fillet, subtract time if using a thinner fillet.
  3. Pull the pan from the oven, remove fish from the pan and allow it to rest. Scrape the pan, stir in the wine and lemon juice, cook over medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes until the sauce thickens.
  4. Top fish with sauce and capers and serve. If using skin on fish, don’t pour the sauce on the skin to keep it crispy.

Fried capers

  1. Heat oil to 375°F for frying.
  2. Strain capers into a small sieve that will fit into the frying oil. Dunk the capers into the oil while still in the sieve. The oil will hiss and bubble a lot at first and will subside as the water evaporates. Fry for 60 to 90 seconds until there is very little bubbling and capers are crispy.
  3. Spread out on a paper towel, season lightly with fine salt to help keep them crispy.
Chef’s notes

Pan roasting fish creates a fillet with crispy skin and a moist interior. Paired with lemon, wine, and fried capers, this dish is perfectly balanced between acid, fat, salt, and some umami punch.

I use skin on striped bass for this recipe, but almost any thick fish fillet will work, skin on or off. Perfectly cooked striped bass is a near perfect food. These delicious fish offer large, semi-firm flakes with a hint of brackish sweetness. They’re the most sought-after fish in the Chesapeake Bay for good reason.

This recipe is rich without being heavy, with plenty of acidity to pair with warm summer evenings. As an added bonus, I only use one pan for the fish and sauce, so less cleaning up and more time for messing with the boat and the tackle after dinner.

The fried capers offer a salty, crispy, and slightly funky pop. I make a batch of these ahead of time and store them in a paper towel lined container. They will stay crispy for a few days, but if they start to get soft you can always dunk them in some hot oil to crisp them back up.

Pan roasted striped bass

Ingredients

  • 2 striped bass fillets
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. fried capers
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • Juice of ½ lemon

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Heat a heavy bottomed pan over medium-high heat with a small amount of oil. Season fish fillets. Place the fillets in the hot pan, skin side down. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the skin is golden brown and crisp.
  2. Flip the fillet over and cook for 1 minute, then place in the center of the oven. After 1 minute, add the butter to the pan and cook for another 2 minutes. Roasting time for this recipe is for a fillet about ¾-inch thick. Add time if using thicker fillet, subtract time if using a thinner fillet.
  3. Pull the pan from the oven, remove fish from the pan and allow it to rest. Scrape the pan, stir in the wine and lemon juice, cook over medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes until the sauce thickens.
  4. Top fish with sauce and capers and serve. If using skin on fish, don’t pour the sauce on the skin to keep it crispy.

Fried capers

  1. Heat oil to 375°F for frying.
  2. Strain capers into a small sieve that will fit into the frying oil. Dunk the capers into the oil while still in the sieve. The oil will hiss and bubble a lot at first and will subside as the water evaporates. Fry for 60 to 90 seconds until there is very little bubbling and capers are crispy.
  3. Spread out on a paper towel, season lightly with fine salt to help keep them crispy.
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Pan-Roasted Fish with Fried Capers

Recipe by: Wade Truong
Pan-Roasted Fish with Fried Capers
  • Prep time

    10 minutes

  • Cook time

    10 minutes

  • Course

    Main

  • Skill level

    Intermediate

  • Season

    Summer

  • Serves

    2
Chef’s notes

Pan roasting fish creates a fillet with crispy skin and a moist interior. Paired with lemon, wine, and fried capers, this dish is perfectly balanced between acid, fat, salt, and some umami punch.

I use skin on striped bass for this recipe, but almost any thick fish fillet will work, skin on or off. Perfectly cooked striped bass is a near perfect food. These delicious fish offer large, semi-firm flakes with a hint of brackish sweetness. They’re the most sought-after fish in the Chesapeake Bay for good reason.

This recipe is rich without being heavy, with plenty of acidity to pair with warm summer evenings. As an added bonus, I only use one pan for the fish and sauce, so less cleaning up and more time for messing with the boat and the tackle after dinner.

The fried capers offer a salty, crispy, and slightly funky pop. I make a batch of these ahead of time and store them in a paper towel lined container. They will stay crispy for a few days, but if they start to get soft you can always dunk them in some hot oil to crisp them back up.

Pan roasted striped bass

Ingredients

  • 2 striped bass fillets
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. fried capers
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • Juice of ½ lemon

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Heat a heavy bottomed pan over medium-high heat with a small amount of oil. Season fish fillets. Place the fillets in the hot pan, skin side down. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the skin is golden brown and crisp.
  2. Flip the fillet over and cook for 1 minute, then place in the center of the oven. After 1 minute, add the butter to the pan and cook for another 2 minutes. Roasting time for this recipe is for a fillet about ¾-inch thick. Add time if using thicker fillet, subtract time if using a thinner fillet.
  3. Pull the pan from the oven, remove fish from the pan and allow it to rest. Scrape the pan, stir in the wine and lemon juice, cook over medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes until the sauce thickens.
  4. Top fish with sauce and capers and serve. If using skin on fish, don’t pour the sauce on the skin to keep it crispy.

Fried capers

  1. Heat oil to 375°F for frying.
  2. Strain capers into a small sieve that will fit into the frying oil. Dunk the capers into the oil while still in the sieve. The oil will hiss and bubble a lot at first and will subside as the water evaporates. Fry for 60 to 90 seconds until there is very little bubbling and capers are crispy.
  3. Spread out on a paper towel, season lightly with fine salt to help keep them crispy.