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three pan fried pieces of haddock in a white plate with lemon wedges and parsley

Pan Fried Haddock

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One of the easiest meals you will ever cook, pan fried haddock is a healthy and delicious meal anyone can learn to cook at home. Served alongside some Basmati , (or Wild Rice), and a simple Greek Salad, fried haddock easily becomes a filling, and fast meal.

crispy pan fried haddock garnished with parsley and lemon, ready to eat

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What Do You Need To Pan Fry Crispy Fish?

Before we dive into the recipe below, let’s go over what you will need to successfully make this at home. Fortunately you won’t need a lot!

You’ll obviously need some filleted haddock, and it is best to use fresh haddock fillets whenever possible. Frozen fillets can be used of course, just make sure to fully thaw them before cooking.

If you try and pan fry frozen fish fillets, the fish will ‘thaw’ as you pan fry it, releasing a lot of water, and preventing the fish from crisping up. You essentially end up with steamed fish.

You’ll also need a good quality frying pan, and some oil or clarified butter to fry the haddock in. I suggest using a thick bottomed frying pan (copper or cast iron is ideal), but any pan can be used as long as it is flat, and heats evenly.

I try to avoid non stick coated pans because the coating eventually wears down releasing toxins into your food. Scratched non-stick surfaces will also not be ‘non-stick’, causing pan fried fish to stick to the pan. -Chef Markus

Pan Fried Haddock Recipe

There are two methods that I generally suggest most folks use to pan fry haddock, or any other type of fish.

  • The first method utilizes flour to lightly crust the fish and create a crispy crust.
  • The second method calls for you to pan fry the fish by itself with only a few seasonings.
three pieces of fresh haddock on a white plate

Both methods work great, but some folks may not want to use flour, (think gluten free), or may not want the fish crusted which is where the flour-less method comes in handy. You’ll find instructions for both methods below.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Fresh haddock
  • 2 tbsp oil or clarified butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 pepper
  • 1 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • Optional : seasonings such as Blackening spice

Method 1 – Lightly Crusted Pan Fried Haddock

  1. Remove the fillets of haddock from the fridge, and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix together one cup of all purpose flour, and seasonings. My go to spice mixture is 2 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper.
  2. Place the haddock fillets directly in the flour mixture and coat liberally.
  3. coating haddock with a flour and spice mixture prior to pan frying
  4. Heat oil or clarified butter in a pan on the stove over medium high heat. Allow the oil to heat up and become ‘slick’ looking.
  5. Add the seasoned fish fillet to the hot oil, making sure to first shake off any excess flour first. The fish should start to sizzle as soon as it touches the pan. Do not attempt to shake or move the fish once it is in the hot pan.
  6. placing flour dusted haddock in a hot frying pan
  7. Let the fish fry in the pan without moving it until you start to see the edges brown. If you let the oil heat up properly in step 3 before adding the fish, the fillet will ‘release’ from the pan once it has sufficiently been seared. Use a metal spatula to gently lift an edge of the fried haddock to test if it lets go of the pan.
  8. pan fried haddock starting to brown around the edges
  9. When the fish can be easily lifted, flip the fillet by turning it over onto a ‘new section’ of the hot frying pan, making sure there is hot oil underneath it. Repeat step 5.
  10. flipping pan fried haddock with a metal spatula
  11. Once the haddock has been fried on both sides and is golden brown, remove the fish from the pan and serve it immediately.
  12. pan fried haddock finishing in a steel frying pan

This whole process of pan frying the haddock should be done in a hot pan over medium high heat. this will prevent any moisture from leaking out and causing the fish to stick.

You’ll know the haddock is cooked when you can easily break it apart with a fork. It should flake apart in small sections and be completely opaque

pathree pan fried pieces of haddock in a white plate with lemon wedges and parsley

Method 2 – Flour-less Pan Fried Haddock

  1. Remove the fillets of haddock from the fridge, and gently pat dry with a clean linen cloth or paper towel.
  2. Place the dried pieces of haddock on a plate and season liberally with salt and pepper. Keep in mind you will lose some seasoning in the pan.
  3. Heat oil or clarified butter in a pan on the stove over medium high heat. Allow the oil to heat up and become ‘slick’ looking. Add the dried seasoned fish fillet to the hot oil. The fish should start to sizzle as soon as it touches the pan. Do not attempt to shake or move the fish once it is in the hot pan.
  4. Let the fish fry in the pan without moving it until you start to see the edges brown. If you let the oil heat up properly in step 3 before adding the fish, the fillet will ‘release’ from the pan once it has sufficiently been seared. Use a metal spatula to gently lift an edge of the fried haddock to test if it lets go of the pan.
  5. When the fish can be easily lifted, flip the fillet by turning it over onto a ‘new section’ of the hot frying pan, making sure there is hot oil underneath it. Repeat step 4.
  6. Once the haddock has been fried on both sides and is golden brown, remove the fish from the pan and serve it immediately.

Can I Apply This Method To Other Types Of Fish?

Of course! The two methods I go over in this post can be used to pan fry any type of whitefish, or any fish fillet for that matter. Halibut, salmon, tilapia, trout, and hake, are just a few of the popular types of fish that can be easily pan fried.

Made the recipe? Comment & Rate it below, then take a picture and tag me on Facebook & Instagram: @earthfoodandfire . For more from scratch recipes follow me on Instagram & Pinterest

three pan fried pieces of haddock in a white plate with lemon wedges and parsley
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5 from 9 votes

Pan Fried Haddock

Cooking perfectly seared pan fried haddock every time is easy! This simple step-by-step guide will help you cook light, crispy fish, perfect for a quick lunch or supper meal.
Course Fish Entree
Cuisine Canadian
Keyword how do you know when haddock is cooked?, how do you pan fry haddock?
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 1186.5kcal
Author Chef Markus Mueller

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Fresh haddock
  • 2 tbsp oil or clarified butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder

Optional Seasonings

  • seasonings such as Blackening spice or Old Bay Seasoning

Instructions

  • Remove the fillets of haddock from the fridge, and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix together one cup of all purpose flour, and seasonings. My go to spice mixture is 2 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper.
  • Place the haddock fillets directly in the flour mixture and coat liberally.
  • Heat oil or clarified butter in a pan on the stove over medium high heat. Allow the oil to heat up and become ‘slick’ looking.
  • Add the seasoned fish fillet to the hot oil, making sure to first shake off any excess flour first. The fish should start to sizzle as soon as it touches the pan. Do not attempt to shake or move the fish once it is in the hot pan.
  • Let the fish fry in the pan without moving it until you start to see the edges brown. If you let the oil heat up properly in step 3 before adding the fish, the fillet will ‘release’ from the pan once it has sufficiently been seared. Use a metal spatula to gently lift an edge of the fried haddock to test if it lets go of the pan.
  • When the fish can be easily lifted, flip the fillet by turning it over onto a ‘new section’ of the hot frying pan, making sure there is hot oil underneath it. Repeat step 5.
  • Once the haddock has been fried on both sides and is golden brown, remove the fish from the pan and serve it immediately

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24 Comments

  1. Patti Kosteniuk


    Prepared some tilapia fillets with the flour less version in my cast iron pan and used vegetable ghee. Turned out fantastic. I’ve never made good pan fry fish before.

  2. This recipe made me go out and buy some to cook! Love Lauren’s idea of making it with chips. Thanks, will be sharing!


  3. Your post is filled with useful information on this recipe, such an easy yet flavourful recipe that any seafood lover to keep in their repertoire.

  4. Thanks so much for sharing! Not all that familiar with Haddock. And really appreciate the easy to follow step by step pics :).

  5. Nothing like a good sear on some fish. I love haddock and this looks great!


  6. I recently discovered what a difference simply flouring the fish makes! (I need gluten free, so I use rice flour, and that works just fine.) Our parents eat so much more fish than I’m used to – which is great, but challenged my cooking a little! So I’m delighted to have more basic ideas.

  7. This looks incredibly delicious! I haven’t mastered pan frying fish so I’m excited to try this recipe with some lemon sprinkled on top!

  8. Hi Markus, fish is always great with me. I love Leanne’s suggestion for serving the paddock with chips. It’s such a lovely fish.


  9. I love that this recipe is so simple to make. I live in a small town in a landlocked state, so I have to rely on frozen fish. But I always have haddock on hand, and will definitely give this a try. Looks perfect for an easy weeknight meal


  10. Growing up my parents would pan fry cod, but I don’t think I’ve ever had haddock. Perhaps in a restaurant and I just didn’t realize it! I know you suggest a salad and some rice on the side, but now all I’m thinking about is panned fried haddock and a side of chips! Looks delicious Markus!


  11. Loving the simplicity of this dish. Seems perfect for the kids, planning to try it out for dinner. How I love quick and easy recipes


  12. Super easy recipe with simple flavors. I love how beautifully you’ve explained each step, I’m sure these would turn out perfect !! Thanks for sharing


  13. Pan-fried fish is the absolute best! I can’t wait to run to the store and grab me some haddock and get to frying!

  14. Panfried is my go-to method of cooking fish when I want a quick dinner on the table. Your haddock is cooked perfectly. So good!


  15. That fish looks absolutely delicious and perfectly fried. I love how you gently seasoned it and gave tips how to fry properly so the crispy outside does not stick to the pan. Can’t wait to give this a try with our local mahi mahi.

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