Elegant Pan-Seared Fish Fillets in a Luscious Lemon Butter Emulsion



  • 4 fish fillets (such as cod, tilapia, or sole)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • Lemon slices, for garnish


  1. Season both sides of the fish fillets with salt and pepper. Dredge each fillet in flour, shaking off any excess.
  2. In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with olive oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the fish fillets to the skillet and cook for about 4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove the cooked fish from the skillet and set aside.
  4. In the same skillet, add the chicken broth and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  5. Stir in the capers and remaining butter until the butter is melted and the sauce has slightly thickened.
  6. Return the cooked fish fillets to the skillet, spooning the sauce over them. Cook for another minute to heat through.
  7. Garnish the fish with fresh parsley and lemon slices before serving.

Enjoy your elegant pan-seared fish fillets with a luscious lemon butter emulsion!

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cooking Time: 10 minutes | Total Time: 20 minutes Nutrition Information (per serving):

  • Calories: 310 kcal
  • Servings: 4 servings

Here are some helpful tips to make your Elegant Pan-Seared Fish Fillets in a Luscious Lemon Butter Emulsion even more delightful:

  1. Choose the Right Fish: Opt for fresh, high-quality fish fillets for the best flavor and texture. Mild-flavored fish like cod, tilapia, or sole work well for this recipe, but you can also use other varieties according to your preference.
  2. Pat Dry the Fish: Before seasoning the fish fillets, pat them dry with paper towels. This helps ensure a crispy crust when searing.
  3. Season Generously: Don’t be shy with the seasoning. Season both sides of the fish fillets generously with salt and pepper to enhance their flavor.
  4. Perfectly Sear the Fish: Make sure the skillet is hot before adding the fish fillets. Searing the fish over medium-high heat helps achieve a beautiful golden-brown crust while keeping the fish tender and moist on the inside. Avoid overcrowding the skillet to ensure even cooking.
  5. Control the Heat: Be mindful of the heat while cooking. Adjust the heat as needed to prevent the butter from burning and maintain a gentle simmer for the sauce.
  6. Add Fresh Herbs: Fresh herbs like parsley add brightness and freshness to the dish. Consider adding other herbs like dill or chives for additional flavor complexity.
  7. Enhance the Lemon Flavor: For a more pronounced lemon flavor, you can add lemon zest along with the lemon juice to the sauce. This adds a vibrant citrus aroma and taste to the dish.
  8. Use Homemade Chicken Broth: If possible, use homemade chicken broth for the sauce. It adds a richer depth of flavor compared to store-bought broth. If using store-bought, opt for low-sodium broth to control the saltiness of the dish.
  9. Finish with a Squeeze of Fresh Lemon: Just before serving, squeeze a little extra fresh lemon juice over the fish fillets and sauce. This adds a burst of bright, tangy flavor and enhances the overall freshness of the dish.
  10. Serve with Complementary Sides: Pair the pan-seared fish fillets with complementary sides such as steamed vegetables, roasted potatoes, or a fresh salad to create a well-balanced and delightful meal.

By following these tips, you can elevate your Elegant Pan-Seared Fish Fillets in a Luscious Lemon Butter Emulsion to an even more delightful dish that’s bursting with flavor and freshness!

Here are some tips to help you:

  1. Dry the Fish Thoroughly: Before seasoning and dredging the fish fillets, pat them dry with paper towels. Removing excess moisture ensures a crispy exterior when searing.
  2. Preheat the Skillet: Make sure your skillet is properly preheated before adding the fish. A hot skillet helps create a beautiful golden-brown crust on the fish fillets.
  3. Season the Flour: Add extra flavor to the fish fillets by seasoning the flour mixture with additional herbs and spices such as garlic powder, paprika, or dried herbs like thyme or oregano.
  4. Don’t Overcrowd the Pan: Avoid overcrowding the skillet when searing the fish fillets. Cook them in batches if necessary to ensure even cooking and a crispy crust.
  5. Control the Heat: Use medium-high heat for searing the fish fillets to achieve a golden-brown crust without burning the butter. Adjust the heat as needed to prevent the butter from turning too dark.
  6. Use High-Quality Butter: Use unsalted high-quality butter for the sauce. The buttery flavor is essential for creating a rich and luxurious emulsion.
  7. Add Butter Gradually: Add the butter to the sauce gradually, whisking continuously to create a smooth and creamy emulsion. This helps prevent the sauce from breaking and ensures a silky texture.
  8. Balance the Lemon Flavor: Adjust the amount of lemon juice according to your taste preference. Start with less and gradually add more until you achieve the desired level of tanginess without overpowering the dish.
  9. Finish with Fresh Herbs: Sprinkle freshly chopped parsley over the fish fillets and sauce just before serving. The fresh herbs add a pop of color and freshness to the dish.
  10. Serve Immediately: Pan-seared fish fillets are best enjoyed hot off the skillet. Serve them immediately with the luscious lemon butter emulsion spooned over the top for the perfect dining experience.

By following these secrets, you’ll be well on your way to achieving the perfect Elegant Pan-Seared Fish Fillets in a Luscious Lemon Butter Emulsion that’s bursting with flavor and elegance!

Here are some popular questions and their answers related to Elegant Pan-Seared Fish Fillets in a Luscious Lemon Butter Emulsion:

  1. What type of fish is best for pan-searing? Fish fillets that are firm and mild-flavored work best for pan-searing. Popular options include cod, tilapia, sole, halibut, and snapper.
  2. How do I know when the fish is cooked through? The fish is cooked through when it flakes easily with a fork and is opaque all the way through. It should also reach an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C) according to USDA guidelines.
  3. Can I use frozen fish fillets for this recipe? While fresh fish is preferred, you can use thawed frozen fish fillets. Just make sure to pat them dry with paper towels before seasoning and searing to remove excess moisture.
  4. Can I substitute chicken broth with vegetable broth or water? Yes, you can substitute chicken broth with vegetable broth or even water if you prefer. However, chicken broth adds a richer flavor to the sauce.
  5. How can I prevent the butter from burning while searing the fish? Use a combination of butter and olive oil for searing. The olive oil helps prevent the butter from burning at high heat.
  6. Can I make this dish ahead of time? While the fish is best enjoyed fresh, you can prepare the lemon butter emulsion ahead of time and reheat it gently on the stove before serving. However, it’s best to pan-sear the fish just before serving for optimal texture.
  7. What sides go well with pan-seared fish fillets? This dish pairs well with a variety of sides such as roasted vegetables, steamed asparagus, rice pilaf, quinoa, or a simple green salad.
  8. How do I store leftovers? Store any leftover fish fillets and lemon butter emulsion in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave before serving.
  9. Can I freeze leftover fish fillets? While you can freeze leftover fish fillets, they may lose some of their texture when thawed. Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place them in a freezer bag or container. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  10. Can I use different herbs in the lemon butter emulsion? Yes, you can customize the flavor of the sauce by adding different herbs such as thyme, dill, or chives according to your taste preferences.

These are some common questions and answers related to Elegant Pan-Seared Fish Fillets in a Luscious Lemon Butter Emulsion that can help you prepare and enjoy this delicious dish!