If you are looking for a super quick and super delicious dinner recipe, my Pan-Fried Fish and Blistered Tomatoes is a real family favorite. It’s also a kid-friendly and delightful addition to my Simple Summer Supper Recipe Series.
In this recipe, I take fresh grouper fillets and quickly sear them in a non-stick skillet with just a little olive oil. Then fresh summer cherry tomatoes are cooked in the same pan until their skins are blistered, which gives them a uniquely sweet flavor.
A rich, decadent lemon, parsley, butter sauce full of scallions and briny capers finishes off this flavorful meal.
Simple Summer Supper Series:
My Simple Summer Supper Series is series of six light summer meals designed to get you out of the kitchen as fast as possible, so you can spend time with your family and friends and enjoy our beautiful warm summer evenings.
Other recipes in this popular series include:
- Southern BBQ Shrimp and Cheese Grits,
- Fettuccine Alfredo with Broccoli,
- Chilled Watermelon Gazpacho Soup,
- Parmesan Chicken with Cucumber Salsa, and
- Spaghetti with Fresh Cherry Tomato Sauce.
The criteria for my Simple Summer Supper Series are easy summer dinner recipes made with fresh produce when possible, with six ingredients or less (not counting condiments). Most importantly, you should be able to prepare and serve the meal in 25 minutes or less.
Sides for fried-fish:
The pan-fried fish and blistered tomatoes are both delicious in their own right. Still, you could undoubtedly serve something like southern potato salad, broccoli salad, summer pasta salad, or pasta salad with green goddess dressing. The tomatoes would also be delicious as a side with another entrée or even as a topping for a nice salad. The choice is yours!
What’s the difference in pan-fried, pan-seared, and deep-fried?
In case you are wondering, pan-seared is the first step in a two-part process in which a protein (in this case fish) is quickly cooked on both sides in a hot skillet and then put in the oven to finish cooking. Pan-frying is quickly cooking a protein on both sides in a small amount of butter or oil until done. Deep frying, on the other hand, is done in hot-oil, which is generally at least 2-inches deep.
How long do you cook fish in a frying pan?
It all depends on how thick the fish fillets are. In this recipe, I used grouper fillets, which were about 3/4 inch thick, and it took seven minutes for them to cook.
What is the nutritional value of grouper?
Because fish are rich in vitamins, low in fat, and can help reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, they bring undeniable health benefits to the table. According to Livestrong, “like most fish, grouper contains large amounts of protein, minimal amounts of saturated fat, and no sugar. Unlike fatty cold-water fish like salmon, grouper does not supply large amounts of healthy omega-3 fatty acids.”
How to make Pan Fried Fish and Blistered Tomatoes:
Gather and prep your ingredients.
Rinse off the fish fillets, and blot dry with a paper towel.
Season both sides of the fillets with salt and pepper.
Preheat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat for one minute.
Add two tablespoons of olive oil and heat until the oil shimmers. (This should take about one minute.)
Add the fish fillets, with the side the skin was on down and cook for approximately four minutes or until the fish is golden brown.
Use a fish turner or pancake turner and carefully turn the fish over to cook on the opposite side. Cook the fish for an additional three minutes, or it becomes opaque and flakes easily.
Carefully remove the fish from the pan, place on a plate covered loosely with foil to keep warm.
How to make blistered tomatoes:
When the fish are done, wipe out the skillet with a paper towel and add the remaining two tablespoons of oil to the pan.
Heat the oil over medium-high heat, and when the oil is hot, add the tomatoes. Cook occasionally stirring until the tomatoes are blistered on all sides, which should take about three-four minutes.
Remove the tomatoes from the pan and cover to keep warm.
How to make the lemon, parsley, butter sauce:
Add the butter to the pan, turn down the heat to medium. When the butter has melted, add the scallions and capers. Cook for about one minute and remove from the heat. Add the lemon juice and parsley. Stir to combine.
Plate the fish and add a serving of the blistered tomatoes. Top both the fish and tomatoes with the lemon, parsley and butter sauce. Top the tomatoes with crumbled feta cheese and serve immediately.
Although it looks like a lot of steps, this recipe comes together very quickly. For the best results, gather your ingredients and have everything prepped and ready before you begin.
This recipe calls for fish fillets that are about 3/4 inch thick. If your fillets are thicker or thinner, they will take more or less time to cook.
I used fresh grouper fillets for this pan-fried fish recipe, but you could use any firm white fish such as flounder, halibut, bass, snapper, or tilapia.
More fish recipes:
If you like fish as we do, you might also be interested in these other popular recipes: Pan-Seared Grouper with Gremolata, Blackened Mahi Mahi, Baked Grouper with Tomatoes and Artichokes, Easy Baked Parmesan Grouper Fillets, Mediterranean Grouper, Pan-Seared Snapper, and Mango Salsa, and Grilled Grouper with Mango Salsa.
★ If you make this dish, please leave a comment and give this recipe a star rating. I would love to know how you liked it!
Thank you so much for visiting Grits and Pinecones!
Pan-Fried Fish with Blistered Tomatoes Recipe
Pan-Fried Fish Ingredients:
- 2 lbs fresh grouper fillets skin removed, about 3/4 inch thick, or four 6-8 oz filets* see notes
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 4 Tbsp olive oil divided
Blistered Tomatoes Ingredients:
- 2 pints fresh cherry tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp capers drained
- 4 scallions white parts only, minced
- 1/4 cup feta cheese crumbled, for garnish
Lemon, Parsley, and Butter Sauce Ingredients:
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp Italian parsley chopped
Pan Fried Fish Directions:
- Rinse off the fish fillets, and blot dry with a paper towel.
- Season both sides of the filets with salt and pepper.
- Preheat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat for one minute.
- Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat until the oil shimmers. (This should take about one minute.)
- Add the fish fillets, with the side the skin was on down and cook for approximately 4 minutes or until the fish is golden brown.
- Use a fish turner or pancake turner and carefully turn the fish over to cook on the opposite side. Cook the fish for an additional 3 minutes or it becomes opaque and flakes easily.
- Carefully remove the fish from the pan, place on a plate covered loosely with foil to keep warm.
Blistered Tomatoes Directions:
- When the fish are done, wipe out the skillet with a paper towel and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan.
- Heat the oil over medium-high heat, and when the oil is hot, add the tomatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally until the tomatoes are blistered on all sides which should take about 3-4 minutes.
- Remove the tomatoes from the pan and cover to keep warm.
Lemon, Parsley, and Butter Sauce Directions:
- Add the butter to the pan, turn down the heat to medium. When the butter has melted, add the scallions and capers. Cook for about 1 minute and remove from the heat. Add the lemon juice and parsley. Stir to combine.
- Plate the fish and add a serving of the blistered tomatoes. Top both the fish and tomatoes with the lemon, parsley and butter sauce. Top the tomatoes with crumbled feta cheese. Serve immediately.