How to Sear Fish Without the Skin Sticking


Kerry chef and IT Tralee Culinary Lecturer TJ O’Connor explains how skilled chefs make sure that fish doesn’t stick to the pan. You can do it easily at home.

There are a few simple steps to follow to make sure that fish doesn’t stick to the pan.

– Make sure the fish is absolutely dry so use paper towel to pat it dry first.

– Use a non-stick pan. (Keep a special pan to fry fish in as it tends to smell of fish over time.)

– Make sure the pan is hot.

– Use the minimum amount of oil or butter.

– Cook the fish skin-side down first.

– Cut a piece of parchment paper that is slightly larger than your piece of fish. Place the piece of parchment in the frying pan. Pour in a little oil or add a knob of butter, turn the heat to high and place the fish on top of the parchment and cook as normal as if the parchment paper was the bottom of your frying pan. (Baking parchment looks like translucent paper – don’t use the brown baking paper as it will burn).


TJ O’Connor is a Senior Lecturer with the Hotel, Culinary Arts and Tourism Department at IT Tralee, County Kerry. He trains chefs to work in some of  the finest hotels in Ireland.

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