This dish can be made with any thin fish fillets. The key is that they need to be fairly thin or else the fish flesh won’t cook before the parmesan mixture burns. I love this dish as something easy and quick to throw together on the fly. The ingredients are always on hand- I always have individual vacuum-sealed grouper filets in my chest freezer. In cold water, they defrost completely in about 15 minutes. The breading can often be found pre-made in my fridge- it’s the same breading I use on my baked chicken nuggets.
4 grouper fillets or any firm white fish, such as tilapia
1 egg, beaten
½ cup flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
¾ cup panko bread crumbs
1 cup freshly grated Parmagiano-Reggiano (don’t you dare use the green can!)
Preheat the pan
- Turn pan on to medium high. Pour enough oil into the pan to coat the bottom. Be a little generous because if you skimp on this, you’ll lose all of your coating to the bottom of the pan. Allow to heat until hot but not smoking.
Coat the fish fillets: Flour, egg, parmesan
- Mix panko and Parmagiano-Reggiano.
- Dust fish fillets with flour (this gives the egg something to “grip” so it clings to the fish). Dip in egg (this allows the breading mixture to adhere). Place fish into the breading mixture and press to coat.
- Place coated fillet into pan. Begin again with next fillet. Do not crowd the pan. Do in two batches if necessary.
Cook the fish
- Cook 2-3 minutes on first side.
- Use a spatula to loosen fish from skillet before turning. If it is adhering to bottom of pan, try giving it another minute to cook. The coating should loosen up from bottom of pan (assuming you added enough oil) when its well-browned.
- Turn fish and cook another 2-3 minutes until done (test at center with fork for flakiness).
- Serve garnished with fresh herbs or a lemon slice.