A crispy and moist fried flounder oreganata drizzled with a lemon garlic butter sauce. Take the fear out of cooking seafood and try cooking this dish with us!
My parents always made some kind of seafood oreganata when we were growing up. My mom would usually broil cod with a breadcrumb, herb, and butter mixture on top. The eyes would roll when we found out we were having seafood, of course. Not one of my brothers or I was fond of it.
The thing with seafood is it doesn't matter how delicious it is. When a kid decides he doesn't eat fish, they'll never believe it tastes like chicken. The other day my son was screaming that he wanted his mom's lunch. My wife was eating canned sardines.
She happily obliged. My son about died when that entered his mouth. Moral of the story: cook for yourself, the kids will have to figure it out. Or in the words of my mother, "If you don't like what we're having then don't eat."
Ingredient notes and substitutions
Flounder. Flounder is a nice mild fish for this dish but you could substitute cod, tilapia, or striped bass. The fun part about seafood is when you get to try all different kinds of fish with the same recipes. You get to see what fish and flavor profile you really enjoy the most.
Breadcrumb mixture. I tested this recipe with multiple different iterations of this breadcrumb mixture. We tried it with parmesan, dredging it in flour, and using panko breadcrumbs. The best texture was when we kept it simple. Breadcrumbs, garlic powder, salt, and fresh chopped parsley.
I also always have people telling me they use fresh garlic in their breadcrumb mixture. It's a terrible idea. This fish takes about 4 minutes to fry in hot oil. Garlic takes about 20 seconds. Fresh garlic guarantees that you will have burnt garlic.
Lemon garlic butter sauce: This is an optional part of the recipe, but I really enjoy the flavor addition. It's easy to make and adds a little extra lemony buttery flavor to the fish. You could skip this and opt for just a spritz of lemon juice and a sprinkle of salt to finish off the dish!
I start by preparing the flounder. Removing the bones is an absolute pain in the butt. So what I do is find the spine with my fingers and then completely cut it out.
Frying the Flounder
I cut down both sides of the spine to remove the entire bone structure. You can watch the video below to see how I do this.
Pat the fish dry to remove excess moisture. From two flounder filets, we now have 4 pieces of fish.
We're going to dredge them next so we'll combine the breadcrumbs. salt, garlic powder, and fresh chopped parsley. Dip the flounder in the beaten egg and then dredge in the breadcrumbs. Set the flounder aside. This can be done a few hours in advance if necessary.
In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil to medium-high heat. Once hot, add the flounder and fry for 3-4 minutes checking on them after 3 minutes.
Flip them and fry for another 3-4 minutes or until the temperature reaches 145 ℉. I highly recommend using an instant-read thermometer. It guarantees that the fish will be moist and of course, properly cooked to the correct temperature.
Remove the flounder and set them on a cooling rack. Sprinkle them with salt.
- Make sure the oil is HOT before adding the flounder, otherwise you will get an uneven fry. It's easy to be impatient with the oil, but you only get one first try at putting the fish in the oil. Since the fish will slightly cool the oil, you want to make sure it's adequately hot before starting. Wait at least 5 minutes for the oil to heat through.
- Pat the flounder dry before egging and breading to get the crispiest fish without any "wet spots" after frying. If the fish is really wet, it will soak through to the breadcrumbs and not fry as well, resulting in some sections of the fish not being as crispy.
Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce
This sauce is absolute gold and can be added to any seafood dish. It's delicious with sauteed shrimp or pan-seared snapper.
In a small frying pan add 2 tablespoon olive and heat to medium heat. Saute the garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute. Then squeeze in the juice from half a lemon. Simmer for 30 seconds then add the butter and combine. Stir in the parsley and remove from the heat.
Drizzle the fried flounder with the sauce immediately. If the sauce sits, it will separate. I always make this sauce after I fry this fish. It's really quick and best when fresh.
Serve everything immediately!
How to reheat and store fried flounder oreganata
Store flounder in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Reheat in the oven at 375 degrees F until it reaches 145 degrees F. I've also found that microwaving isn't terrible. It is not as crispy but it's still delicious. I just wouldn't recommend reheating it in the break room at work!
Flounder is one of the most versatile fish there is. Its mild flavor is sometimes said to be boring but I think it allows the chef to make it whatever flavor they want! I love flounder fried or broiled!
Broiled Flounder is delicious! It's one of the easiest and quickest ways to make flounder. As with most seafood I make though, I recommend using an instant-read thermometer to make sure it is finished.
What to serve with Flounder Oreganta
Flounder Oreganata is just the beginning of a great meal! If you're going to need some sides to serve it with, here's what I suggest:
- When looking for some vegetable sides, I would go with, Italian Cabbage Recipe, Italian Lacinato Kale Recipe (Tuscan), or a Caesar Salad.
- If you're looking for some starchy sides, I would shoot for Lemon Spinach Orzo, Garlic Anchovy Pasta, or Lemon Pasta with Spinach.
- If you want to make a pasta that has it all, vegetables included, I'd make Pasta Primavera with Broccoli and Asparagus, Italian Summer Pasta with Zucchini, or Pasta with Peas and Pancetta.
- What's better than pairing it with some soup? Try serving it with Lentil Soup, Classic Italian Minestrone, or Pasta Fagioli with Spinach.
Our Favorite Seafood Recipes
Fried Flounder Oreganata
- 1 large frying pan
- 1 small frying pan
- 1 medium bowl
- 1 large plate
- 2 flounder filets
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 egg, beaten
Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce
- ½ lemon
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Prepare the flounder by removing the bones. I find the spine and I cut down both sides of the spine to remove the entire bone structure. Pat the fish dry to remove excess moisture.
- Combine the breadcrumb mixture. Dip the flounder in the beaten egg and then dredge in the breadcrumbs. Set the flounder aside.
- In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil to medium-high heat. Once hot, add the flounder and fry both sides for 3-4 minutes or until the temperature reaches 145 ℉. Remove the flounder and set on a cooling rack. Sprinkle with salt.
- In a small frying pan add 2 tablespoon olive and heat to medium heat. Saute the garlic until fragrant. Then squeeze in the juice from half a lemon. Simmer for 30 seconds then add the butter and combine. Stir in the parsley and remove from the heat.
- Drizzle the fried flounder with the sauce and serve hot!
- Make sure the oil is HOT before adding the flounder, otherwise you will get an uneven fry. Check the flounder before flipping over.
- Pat the flounder dry before egging and breading to get the crispiest fish without any "wet spots" after frying.