Pan Fried Whole Fish with Herb Sauce | SpiceTribe
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Pan Fried Whole Fish with Herb Sauce

    Chef Trent Blodgett

    Chef Trent Blodgett

    Chef Notes



    Pan Fried Whole Fish with Herb Sauce

    Chef notes

    This recipe is a quick and easy way to get a whole fried fish on the table without having to use a deep fryer. The herb sauce is basically a pesto but instead of using parmesan, I used a fish sauce for some salty umami flavor. The result is a perfect herby accompaniment to the crispy skin and juicy flesh.

    I love creamy white beans with just about anything. Here I used Rancho Gordo Alubia Blanca beans that I already had in the fridge, reheated them then mashed them up to give them new life. When the beans are good quality, I don’t soak them. Simply rinse the beans in a colander, put them into a pot and cover with 2 inches of water. Throw in a handful of garlic cloves, a couple of whole chiles and herbs if you like, and simmer until tender, about an hour or two. After the beans are cooked, I heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil and fry up 1 tsp of Spice Tribe Wild Cumin Seeds until sizzling and fragrant. I then pour the spiced oil right into the beans and season to taste with salt.

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      • 1-2 whole white fish about 1.5 lb (porgy, branzino, snapper etc)
      • .25 cup cornstarch
      • .25 cup flour
      • 1 Tbsp Mama Manje
      • 1 - 2 Tbsp Peruvian Pink Salt
      • 1 -2 cups ghee or high smoke point oil for frying
      • Herb Sauce

      • 2 cups rough chopped herbs of your choice (I used basil and cilantro)
      • 2 garlic cloves
      • 2 Tbsp toasted pine nuts
      • 2 Tbsp olive oil
      • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
      • 1 Tbsp lime juice or more if needed
      • 1 tsp honey
      • 1 tsp red chile flakes
      • Sides

      • Creamy mashed white beans
      • Sautéed or grilled broccolini
      • Garnish with pine nuts and more herbs (cilantro)
      Mama Manje Haitian Blend

      Mama Manje Haitian Blend

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      Step 1 - Fried whole fish

      Score the fish on the bias about 1/8 in deep

      Step 2 -

      Season with finely ground salt in the slits you made and in the cavity

      Step 3 -

      Leave the fish to rest for about 10 minutes – the salt will help to pull out some of the moisture.

      Step 4 -

      While the fish is resting, heat the ghee to about 360-370F. Make certain you choose a frying pan that will fit the whole fish, mouth to tail. You will want the oil to come about 1/3 up the side of the fish.

      Step 5 -

      Mix cornstarch, flour and Mama Manje and dredge the fish inside and out, rubbing it into the slits.

      Step 6 -

      Shake off any excess flour before gently lowering the fish into the oil.

      Step 7 -

      Cook for about 4-5 minutes per side depending on the thickness of the fish. It is done when the flesh begins to flake.

      Step 8 -

      When the fish is cooked through and crisp transfer it to a rack to cool before cooking the next fish.

      Step 9 - Herb Sauce

      Place all the ingredients except the oil into the food process and pulse until coarsely chopped.

      Step 10 -

      Add the oil and pulse a few times to combine (don’t overpulse as you want to retain the chunkiness of the herbs. Season with more salt and lime to taste..

      Step 11 -

      Serve with white beans, broccolini and garnish with pine nuts and more herbs sprinkled over top.

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