Vietnamese Pan-Fried Fish

A zingy dressing and beautifully cooked fresh fish are a great match.
You should find most ingredients for this recipe in the pantry or fridge.

Use: any fish that pan fries well. We like Gurnard, Tarakihi, Sole, Brill or Blue Cod.


For the Fish

  • 500g fish for pan-frying (I used Gurnard)
  • 1 cup Flour 
  • Freshly Cracked Pepper
  • Flaky Sea Salt
  • Oil for frying (good quality)
  • 1-2 Tbsp Butter

For the Vietnamese Dressing

  • 1/3 cup Lemon or Lime Juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 1/3 cup Fish Sauce
  • ½ Red Chilli (mild), sliced
  • 2 ½ Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp White Vinegar

To Serve

  • Fresh Cucumber, Mint and Tomato Salsa, dressed with lime juice, salt & pepper
  • Lime or Lemon wedges on the side


  • Remove the fish from the fridge while you prep. Just like meat, it should be cooked from room temperature.

  • Add all your Vietnamese dressing ingredients to a bowl and stir. Balance the flavours by adding more sugar or vinegar to taste. Set aside.

  • Portion fish to your desired size. I did goujon sized, around 6cm long.

  • Add your flour to a plate and season well with fresh cracked pepper and flaky sea salt.

  • Dredge your fish pieces through the flour until coated evenly on both sides, then set aside.

  • Place your pan on a medium heat and add a dollop of butter and some oil. (When frying fish in butter the oil helps to prevent the butter from burning.)

  • Fry your fish in batches until golden brown on both sides. Lay your fish pieces down on the pan away from you to prevent oil splatters and take care not to crowd the pan when cooking.

  • You can keep fish warm in a low temp oven while you finish frying the rest.

  • Serve the fish with Vietnamese dressing on the side, cucumber salsa and rice if you’re hungry. Enjoy!

Recipe by Jana from The Macpherson Diaries