The SIMPLEST fish recipe with a fresh chickpea Caprese salad, loaded with tasty oven-baked chickpeas and slices of fresh mozzarella.
What is the simplest method of cooking fish?
Sometimes the simple things in life truly are the best, and that’s the case with this simple fish recipe with Caprese salad. To cook the fish we simply dip it in flour and then quickly pan fry it in vegetable oil. No seasonings, no aromatics.
I love this simple method of cooking fish because you really get to taste the fish - it’s not covered in other flavours, and you remember again just how good fish is served hot from a pan.
What to serve with white fish?
We’re serving it with a Caprese salad - a salad originating from the island of Capri, Italy. Italians are known for their love of simple food with the best produce, and this salad delivers. A traditional Caprese salad has layers of Basil, tomato and mozzarella with a simple olive oil dressing. We’re adding baked chickpeas. Okay, this is a bit of a game changer. We cover them in a mix of garlic, lemon juice and zest, white miso paste, olive oil and oregano, and trust me, you’ll be making another batch after you’ve finished because they are SO delicious.
What is in this Simple Fish Recipe?
- Fish - I used flathead tails because I love how tender they are, but you can use any firm white fish like John Dory (Cod), Whiting, Barramundi or Basa fillets.
- Salad - Basil (I used a whole bunch, because this is the greens in this recipe), juicy Roma tomatoes (or any other tomato will do, I like the consistency of shape Roma tomatoes give), and fresh mozzarella. Don’t use a mozzarella ball like you would grate over a pizza, because this isn’t as soft. You can use burrata if you want, but if you do instead of slicing the ball up, serve it whole on top of the salad instead.
- Dressing - Finely grated garlic, lemon juice and zest, oregano, olive oil, salt and pepper
- Chickpeas - I used a can of chickpeas and covered in a mixture of finely grated garlic, lemon juice and zest, oregano, olive oil, salt and pepper, then mixed it with white miso paste. Pop in the oven for 20 minutes and you’ll have salty, garlicky, perfectly crispy chickpeas.
What is a healthy way to cook fish?
While pan frying like this certainly isn’t the healthiest way to cook fish, it’s also not that unhealthy either. For four pieces we use just 2 tablespoon of vegetable oil, and because we are simply dusting the fish with flour it’s not absorbed into a deep batter and there will be leftover oil in the pan. So really, it’s about ¼ tablespoon of vegetable oil per serve, which for frying, is probably one of the healthier ways you can do it.
If you want to avoid frying and oil completely, the healthiest way to cook fish is en papillote. Add a few slices of lemon to your fish and envelope them in baking paper, then place in the oven. Here are a few other recipes that use this technique.
What is the tastiest way to cook fish?
Honestly, if I’m eating fish, I want to taste the fish. There’s something so comforting about simple pan frying in flour - perhaps it reminds me of fish fingers from childhood - but I enjoy it so much. Simple fish that almost melts in your mouth, with crispy golden coating. For me this is simple, and the best.
This simple fish recipe is best served immediately. If you want to meal prep, prepare the elements of the salad, but don’t compile or dress it until time to serve. The fish takes just a few minutes so wait until you’re almost ready to serve it, to cook that too.
Substitutions in this Simple Fish Recipe
- Alternative proteins - Swap fish for prawns, scallops or chicken tenders
- Vegetarian - Swap fish for Firm tofu or Vegetarian Chicken
- Dairy Free - Swap Mozzarella for Avocado
- Gluten Free - Swap plain flour for corn flour
Kid-Friendly Variations in this Simple Fish Recipe
- Serve kids plain tomatoes, mozzarella and chickpeas
- Flake fish into chunks
- Skip the dressing, or only put grated garlic in the chickpea mixture.
- Just garnish with basil.
To make this simple fish recipe you will need a frying pan, stovetop, baking tray and oven.
More Simple Fish Recipes you might like
Simple Fish Recipe - Pan Fried Fish and Caprese Salad
- Frying pan
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 1 Lemon
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Dried oregano leaves
- ¼ teaspoon Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon White miso paste
- 400 g canned chickpeas
- 1 bunch basil
- 250 g Fresh mozzarella
- 400 g Roma tomatoes
- 1 Lemon
- ¼ cup Plain flour
- 4 Firm white fish fillets
- 2 tablespoon Vegetable oil
- Preheat your oven to 200 C and line a tray with baking paper.
- Finely grate garlic, zest and juice lemon. Add to a bowl with olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper and mix. Pour half into a glass or jug (this is your dressing) and set aside.2 cloves Garlic, 1 Lemon, ¼ cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon Dried oregano leaves, ¼ teaspoon Salt and pepper
- Add miso paste to the bowl, mix, then stir in drained chickpeas. Spread in one layer on the baking tray and place in the oven for 20 minutes.1 tablespoon White miso paste, 400 g canned chickpeas
- Pick basil leaves. Slice mozzarella and tomatoes. Slice lemon into wedges.1 bunch basil, 250 g Fresh mozzarella, 400 g Roma tomatoes, 1 Lemon
- Sprinkle some plain flour on a plate and place fish in the flour, lightly coating both sides.¼ cup Plain flour, 4 Firm white fish fillets
- Place a frying pan on high heat, add oil and when hot, flash fry the fish for 2-3 minutes each side until cooked through. Once cooked, set on a plate lined with a paper towel.2 tablespoon Vegetable oil
- Build your salad on a platter by layering tomato, mozzarella, basil and chickpeas. Dress and season with salt and pepper.
- Serve salad with fried fish and wedges of lemon.