Pan-fried fish with lentil salad is an elegant meal that is easy to prepare! Firm white fish is lightly seasoned in lemon, cumin, and garlic. Then battered once in flour to seal in all the flavour and create a golden-brown crispy crust. Served with a side of a fresh lentil salad tossed with a seven spice dressing
Pan-fried Fish with Lentil Salad
A healthy Mediterranean meal that can be made effortlessly at home with a few fresh ingredients and the pantry. For a light and satisfying dinner, pan-fried fish is served with a refreshing lentil salad mix. The lentil salad is a spin on the classic Mediterranean tabouli. I’ve used the fresh flavour of the tabouli we know and love but without the bulgur.
Traditionally in the Levantine countries, the dishes’ ingredients can change with the seasons or whatever you have available in your pantry. This delicious Green Lentil Tabouli is the perfect accompaniment for most proteins and abundance bowls.
Ingredients you’ll need for the Pan-Fried Fish and Lentil Salad
- White firm fish: Any white firm fish will work with this recipe.
- Marinade: lemon, garlic, cumin and salt.
- Flour: I used all-purpose flour for this recipe. However, chickpea flour would be a great gluten-free option.
- Olive oil: You’ll need just enough oil to shallow-fry the fish.
Ingredients you’ll need for Lentil Salad.
- Green lentils. I prefer to use the dried lentils for this dish so I can infuse the aromatic flavours of the spices into the lentils. You can swap the green lentil for french lentil. However, I would avoid using brown lentils for this recipe. I find they don’t keep their shape and can result in a mushy-looking salad.
- Cinnamon stick. It’s used as an aromatic that becomes infused into the lentils giving the light notes of a cinnamon flavour.
- Fresh Herbs. Parsely, mint and Green Onions One whole bunch of parsley for this recipe is essentially a tabbouleh recipe with lentils.
- Green onion. I prefer green onions for this recipe, but you can substitute green onions for red onions or shallots.
- Cherry Tomatoes. You can substitute with tomatoes if cherry tomatoes aren’t in your pantry. I’ve used all kinds of tomatoes for this salad; it’s safe to say that any tomato will do.
- 7 Spice Dressing. A twist on the classic lemon, garlic and olive oil. The 7 spice and cumin give this salad a delightful warmth that pairs perfectly with the lentils.
- 7 Spice. A traditional spice mix of allspice, cinnamon, fenugreek, coriander, cardamom, cloves, and pepper. If you don’t have 7-spice or can’t find it locally, you can substitute it with cumin in this recipe.
- Pomegranate molasses. I just use a drizzle on top of the fish and salad give the salad a nice sweet & sour. It’s an optional addition but a very delicious one.
How to make the Pan-fried fish with lentil salad?
- Marinate the fish.
- Prepare Lentils. Choose your cooking method for the lentils or skip cooking the lentils altogether and use canned lentils.
- Prepare the dressing. Mix the lemon, garlic, olive oil, 7-spice and salt. Set aside.
- Toss the salad. Once lentils are cooked, rinse under cold water, then combine all the salad ingredients. Allow the flavours to marinate for 1 hour. Serve at room temperature.
- Fry the fish. Batter the fish lightly with flour and shallow-fry in olive oil until the outer crust is crispy and golden.
- Serve. Place the lentil salad on a plate with the fish on top serve with pickles and olives for extra Mediterranean vibes.
More Fish Recipes
Crispy Pan-Fried fish
- 4 white fish fillets
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 3 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- Olive Oil, as needed
- 1/2 cup green lentil, picked over and rinsed
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
- 2 garlic clove, peeled
- 1 small bunch parsley, washed, finely minced
- 2 tablespoon mint, finely chopped
- 2 green onions sliced
- 8 cherry tomatoes, sliced
7 Spice Dressing
- 2 garlic cloves, mashed
- 1-2 lemons (depending on how juicy they are)
- 3-4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon 7-Spice, seasoning
- 1 teaspoonsp ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- pomegranate molasses (optional)
- Marinate the fish. In a medium-size bowl, add the lemon, garlic, and cumin. Stir. Place the fish in the marinate. Cover and place into the fridge while you prepare the lentils.
- Cook the lentils. Add lentils, cinnamon stick, garlic and 4 cups of water into a medium-sized pot bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to a low simmer, and occasionally stir, until lentils are tender, 15-20 minutes once lentils are cooked, remove cinnamon stick. Drain, rinse briefly under cold water to cool off the lentils. Then add to the salad. (If the lentils are hot or warm when adding to the fresh herbs, they'll cause the herbs to cook.)
- Prep the lentil salad. In a medium bowl, add green onions, parsley, mint & tomatoes. Set aside.
- Make the dressing. Place all of the dressing except the pomegranate molasses into a small mason jar. Secure the lid on the jar and shake vigorously until everything is combined. Once lentils are cooked, add the dressing.
- Prepare fish. Heat a large non-stick frying pan on medium-high heat. Add a generous drizzle of olive oil to coat the pan. Add the flour to a plate. Remove fish from the fridge and place fish on the flour and coat each side. Lightly shake off excess flour. Place the fish in the oil. Fry for 3-4 minutes on each side and transfer to a paper towel to drain excess oil.
- Plate your dinner. Place the salad on the plate and top with the crispy fish. drizzle lightly with pomegranate molasses. Serve and enjoy.
Brine the lentils.
This a great for preventing lentils from separating during cooking. If you have the time give this technique a try.
Add lentils into a medium-sized bowl, add 1 tsp of sea salt, and 4 warm water cups. Allow lentils to soak for 20 minutes. Drain well and rinse. Cook as usual.
Speedy weeknight cooking:
Skip boiling the lentil and just canned lentil. Drain the lentils and add the rest of them to the salad ingredients and pour over the dressing.