Crispy-Skinned Branzino

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Ingredients for 2 servings

2 (3-ounce) skin-on branzino fillets, bones removed

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon fennel pollen

Lemon wedges, for serving



Season fillets on the flesh side with a pinch of salt and a couple grinds of fresh pepper. Put fillets together, flesh to flesh, as if to reassemble thewhole fish. Season both skin sides with salt and pepper.


Place a medium skillet over high heat and let the pan get hot. Add oil. Just before the oil starts to smoke, place fish in the pan and press down with a spatula to prevent fillet from curling. Lower heat to medium high and sear fish, without moving it, until the skin is brown and crispy, 1 ½ to 2 minutes. Flip, pressing gently on the fillets with the spatula to prevent curling, and lower heat to medium. Continue cooking until the second side has browned, about 2 minutes more.


While pressing the spatula against the fish, lift the skillet and tilt the oil into a small bowl to clean the skillet. Set skillet and fish back over the heat, add butter and fennel pollen. Using a large spoon, baste the butter over the fish for about 30 seconds.


Transfer fish from skillet to a rack and let it rest for 1 minute. Plate and serve immediately with lemon wedges.

View instructions at
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