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Pan-Fried Tilapia with Lemon Thyme Butter Sauce

Pan Fried Tilapia with Lemon Thyme Butter Sauce

  • Author: A Family Feast
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Category: entree
  • Method: fried
  • Cuisine: American/French



12 tablespoons butter, divided

½ cup shallots, minced

¼ cup white wine

Zest of one lemon

3 tablespoons lemon juice

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon white pepper

1 tablespoon fresh thyme


1 pound tilapia filets

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon paprika

¼ teaspoon table salt

¼ teaspoon white pepper

2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil



Begin by making the sauce. It can be served room temperature.*

In a medium saute pan, melt two tablespoons of the butter over medium low heat and once melted, add the shallots and cook until soft, about four minutes.

Add wine and cook to evaporate.

Add zest, lemon juice, salt, pepper and thyme and cook for two minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated, leaving about a tablespoon of liquid with the solids.

Turn the heat to low and start stirring in four tablespoons of butter letting them melt into the sauce. Add four more tablespoons of butter stirring in to melt and mix in.

Remove pan from heat and stir in the last two tablespoons of butter. The sauce will be creamy and slightly thick.

Pour this sauce through a strainer and discard solids then set aside. *


Pat fish dry with paper towels.

In a small bowl, mix flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Pour into a small sifter and sift over both sides of the fish.

Heat a large skillet or saute pan over medium heat and add the olive oil.

Once the oil is hot, add all of the fish filets and cook for about five minutes, turning half way through.

Remove to a platter and drizzle some sauce over the fish and serve the rest on the side.


*This sauce does not reheat well (unfortunately). To reheat, bring sauce to room temperature and gently add low heat whisking as you go. If you add too much heat too quickly, it will separate.

Keywords: pan fried halibut