Whitefish fillets in lemon butter sauce

In good taste

Whitefish refers to any fish that has white flesh. However, the texture of the flesh can vary from delicate to medium to firm when cooked. The flavour of each variety differs too. For this recipe, Bangamary, Trout, Red or Grey Snapper, Snook and any other variety of whitefish available can be used. Given the quick-cooking nature of this recipe, it is highly recommended that you use fillets or other boneless steak cuts of fish.

The number of fillets to be used will vary, depending on the type of fish you are using, as some fish are larger than others. All you need to do is ensure that the number of pieces you are cooking can all hold comfortably in a single layer in the pan you will be using. Working as a guide, I am suggesting 2 fillets that can be cut into 4.

To make this a gluten-free dish, omit the dusting of the fish in flour.


Whitefish in lemon butter sauce (Photo by Cynthia Nelson)
Whitefish in lemon butter sauce (Photo by Cynthia Nelson)



2 whitefish fillets, halved, rinsed and patted dry

Salt and pepper to taste

All-purpose flour (optional – see directions below)

Vegetable oil

2-3 tablespoons salted or unsalted butter

Juice of 1 lemon or ½ large lime

1-2 tablespoons finely minced parsley or green onions




Season the fish with salt and pepper to taste. If using flour, very lightly dust the fillets with flour shaking off any excess.

Drizzle oil to just coat the bottom of a pan and place over medium heat until hot with just little wisps of smoke.

Add the fish to the pan – flesh side down and let cook for 2 minutes. Using a flat spatula lift the fish and flip it over. If the fish does not release easily it means that it is not ready yet to be turned, give it 30-45 seconds and then try again.

Cook the other side of the fish for 1-1 ½ minutes, in the meantime, add pats of butter on the cooked side and let it slide and baste the fish. Once the butter is melted, tilt the pan and baste the fish with the melted butter using a spoon until the fish is done cooking.

Shut off the heat and add the lemon or lime juice and mix in with melted butter; scrape off any stuck bits in the pan to incorporate in the sauce.

Sprinkle in parsley or green onions in the sauce and spoon over fish. Serve hot.



If you are using any fish with the skin on, score the skin-side of the fish to prevent it curling up in the pan when it meets the heat.

The cooking time for the fish will vary depending on the variety of fish and the size and thickness of the fillets. With fish, you can usually monitor how it is cooking – look at the sides of the fish as it is cooking, the cooked part gets white, use this as a guide to determine how much time you should give it to cook when you flip it.

With regard to the type of pan to use, a non-stick pan would work as well as a seasoned cast iron skillet or any pan that you use often that makes it easy to cook delicate foods and not have them stuck on.

The sauce for this recipe is not made in the quantity to be mopped up with anything, it is sauce to baste and flavour the fish.

Latest in Features, Sunday

default placeholder

Jumbie story

I was having a conversation with someone recently who relayed that a woman she knew was complaining about having “seven jumbies” attached to her.

default placeholder

Can Guyana afford parking meters?

‘Cities love meters – they are a “captive” income source. … unless you know someone or are a “public figure”, the city will tow your car if you have too many tickets.

20160629Development Watch29

Government spending and the economy

Last week the Private Sector Commission (PSC) urged the government to increase its spending to stimulate the needed aggregate demand to sustain business activity.

default placeholder

Peru’s president-elect demands freedoms in Venezuela

Peru’s pro-business President-elect Pedro Pablo Kuczynski won his country’s elections by a hair with the last-minute help of a leftist party, but — judging from what he told me in an interview — he won’t budge on his criticism of Venezuela and other repressive regimes.

default placeholder

Public financial management: 1966 – present (Final)

This is the fifth and final in a series of articles on the above aimed at highlighting the extent of our achievements in the post-Independence period.

LUCAS STOCK INDEXThe Lucas Stock Index (LSI) rose 0.54 per cent during the third period of trading in June 2016. The stocks of six companies were traded with 79,573 shares changing hands. There were three Climbers and one Tumbler. The stocks of Banks DIH (DIH) rose 1.98 per cent on the sale of 18,757 while the stocks of Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) rose 5.26 per cent on the sale of 41,667 shares. In addition, the stocks of Demerara Tobacco Company (DTC) rose 1.51 per cent on the sale of 13,603 shares. In contrast, the stocks of Demerara Bank Limited (DBL) fell 5.26 per cent on the sale of 4,324 shares.  In the meanwhile, the stocks of Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (BTI) and Republic Bank Limited (RBL) remained unchanged on the sale of 222 and 1,000 shares respectively.

Massy and Guyana (Part 1)

Steadfast Last year, this writer looked at the Massy Group of Companies formerly Neal and Massy to gain an understanding of the operations of this company which has been doing business in Guyana for the past 48 years. 


Value-added performance of the forest sub-sector: Erratic, weak, declining

Erratic Last week’s column highlighted what I consider to be a most distinctive feature of the extractive forest sub-sector’s performance in Guyana’s economy, during the past decade.

default placeholder

The UK bids Europe farewell

On June 23 by a small majority, the British people voted to remove themselves from the European Union (EU). The decision has consequences for the Caribbean.


About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: