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Killer Lemon Butter Sauce for Fish

This Lemon Butter Sauce for fish is outrageous – 3 minutes, 2 ingredients, totally restaurant worthy.

The secret is browned butter – called Beurre noisette in French. Learn how to pronounce it so you can loftily tell your family and friends “we’re having French tonight!” (But don’t tell them how simple it is?)

Overhead photo of a crispy pan fried fish fillet drizzled with Lemon Butter Sauce and sprinkled with parsley. On a white plate.

Restaurant-style Lemon Butter Sauce for Fish!

Great quality fish is not cheap. But worthy of investment because:

  • it’s good for you;
  • a beautiful piece of fish requires very little done to it to make a meal that you’d pay serious $ for at a fancy seafood restaurant; and
  • they’re quick to cook.

And so I present to you, your new favourite posh-yet-easy-and-super-quick way with fish: Pan fried until golden then drizzled with a 3 minute Lemon Butter Sauce that you’re going to go nuts over.

Close up photo of Crispy Pan Fried Fish with Lemon Butter Sauce and a sprinkle of parsley on a white plate.

The Lemon Butter Sauce

The Lemon Butter Sauce is just made with butter and lemon. But it’s not “just” butter and lemon.

It’s brown butter and lemon.

If you’re new to brown butter, this is going to change your world – it’s addictive. Brown butter is everything you love about melted butter, boosted with an incredible nutty, toasty aroma.

The French call it Beurre noisette. The literal translation is “hazelnut butter”, and even though hazelnuts don’t come into the equation at all, we get it. 🙂

Brown butter in a small silver skillet with a spoon.

How to make Lemon Butter Sauce

3 minutes, 3 steps, 2 ingredients:

  • Melt butter;
  • Leave until the butter turns brown and the smell suddenly changes and becomes nutty – about 3 minutes;
  • Stir through lemon juice.

The recipe video is helpful if you’re a first timer to browned butter – especially the pre and post comparison.

Brown Butter in a small glass bowl with a teaspoon scooping some up.

Quick Tips

While brown butter is simple to make, if it’s on too high a heat, it can go from nutty perfection to burnt in seconds. So here are a few quick tips:

  • Use a silver based small skillet or pot so you can see when the butter changes colour;
  • Make the Lemon Butter Sauce before the fish so you can concentrate on getting it right. It stays warm for up to 30 minutes – but if you are delayed and it solidifies, it only takes 10 seconds in the microwave to melt it back to its original state; and
  • Don’t try to make the Lemon Butter Sauce in the same skillet as the fish – the pan will be too large.
Fork cutting the end off the piece of a fillet of fish with Lemon Butter Sauce on a white plate.

Use sparingly – it’s rich!

And you don’t need much – this stuff is rich! The recipe makes slightly more than you need because running out of sauce in the middle of dinner is dismal, but in all honesty, my standard serving is 1 tablespoon of Sauce per fillet of fish.

It looks a lot browner in the bowl than it does when you drizzle it over the fish. Which is actually perfect – it’s a bright yellow Lemon colour once drizzled. 🙂 If it was just plain melted butter, you wouldn’t have that same intense deep yellow colour that you see on the plate – nor would it pool on the plate like in the photo below.

Lemon Butter Sauce being poured over crispy pan fried fish on a white plate.

The fish fillet is pictured in this post with the Kale and Quinoa Salad I published on Monday. 🙂 Keeps for days in the fridge, my friends! Don’t think of it as a trendy “health food” salad. It’s just a darn tasty filling salad that just happens to star 2 superfoods. Tested and proven!

Here are a few more ideas for things to serve this fish with:

  • Mashed potato or mashed cauliflower (for a low carb option)
  • For a true indulgent restaurant experience, try Paris Mash – the richest, creamiest mashed potato in the world
  • Curried Basmati Rice – this aromatic pilaf would be terrific paired with the fresh fish flavour
  • A garden salad or leafy greens with French Vinaigrette or Italian Dressing
  • Broccoli Salad or Magic Broccoli (the best roasted broccoli ever!)

Hope you enjoy! – Nagi x

Overhead photo of a crispy pan fried fish fillet drizzled with Lemon Butter Sauce and sprinkled with parsley on a white plate with a side of Kale Quinoa Salad.


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