Sauteed Panfish Recipe

This recipe is well-suited to small panfish (blue gills, white bass, crappies). Order them “head-off and split.”  Allow ½ lb. per person, because bones are part of the weight.

Serves 2


Large skillet
Tongs or fork and spatula
For a large group: baking pan or rimmed cookie sheet
Aluminum foil
Oven set to low/warming 


1 lb. small panfish, head-off and split
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. butter
juice of 1 lemon; 1 clove of garlic, minced; 1-3 Tbs. white wine; chopped parsley; minced scallion (white and green)

Warm olive oil in pan, add butter. When butter “blooms” (melts and froths), add fish.  Cook 3-4 minutes per side.  If cooking large quantities, lift out of cooking oil/butter into baking pan. Cover loosely with foil and hold in warm oven, adding oil, butter and fish to skillet till all are done.

When fish are done, pour off cooking fats, deglaze pan with lemon juice or wine (add parsley or scallion to deglazing liquid). Pour a spoonful of liquid over each serving. 


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