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Spice-Rubbed Fish Fillets with Lemon Butter Sauce

Scott Phillips

Servings: three to four.


  • 1/2 Tbs. freshly ground black-pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cayenne
  • 1 lb. tilapia or sole fillets (about 4 fillets)
  • 2 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice; more to taste

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size based on four servings
  • Calories (kcal) : 240
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 150
  • Fat (g): 16
  • Saturated Fat (g): 5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 9
  • Cholesterol (mg): 70
  • Sodium (mg): 210
  • Carbohydrates (g): 1
  • Fiber (g): 0
  • Protein (g): 22


  • In a bowl, combine the pepper, paprika, thyme, mustard, salt, and cayenne. Brush both sides of the fish with 2 tsp. of the oil and gently rub the spice mix all over the fish.
  • In a small skillet, heat the butter over medium heat, swirling the skillet, until the butter is a deep amber brown, about 3 minutes; watch carefully so it doesn’t burn. Whisk in the lemon juice and keep warm.
  • Set a heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and heat 1 Tbs. of the oil. When the oil is hot, add two of the fillets and sear until cooked through, about 2 minutes. per side; transfer to a plate and tent with foil. Wipe out the pan and repeat with the remaining oil and fish. Serve immediately, spooning the butter over the fish.

Serve with couscous tossed with herbs, red peppers, and-scallions.


Rate or Review

Reviews (3 reviews)

  • lenaz | 04/05/2010

    one of our family's favorites - quick, easy, flavorful!

  • DMizusawa | 08/24/2008

    I used this on tilapia but made double the amount and put quite a bit of seasoning on the fish. It was very good. I think doubling the amount of spice was the key. I'm going to use this recipe for the fish to make fish tacos.

  • sandrasmart | 01/11/2008

    Easy to prepare but not much flavour. I think I might increase the quantity of the more pungent spices and add more lemon or wine to the melted butter. Tweeking in progress.

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