Pan-Fried Flounder and Quinoa Cakes

Okay. I must first confess. Our neighbors moved to Texas and left us a box of frozen fish. It was supposed to be only salmon, but there was a lot of white fish in the box as well. We are pretty sure that most of the white fish is flounder. We have been eating it and it’s really good. I know at this moment my fishermen friends, of which there are a great many, are trying to contain their derision. “What! Paula, you don’t know?” Sigh. Okay. Lay it on.

Is this flounder? I think so.

A fisherman friend graduated from high school (back in the day) and went to Australia. She worked in a restaurant there for awhile. In Naknek, Alaska, where we both graduated high school, flounder is considered trash fish. That’s because the goal fish is salmon, anything else is a by-product. I remember her saying she couldn’t believe she served flounder to paying customers. “Here’s your flounder,” she’d say while holding it at arm’s length. This has been my flounder impression for forty years, so I was pleasantly surprised to discover how much I liked it.

Pan-Fried Flounder (based on a recipe by Bobby Flay)

4 flounder filets

Salt and pepper



Olive Oil

Lemon juice

1 bottle capers

Salt and pepper the flounder filets. Dredge the fish in flour. Heat skillet with butter and olive oil (a couple tablespoons of each) on medium until butter is melted and stops foaming. Fry the flounder until a nice brown, turning only once. It cooks very quickly. [My fish never turns a nice brown because I try to do them all at once in too-small of a skillet.] Remove fish to plate. Add about a tablespoon of butter to the skillet and stir. Don’t worry about any bits left behind, no need to scrape them up, just stir the butter around a little. Add a splash of lemon juice and stir. You’re trying to heat it, not cook it. Add the whole bottle of capers, juice and all. Heat through and drizzle over the fish. Yessiree, this is really good! My husband says we should start putting capers on everything. I could probably go for that.

If you're cutting the filets down and removing bones, don't put a big hole in yours like I did mine. Salt and pepper the filets.

Dredge the filets through flour.

Pan fry

Turn over and fry the other side (about 3 minutes each side).

Drizzle thin caper sauce over fish.