Sautéed Flounder With Crispy Rye Crust

Sautéed Flounder With Crispy Rye Crust

Rye flour is popular in Scandinavian cooking.  It's used in various baked goods, breads and crackers, but it also is used to give a tasty and subtly tangy surface to sautéed foods, especially fish. 

I adapted this recipe from Trina Hahnemann's The Scandinavian Cookbook, a gorgeous and tempting book about pan-Scandinavian cuisine published by Andrews McMeel in 2009 after the book was originally published in London the year earlier.

I changed Ms. Hahnemann's recipe in two ways -- one, I've reduced the amount of fat and instead of using all butter to sauté the fish, I've substituted half extra virgin olive oil.  And two, I suggest you make this recipe with any flat fish and not necessarily flounder which is not always recommended on the Seafood Watch lists due to its short supply.  You can substitute sole or tilapia or any other flat white fish.

Look for rye flour in health food stores or in the organic and health food sections of our bigger markets.  An excellent one to look for is Bob's Red Mill Light Rye Flour.

As the original recipe suggests, serve this fish with steamed potatoes that have been toss with butter and a snip of fresh herbs.  Dill or flat leafed parsley would be good choices.



  1. Rinse the fish fillets and pat dry with a paper towel.
  2. Add the rye flour to a flat plate or baking dish and add the salt and several grinds of black pepper. Use a fork to combine.
  3. Dip the fish into the seasoned flour and turn it over so that both surfaces are completely coated. Use your hand to press the flour onto the fish but let any excess fall off. It won't be a heaving coating, just a sheer dusting.
  4. Add the olive oil and butter to a large sauté pan or skillet and heat over medium high heat until the butter completely melts and becomes hot but before it becomes brown.
  5. Add the fillets to the pan and cook about 4 minutes a side until the surfaces are crispy and the fish is firm. If the pan isn't big enough to cook all 4 fillets at once, cook two at a time and keep them warm in a 200° F oven while you finish cooking the rest. Add more butter and olive oil to the pan if necessary for cooking the fillets in batches but make sure the fat is melted and hot before adding the next pieces of fish.
  6. Serve immediately with steamed potatoes tossed with melted butter, a pinch of salt, and a snip of fresh dill and flat leaf parsley.




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