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Fish a la Meuniere

Updated: Jan 28

French dish of pan seared whitefish with a brown butter sauce served with rice pilaf

It feels like I’m back in Paris today with this Fish a la Meunière. This classic French dish is a pan seared whitefish served with a brown butter sauce, and I served mine on a bed of rice pilaf. Eating it reminds me of sitting in a French Bistro along the Seine or in my arrondissement (I lived in the 3rd arrondissement, while I was there). Paris is one of those cities where you will see a cafe, bistro, or brasserie on every corner; so you will not have to go far for it. The dish came to me as a combo from watching recent cooking shows and also my time in study abroad. One was the recent season of Masterchef, and the winner Kelsey Murphy making the dish in the French challenge. The other one was an episode of Bizarre Foods in France with Andrew Zimmern. After both these shows, that was a sign I need to make this dish. It's now on a bi-weekly rotation in my house cause it's so easy, light and packs clean flavors. My bags are packed for France, as I'm ready to go back there! Vive la France!

Prep Time: 5 mins

Cook Time: 40 mins

Serves 4


  • 4 fillets whitefish such as sole or tilapia

  • 1/2 c cornstarch

  • Salt to taste

  • Pepper to taste

  • 6 T butter

  • 3 T lemon juice

  • Parsley, dry for garnish

  • 1 c white rice

  • 1 c GF orzo or vermicelli broken into small pieces

  • 3.5 c chicken broth

  • Pinch of saffron

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 3 scallions chopped

  • 1/2 T garlic minced

  • Olive oil for cooking fish plus 2 T for rice


1. Heat 2T oil in skillet over medium. Add rice and pasta and toast 2-3 mins.

2. Stir in garlic, bay leaves, chicken broth, saffron and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.

3. Reduce heat to simmer and cook covered 20 mins.

4. Fluff and garnish with scallions and parsley.

5. Season fish with salt and pepper on both sides.

6. Put cornstarch in a bowl and coat fish in it.

7. Heat remaining oil in skillet. Cook fish 2-3 mins per side until coating is crispy.

8. Transfer fish to a cookie sheet and keep warm in 200 degree oven.

9. Return fish skillet to stove and heat butter over medium low. Let butter start to brown 2-3 mins.

10. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and parsley.

11. Place a few spoonfuls of rice pilaf on plate. Top with fish. Drizzle sauce over the fish.

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