Pan-Seared Tilefish Recipe (2024)

Published: by Chef Dennis Littley

4.76 from 25 votes

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Tender, flaky and mild is how I would describe this beautiful Golden Tilefish. It’s easy to prepare and can be pan-seared, broiled, baked, grilled, fried, and even cooked in an air fryer.

Pan-Seared Tilefish Recipe (1)

If you’ve never had tilefish before, you don’t know what your missing. Keep an eye out at the fish counter of your grocery store or where you buy fresh seafood.

Fresh tilefish fillets are always preferable, but frozen will also work with this recipe. Just let the fish thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.

Pan-Seared Tilefish Recipe (2)

I had read that tilefish was comparable to lobster, but I can’t agree with that. If I had to compare the flavor to another fish, I think cod might be the closest.

It had a nice mild flavor and was firm and flaky. Tilefish can be prepared in a number of ways, broiled, grilled, and even breaded and fried. But any wayyou cook it, make sure you don’t overcook it because it will get dry on you.

Table of Contents:

Ingredients to make Pan Seared Tilefish

Pan-Seared Tilefish Recipe (3)

Let’s start by gathering the ingredients we need to make Pan Seared Tilefish. In Chef Speak, this is called the “Mise en Place,” which translates to “Everything in its Place.”

Not only does setting up your ingredients ahead of time speed up the cooking process, it also helps ensure you have everything you need to make the dish.

How to make Pan-Seared Tilefish

Pan-Seared Tilefish Recipe (4)
  • Pat dry the fresh tilefish fillets with paper towels, then liberally season both sides with sea salt and black pepper.
  • Dredge the white fish fillets in the seasoned flour, coating both sides of the fillets.
  • Add one tablespoon of butter and one tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the tilefish to the hot pan and sear the fillet on both sides for 3-4 minutes per side until golden brown with a slight crust.
  • Add the seared tilefish to a baking dish. Then add one ounce of white wine and one tablespoon of lemon juice to the baking dish.
  • Place the baking dish on the center rack of the preheated oven and bake for 12-15 minutes (time depends on how thick the fillets are).

*I used a non-stick skillet to sear the fish. If you have a cast iron pan, that would add better color to the fish.

How to make Lemon Butter Sauce

Pan-Seared Tilefish Recipe (5)
  • Add one tablespoon of butter to a small saucepan over medium. Add the shallots to the pan and cook for one minute.
  • Add the chicken broth, white wine, and fresh lemon juice to the saucepan and bring to a light boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low.
  • Take pieces of butter and roll them in flour, pushing the flour into the butter. The butter should be just a little soft.
  • Add the beurre manie (the butter pieces rolled in flour) to the pan and whisk it to thicken the lemon butter sauce.
  • Taste and reseason with salt and pepper if necessary and add the chopped Italian parsley to the sauce.
  • Mix the parsley into the sauce and keep on the stovetop until needed.

*If you want to perk up the lemon flavor, add a little lemon zest to the sauce. If you’re not a fan of lemon, lime juice could be substituted. And to take a little of the tart edge off of the sauce, add ½ teaspoon of brown sugar when cooking the shallots.

Pan-Seared Tilefish Recipe (6)

You’re going to love the flaky texture of the pan-seared tilefish. Mild and moist it goes perfectly with the lemon butter sauce. Serve it with your favorite vegetables, rice, or roasted potatoes, and garnish with lemon slices for a delicious meal.

Recipe FAQ’s

Can I make Tilefish in the oven?

Yes, you can. My standard preparation for any oven-roasted fish is pretty much the same. Add a little coating of olive oil (or melted butter), salt, and black pepper to taste. Add a little water to the pan before placing it in the oven and roast at 350 degrees F. for 16-20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish.

What does tilefish taste like?

I have read that some people compare tilefish to lobster or crab. I can’t say that I agree. Tilefish is a firm, mild-tasting fish that reminds me more of cod or halibut.

Can I make a lemon butter sauce without wine?

Yes, you certainly can. You can just leave the wine out and replace it with additional chicken broth or sparkling water. Wine is not essential in making the sauce.

More Recipes You’ll Love!

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  • Pan-Seared Rockfish
  • Black Sea Bass with Shrimp in a Lemon Scampi Sauce

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Pan-Seared Tilefish Recipe (11)

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4.76 from 25 votes

Pan Seared Tilefish

Tender, flaky and mild is how I would describe this beautiful Golden Tilefish. It's easy to prepare and can be pan-seared, broiled, baked, grilled, fried, and even cooked in an air fryer.

Course: Entree

Cuisine: American

Servings: 2

Calories: 479kcal

Author: Chef Dennis Littley

Ingredients

Tilefish

  • 14 oz tilefish two 6-8 ounce fillets (I used golden tilefish)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Lemon Butter Sauce

  • 1 tbsp shallots finely minced (or substitute garlic)
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice fresh
  • 2 tablespoon chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon white wine
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon Italian parsley finely chopped
  • lemon circles garnish

US CustomaryMetric

Instructions

Tilefish

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  • Rinse the tilefish in cold water and pat them dry with paper towels.

  • Liberally season both sides of the tilefish with sea salt and black pepper.

  • Dredge the rockfish in the seasoned flour, coating both sides of the fillets.

  • Add one tablespoon of butter and one tablespoon of olive oil to a pan over medium-high heat

  • Add the tilefish to the hot pan and sear the fillet on both sides for 3-4 minutes per side.

  • Add the seared tilefish to a baking dish. Then add one ounce of white wine and one tablespoon of lemon juice to the baking dish.

  • Place the baking dish on the center rack of the preheated oven and bake for 12-15 minutes (time depends on how thick the fillets are).

Lemon Butter Sauce

  • Add one tablespoon of butter to a small saucepan over medium heat.

  • Add the shallots to the pan and cook for one minute.

  • Add the chicken broth, white wine, and lemon juice to the saucepot and bring to a light boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low.

  • Take pieces of butter and roll them in flour, pushing the flour into the butter. The butter should be just a little soft.

  • Add the beurre manie (the butter pieces rolled in flour) to the pan and whisk it to thicken the lemon butter sauce.

  • Taste and reseason with salt and pepper if necessary and add the chopped Italian parsley to the sauce.

  • Mix the parsley into the sauce and keep on the stove.

Notes

**If you want to perk up the lemon flavor, add a little lemon zest to the sauce. If you’re not a fan of lemon, lime juice could be substituted. And to take a little of the tart edge off of the sauce, add ½ teaspoon of brown sugar when cooking the shallots.

Nutrition

Calories: 479kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 160mg | Sodium: 163mg | Potassium: 643mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 705IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1mg

Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @askChefDennis or tag #askChefDennis!

About Chef Dennis

Chef Dennis Littley is a classically trained chef with over 40 years of experience working in the food service industry. In his second career as a food blogger he has made it his mission to demistify cooking by sharing his time-tested recipes, knowledge, and chef tips to help you create easy-to-make restaurant-quality meals in your home kitchen. Let Chef Dennis help you bring the joy of cooking into your home.For more details, check out his About page.

Reader Interactions

Comments

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  1. Russell Tate

    I am a big fan of tilefish, however, it is not available in Tuscaloosa, AL.

    Reply

  2. Jan

    Pan-Seared Tilefish Recipe (13)
    I cooked a 2 1/2 pound filet following the recipe exactly, and it was absolutely perfect!

    Reply

    • Chef Dennis Littley

      Thank you for the great review and for letting me know you enjoyed the recipe!

      Reply

  3. Cheryl

    Pan-Seared Tilefish Recipe (14)
    Perfect recipe. Simple, fast, minimal ingredients and the best part – tastes fantastic.

    Reply

  4. Sandy

    Pan-Seared Tilefish Recipe (15)
    Excellent. I have been following Chef Dennis for a few years and have prepared quite a few of his recipes. They are always fantastic.

    Reply

  5. Will

    Pan-Seared Tilefish Recipe (16)
    You’re right: the best preparation for fish is the simplest. The tilefish I prepared came out perfect.

    Reply

    • Chef Dennis Littley

      I happy to hear you enjoyed the tilefish recipe! Thanks for the great review

      Reply

  6. Susan Williams

    Will try your recipe tonite for tilefish

    We have a fresh seafood shop. Here in St Augustine and saw the golden tile fish before they filled it

    So we brought home a 1.2 lb fillet to try

    Reply

  7. Steve Crumpler

    Thanks for the info. on Tilefish. I see it sometimes in the market but never knew what to do about it. Chayote is used here in Mexican food and in Cajun food, known as Mirliton there. Use as you would any squash.

    Reply

  8. Vinchenzo

    I went deep sea fishing this weekend. After an early flurry of Albacore, Tuna, Shark and Mahi, things slowed down. The captain and mate were feeling bad and asked if we wanted to try some tile fishing before we went in. We were game and tried it. It’s not as exciting as the other fish, but we caught our limit in about and hour and had about 25 pounds of tile fish filets as our reward. The mate suggested cubing the filets and poaching. I have plenty to work with. Will try your recipe as well. FYI, catching tile fish is like hauling in an old boot. Just keep cranking.

    Reply

  9. marilyn

    I would like to cook a whole golden tile fish. Any recommendations for preparations. Temp at 350*?

    Reply

    • Chef D

      I cook fish very simply, clean the fish coat it will some olive oil , sprinkle sea salt, place some herbs and lemon in the cavity and roast the whole fish for about 20-25 minutes at 350

      Reply

  10. Lacy @ NYCityEats

    Great tip about putting water in the pan that makes a lot of sense and unfortunately I’ve never heard it before! Tile fish sounds fantastic! I’ve never tried it before but I have seen it, I’m a big fan of cod so I can see really liking this. Great post!

    Reply

  11. Megan @ Pip and Ebby

    What an interesting yet delicious-looking fish dish! The fish and the veggie are new to me!!

    Reply

  12. Mary

    That fish looks PERFECT. I’ve never heard of a tile fish before. I’m going to keep my eyes open for it now. I giggled at the comparison to lobster. WHY do people ever think of those things? There is no way I’m going to agree that any fish tastes like lobster! Now, dipped in garlic and butter, the flavor might be there… but that’s it.

    Have an awesome day, Chef Dennis!!

    Reply

  13. Marsha @ The Harried Cook

    That looks absolutely yummy! I don’t know what Tile fish is called locally, so I need to check… Great recipe and great tips! Love the post…

    P.S. – I linked to your site and to the Neighborhood Blog Watch page in my last post… Hope that’s okay!

    Reply

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Pan-Seared Tilefish Recipe (2024)
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