Five-ingredient crispy skin branzino is super simple and takes less than 10 minutes from start to finish!
This recipe is the perfect option for a quick dinner. Branzino cooks in under 5 minutes and pairs perfectly with this peppery watercress salad with lemon and parmesan!
Branzino is one of my favorite types of fish to cook at home. It’s typically sold whole at the fish counter, which is ideal because whole fish stays fresher longer. I ask my fishmonger to filet it for me. As soon as you bring the filets home, take them out of the paper they’re packaged in and transfer them to a paper towel-lined tray, cover with a second piece of paper towel and put it in the fridge. Storing your fish this way will keep it fresher longer.
How to get crispy skin:
The key to crispy skin branzino, or any fish, is starting with dry fish, in a hot pan and then not flipping the fish until the skin golden brown!
-Pat your fish dry with a paper towel before searing
-Use a cast-iron pan on high heat. Add just a touch of oil, when the oil smokes gently place the fish, skin side down, in the pan.
-Don’t move it. Let the fish cook for two minutes before you flip it!
Five-Ingredient Crispy Skin Branzino Step, by Step →
Five-Ingredient Crispy Skin Branzino
- 2 filets branzino
- 1 lemon
- 1 bunch watercress
- 1 hunk parmesan
- 1 tsp dijon
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- neutral oil like avocado just a splash for cooking the fish
- salt and pepper
- Heat a cast-iron skillet on medium/high heat. Season both sides of the branzino with salt and pepper. Add a splash of neutral oil to the pan. When the oil begins to smoke, gently place the fish in the pan skin side down. Cook the fish on the skin side for two minutes, then flip the fish to the flesh side just for 10 seconds. Remove from the pan and transfer to a plate skin side up.
- In a small bowl whisk together the dijon, olive oil, and juice from half a lemon. Toss the watercress with dressing. Use a vegetable peeler to shave parmesan into the salad. Season with salt and pepper.
- Divide the branzino filets between two plates, top with salad and serve with a slice of lemon on the side. Enjoy immediately!