Turbot Fish in Tomato Sauce (Breaded Fish Recipe)

Turbot Fish in Tomato Sauce (Breaded Fish Recipe) Recipe

Turbot is a flat, white-fleshed, delicately flavored fish. To avoid overpowering the mild fish, I breaded and pan-fried it to create a crispy outer layer, and then placed the fish on a bed of simple tomato sauce.

I garnished the top with Castelvetrano green olives, which added a mild, lightly salted, briny taste. The fish was both flaky and meaty in texture and full of flavor.


Yields: 6 servings

6 turbot fish steaks
3 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
1/3 cup all-purpose flour, as needed
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1/3 cup canola oil (or any neutral oil), as needed
1 slice stale white bread, toasted and diced
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, roasted, seeded and chopped
6 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon white vinegar
½ teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4 tablespoons sweet basil leaves, freshly snipped
4 Italian Castelvetrano green olives, pitted and sliced


Ask your fishmonger to prep 6 turbot steaks. Make sure the fish skin is scaled. Wash and pat dry using paper towels. Place the fish steaks in a small, shallow dish. Season with salt, red chili powder and 1 clove of crushed garlic. Make sure the spices coat the fish. Spread a tablespoon of oil evenly in the dish. Marinate the fish for no more than 30 minutes.

Put the diced bread into a food processor (or a mini-food processor) and pulse several times into fine white powder. Add garlic powder. Pour the mixture into a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Pat the fish dry one more time. Using a medium-mesh strainer, sprinkle some bread crumbs over the fish steak and shake off the excess bread.

In a skillet, heat the oil and fry the garlic until golden. Remove the garlic and set aside. Once the oil has a nice garlic flavor, add the butter over medium heat. Gently shake the excess bread crumbs off each piece of fish one more time. Place the fish in the oil, making sure the fish steaks don't touch each other. Jiggle the pan to make sure the fish is totallly coated with oil and does not stick to the bottom of the pan. Cook for about 2-3 minutes until lightly golden (depending on the thickness of the steak), flip each piece (I use chopsticks which I find easier to maneuver; you could use a slotted fish turner) and pan-fry the other side for another 2-3 minutes until crispy and lightly browned. Jiggle the pan again. Place the fish steaks on paper towels.

Add more oil in the skillet (if necessary). Add the onions and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent the onions from burning, until the color is evenly golden brown. Add the carrots, garlic, tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, jalapeño pepper. Stir well. Add paprika and vinegar. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Lastly, add the fish back to the skillet. Turn off the heat. The color of the meat should be white and opaque and the texture flaky.

Serve immediately, garnished with green olives and basil.

Bon appétit!


If you can't find turbot, you can make the same recipe with halibut, sole or flounder.

Dredging the turbot in bread crumbs keeps the moisture in and makes a crispy outer crust. Once you add the bread crumbs, pan-fry the fish steaks immediately. If you wait too long, the moisture from the fish will make the crust soggy.

Castelvetrano olives have a meaty, buttery flesh. They pair beautifully with poultry and fish. I buy them at a local market. You can replace them with any other briny ingredient such as capers.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on August 10, 2011.


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