Easy Spanish Fried Fish in Lemon Sauce Recipe

fish with lemon and capers
Getty Images/SKashkin
  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings

This easy Spanish fish main course (known as Pescado Frito en Salsa de Limon) is full of citrus flavor. Lemons are grown in eastern Spain, close to the Mediterranean Coast, in Levante and in the south of Spain. They accompany salads, fish, and seafood dishes, as well as rice dishes. Lemons are often used in the preparation of desserts, such as sorbets and ices during the summer months.

Fish fillets are coated in flour and lightly fried. Then, a simple sauce is made from a roux of flour and olive oil. Garlic, wine, and lime juice are added as it thickens. Sprinkle in some capers; pour sauce over the fish and serve with home-fried potatoes or rice.

Pair this fish dish with a light Spanish white wine such as Albarino or Txakoli.

Tip: Lemon-infused olive oil can be purchased in gourmet food stores, or farmers markets. If not available, grate the peel of half of a lemon or lime and add to oil.

More Spanish Seafood Dishes


  • 1 1/2  to 2 pounds white fish fillets
  • 1 bottle virgin olive oil for frying
  • 1/4 cup white flour
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 to 6 tablespoons lemon-infused olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • Optional garnish: lemon slices

Steps to Make It

  1. Rinse fish fillets and pat dry. Mix flour and bread crumbs together on a large plate. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and mix.

  2. Pour about 1/4-inch olive oil into a heavy-bottom frying pan and heat on medium to medium high. Coat fish with flour mixture on both sides by dredging in the flour. When oil is hot, fry fish on each side for about 5 to 7 minutes, until golden brown. Remove and allow to drain on a paper towel.

  3. Peel and finely chop garlic. Cut lime in half. Set both aside.

  4. Pour lemon-infused oil in a separate, small frying pan. Heat oil on medium. (If using lemon peel, add now for flavor.) Add chopped garlic and lightly sauté, but do not allow to brown. Stir in a few tablespoons of flour and fry flour for 2 to 3 minutes. While stirring, pour in white wine. Squeeze in lime juice and capers, and continue to stir. Reduce heat as sauce thickens. If the sauce becomes too thick, stir in a few tablespoons of water to thin.

  5. Place fish fillets on a platter or individual plates. Spoon sauce over the fillets, and garnish with lemon slices. Serve with fried potatoes or rice.