If you stink at cooking fish, take these three ingredients

capers on fish

Photo: Magdanatka (Shutterstock)

Fish is one of my favorite foods to eat and cook. That said, people are intimidated by it because it can be a delicate ingredient to cook and season. But one of my favorite ways to make fish involves only three additional ingredients (not fish, salt and pepper). This version will make you feel like you’re dining at a French restaurant on any night of the week.

All you need is butter, lemon juice and capers

Fry, steam or pan bake your fish as usual, and while that’s at it, start making brown butter. (Luckily for you, we have a handy guide on how to make brown butter here.) The process only takes minutes; just make sure you don’t let the milk solids burn because it happens fast. When the butter is off the heat (our recipe is worth a stick), add two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice to it, along with a pinch of salt and black pepper, and add two tablespoons of drained capers.

That is it. You are done. If you want to kick it up a notch, feel free to add some chopped fresh parsley as you see fit, which will give your brown butter and caper sauce a little bit of grassy green herbiness. This is completely optional.

Other uses for a brown butter and caper sauce

This sauce is perfect for any flaky white fish such as cod, sole, halibut or any freshwater catch. It is also extremely delicious with prawns or scallops, and you can even use it with fried chicken breast (an extra splash of white wine in the sauce is ideal in this case). It can also be a sauce for cheese-filled pasta such as ravioli or tortellini.


The end result of any of these uses will be an entree coated in a silky nut butter sauce with a clean citrus flavor. The capers punch through with an extra burst of salty acidity, which is key when your sauce is mostly oil-based. Plus, the sauce only takes about five minutes to make, which means dinner will be ready in about the same time it takes to cook the fish (if you throw some vegetables in the microwave while you’re at it, you’ll eat dinner in truly record time).

Don’t you believe me? Give it a chance. You hardly have to cook, which means you can relax over dinner in no time at all. You can worry about the rest of your life, just don’t worry about the fish.