One of the finest ways to enjoy a good catch is to sear/fry it in a pan and serve it up with a nice sauce. One good sauce is called Beurre Blanc and even comes with a pretty simple recipe.

The synopsis

A Beurre Blanc--French for "white butter"--is a pale, buttery sauce usually served in fish dishes. It's made by immersing shallots (red onions) in a wine/vinegar mixture, then reducing in a pan or skillet over the fire and adding melting butter (and sometimes cream) in the recipe.

Beurre blanc is an emulsion, meaning it doesn't withstand the test for time.

Therefore, this sauce needs to be kept warm after completion and serve almost immediately with the pan-fried catch.

Speaking of the pan-fried catch, there is a multitude of fish species for the recipe to choose from. Some cooks settle with whitefish like cod, haddock, or freshwater fish. Others would prefer oily fish like salmon, tuna, trout, or swordfish just to name a few. Whichever you choose, the process will remain simple.

In preparation, the catch will be fried in a hot pan for three minutes on each side or until golden brown. Don't worry if the sides get burned; this is ok as long as the rest of the fish doesn't share that complexion.

So for this recipe, we'll start with the Beurre Blanc, then quickly move on to the catch and finally combine the two.

The recipe

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 small shallot, diced
  • 4 sticks unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Catch Ingredients:

  • 2-4 pieces white fish fillets or oily fish fillets
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter

The directions

Sauce Directions:

  1. Unwrap the butter sticks and cube them using a knife. Set aside.
  2. Pour the vinegar and wine into a skillet and bring up to a boil.
  3. Add the diced shallot to the skillet and turn the heat to low to reduce the liquid to a quarter. Whisk the shallot in the liquid occasionally while it reduces.
  4. Whisk in the butter cubes one at a time to melt. Keep stirring until all the butter is melted.
  5. Whisk in the heavy cream until thoroughly combined.
  6. Remove from heat and add salt and pepper to season. Sieve into a sauceboat, pressing down with a spoon. Discard the shallot.

Catch Directions:

  1. Season the fillets on each side with salt and pepper, patting it in.
  2. Melt the butter in a clean skillet over medium heat. Add the fillets and fry for 3 minutes on each side or until they turn golden brown.
  3. Transfer the fried skillets to a plate and cover with the sauce. Serve.

Serves: 2-4


  • Lemon - Substitute fresh lemon juice for the white wine vinegar.
  • Beurre Rouge- Substitute red wine vinegar and dry red wine for the white wine vinegar and dry white wine, respectively.

Did you enjoy that recipe? If you did and like to try similar ones, try this one for a Broiled catch with butter.