How to Cook Fried Flounder Fillets

by Mark S. Baker ; Updated November 17, 2017

Flounder, a large, flat saltwater fish, usually yields four large, bone-free fillets per fish. Because it's a mild-tasting white fish, flounder is adaptable to many dishes and cooking methods. One method to preparing flounder fillets involves deep-frying or pan-frying them after they have been seasoned and breaded.

Deep-Frying Method

Preheat the deep fryer to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Rinse the flounder fillets under cool running water and set aside, leaving the fillets moist.

Mix the breading and seasonings in a bowl using a whisk; ideal coatings for flounder are flour, cornmeal, cornstarch and breadcrumbs; seasoning options include salt, ground black pepper, ground cayenne pepper, dill weed, ground thyme and paprika. Pour half of the breading mixture into another bowl.

Mix eggs and water in another bowl. For added flavor, add soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce to the water egg mixture or substitute beer for the water.

Dredge a flounder fillet in the breading mixture using tongs. Dunk the coated fillet into the egg mixture, and then into the second breading mixture bowl.

Lay the flounder fillet into the deep fryer away from you in order to avoid being splashed by hot oil. Dredge the remaining fillets and cook them in two or more batches, if necessary.

Fry the flounder fillets until they begin to float, about two to four minutes. Turn the fillets to the other side to brown the fillets evenly.

Use an instant-read thermometer to verify that the fish is fully cooked; the internal temperature should be at least 145 F. Remove the flounder fillets from the oil and drain on paper towel. Lightly season with salt and black pepper while hot.

Pan-Frying Method

Fill a large skillet with about 1/2-inch of vegetable oil. Heat the skillet on medium-high heat. Rinse the flounder fillets under cool running water to moisten and set aside

Combine the breading and seasonings ingredients and mix well. Separate the breading mixture into two bowls. Mix eggs and water or other liquids in another bowl.

Dredge each flounder fillet in the coating mixture using tongs. Dunk the breaded fillet into the liquid mixture, and then into the second coating mixture bowl.

Lay the coated flounder fillets into the skillet one at a time away from you once the oil in the skillet begins to shimmer. Use tongs for safety purposes. Do not overfill the pan with flounder; fry in batches, if necessary.

Pan-fry the flounder fillets until the coating begins to turn brown and the fish pulls away easily from the skillet, about three to four minutes. Use a fish spatula to turn the fish gently. Cook for another three to four minutes until the other side has browned and pulls away easily.

Check the internal temperature, which should be at least 145 F, using an instant-read thermometer to verify that the fish is fully cooked. Remove the fried flounder fillets from the skillet and drain on paper towel. Lightly season with salt while hot. Repeat for any remaining flounder fillets.


  • Serve flounder fillets with lemon wedges and tartar sauce.

About the Author

Based in Virginia Beach, Mark S. Baker has been working in editorial for more than 20 years. He has served as a writer and editor for publications such as the "Houston Post," "Boca Raton News" and "Interactive Week," among others. Baker also has a culinary arts degree from Johnson & Wales University and has his own catering business.