Fillet Meunière – Julia Child

Julia Child’s fillet meunière; Fish fillets sautéed in clarified butter, resulting in a crisp exterior while still light and flaky inside. 

Fillet Meunière Recipe from

It’s hard to believe we’re already in week 7 of JC100. This has been a fun adventure. I’m still hoping I can make it through the entire 15 weeks! Fingers crossed there aren’t any bumps in the road. This week we were given fillet meunière to make, a fish fillet that has been coated with flour and sautéed in clarified butter.

You might be aware of my dislike for fish so this was challenging in that I had zero experience preparing it. I’ve cooked with lobster before (and here too)… always precooked from the fish market because even though it costs a little bit more, it’s just plain easier. Thankfully the Mr likes fish, maybe even loves it, so I knew someone would enjoy eating this.

Fillet Meunière Recipe from

I did some research, as usual. Call me weird but when I’m unfamiliar with a recipe, ingredient or method I like to know more about it. The original recipe gave several options for fish to use (sole, flounder, whiting and trout were at the top of the list), all of which were to be thin fillets so it would cook quick and evenly.

I truly wished I had thought to take my camera with me this morning so I could have had some in market photos. ‘Freshly caught from Gloucester, MA’ Ahhh fresh New England seafood. I may not be a big seafood person (yet??) but I love knowing we can get super fresh seafood from so close. That definitely helps with the price too!

Fillet Meunière Recipe from

Whether you adore seafood or know someone that does, I highly suggest giving this recipe a try. It’s simple and extremely quick. The longest preparation goes into sides you’ll be serving with it! The fillets take roughly 5 minutes to cook, depending on their size. You can have dinner on the table in under 10 minutes! How’s that for a nice summer dish?

Sautéed fish fillets in clarified butter creating both a light and flaky interior, with a slight crispy crust and subtle fish flavor.

I kind of thought it tasted like chicken. Okay I’m weird.

Fillet Meunière

Cook Time6 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Seafood
Servings: 2


  • 2 fish fillets 4-6oz each, I used flounder
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 C all purpose flour
  • salt
  • ground black pepper


  • In a small saucepan over medium low heat, melt butter. When completely melted remove from heat. Take a spoon and gently remove the white (dairy). Strain remaining butter though a fine mesh sieve or cheese cloth if desired. Set aside.
  • Add flour to a baking dish or platter.
  • Heat clarified butter in a large skillet over high heat.
  • Sprinkle both sides of fish with salt and pepper. Lightly coat fish in flour, shaking off excess. Immediately place in skillet.
  • Cook 2-3 minutes per side. Flip when the under side has turned slightly golden and the edges of the top side are turning white. Fish will be very fragile and want to break apart. Carefully flip using a large spatula.
  • Plate and enjoy immediately with your favorite side dishes, such as rice and a green salad. Serve with warm butter and fresh lemon slices.


Recipe source: The Way to Cook by Julia Child

Celebrating 100 with Julia Child:
Week 1: Rolled omelette
Week 2: Chocolate mousse
Week 3: Coq au Vin
Week 4: Salade Niçoise
Week 5: Vichyssoise
Week 6: Reine de Saba

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22 Responses to “Fillet Meunière – Julia Child”

  1. #
    Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen — June 20, 2012 at 7:07 am

    You’ll have to do more to win me over to fish :) But really this is a great dish and you did a wonderful job with it. I bet your husband loved it!! Lucky guy!

  2. #
    IdaBaker — June 20, 2012 at 7:14 am

    I’m not a big fish fan, probably due to my salmon allergy, but other fish is good.

    This recipe looks like it will work with various kinds of flat, white fish, which I do eat.

    I’ll give it a try!!

  3. #
    Aninas Recipes — June 20, 2012 at 7:44 am

    Great recipe! You mentioned the fish can be quite fragile when you turn it, will hake fillets work or just completely fall apart?! I have a few fresh pieces and would love to try something new!

    • #
      Rachel — June 20, 2012 at 7:50 am

      Even the flounder I used didn’t completely fall apart, it just became flaky wanting to break apart because it was so fragile. That will happen to most tender white fish. If you have a large fish turner, I’d recommend using that. I don’t have one so used a smaller spatula… not quite so perfect for the job. :) Since hake is in the same family as haddock it should work. I don’t see why not. Just be sure that it is a thin piece so it cooks quickly and evenly.

  4. #
    Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite — June 20, 2012 at 7:51 am

    I’m like you – not a fish fan at all (but I try and am learning to like it a bit more) but I LOVED this. Yay us getting organised and posting so quickly! I’ll be making this again – it’s not intimidating, it’s tasty and I love the calm feeling I get from making clarified butter (you just can’t hurry it, right?)!!

    • #
      Rachel — June 20, 2012 at 7:54 am

      I agree! I’m completely willing to try things and will make this again when the Mr requests it, especially since it was so easy!

  5. #
    Jennifer Schwartz — June 20, 2012 at 8:10 am

    Why do people insist on using the phrase “light and crispy” when their photos show otherwise?

    • #
      Rachel — June 20, 2012 at 8:19 am

      A dish can have both a crisp exterior while having a tender and light inside, the best of both worlds and completely possible.

  6. #
    The Mr. — June 20, 2012 at 8:47 am

    This dish definitely had a nice crisp exterior particularly along the edges. More please.

  7. #
    Gina @ Running to the Kitchen — June 20, 2012 at 9:46 am

    I know people associate Julia with her boeuf bourguignon, but this is the recipe I think of when I think of her. It must’ve been something in the book “My Life in France” (which I adored) that stood out about this recipe, but after reading it this is like the quintessential JC recipe to me. Love it especially b/c of it’s simplicity.

  8. #
    amanda @ fake ginger — June 20, 2012 at 9:51 am

    I so miss fresh seafood! :( This looks awesome! So simple but so delicious!

  9. #
    Cassie — June 20, 2012 at 9:59 am

    LOVE the simple flavors. This looks perfectly cooked!

  10. #
    Tracey — June 20, 2012 at 10:17 am

    I love where we live for our access to seafood, it really is the best! I would be so happy if someone served this to me for dinner, it looks fantastic!

  11. #
    Jen @ Savory Simple — June 20, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    I’m not so much a fan of filleted fish most of the time but Julia dishes often win me over. It looks lovely.

  12. #
    Sweetsugarbelle — June 20, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    I came looking for cookies and found fish, lol, and NOW I AM HUNGRY! This looks amazing!

  13. #
    Carrie @ Bakeaholic mama — June 20, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    I’m a picky fish eater, it has to be crispy and very flaky white fish… so basically chicken? This looks to be right up my ally.

  14. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — June 20, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    wait, seriously? it’s already week 7?? i swear it’s flying by! i love how light this fish is. you don’t want a super crisp crust weighing down the fish, it looks very good and something I’d love to have on a summer night. it just seems so refreshing!

  15. #
    Carla @ Carla's Confections — June 21, 2012 at 5:24 am

    This recipe looks really good! It looks very light and crispy if you ask me, and I would really be looking forward to eating it! ;) Wish I was having dinner at your place

  16. #
    Jennifer | Mother Thyme — June 21, 2012 at 8:17 am

    I love fish and love how simple and delicious this recipe looks. Beautifully done.

  17. #
    nicole @ I am a Honey Bee — June 21, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    This looks so good. And I believe it looks light and crispy. :-P

  18. #
    Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. — June 21, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    sounds amazing! Will have to try this!

  19. #
    Julia — June 21, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    I used to haaaaaate fish. Now, I love it. Salmon mostly. For not being a fish liker or cooker, you did a great job!

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