Easy Does It!

I am always on the hunt for an easy way to prepare meals for the whole family. My hunt has led to my 5 Ingredient Dinner challenge. This is where I have been trialing and writing up the recipes suggested TO me from families in my FB group (parenting picky eaters), Instagram feed and Facebook page. Trying out their go-to recipes have formed my 5 Ingredient Meals challenge (see more details below). Today’s recipe for fish in a lemon butter sauce with asparagus, was provided by Amy. Hi Amy!  And the recips is definitely a quick and easy way to prepare fish. You should definitely put this recipe for easy fish in lemon butter sauce with asparagus on your dinner menu soon. As usual, I have included a couple of tips for serving fish for fussy eaters too, especially if they find the smell of fish to be “rather large”.

Some considerations about this easy pan seared fish in lemon butter sauce recipe:

  • Fish can have a big smell. When introducing fish to children that tend to avoid big smells, you can cook it in a foil parcel on a BBQ outside (3tbsp of butter rubbed all over the fish before wrapping in foil and cooking it for 3-5 mins on each side) and serve the lemon butter sauce on the size. Also, pan frying can lead to a bigger smell than poaching or baking in a parchment parcel. Consider a range of cooking techniques for fish and what appeals to your family (and their noses). I have more activities for helping fussy kids with “big smell food” on the blog here,  here and here, if you need.
  • For dairy free, you can use olive oil.
  • Don’t forget the learning bowl and preferred foods to serve alongside new family meals if your child is particularly fussy. 😉 #GoodbyePickyEating
  • Fish varieties are pretty flexible with this recipe! They can also lead to very different smells being present during cooking. I know that cooking fish can feel a bit daunting if you don’t cook fish that often.  So, I would stick to a firm, white boneless fillets to start with and something like basa, flounder, whiting (in the picture) and flat head don’t have as a big a smell as some other fish. Remembering that thinner fish fillets take about 3 minutes to cook on each side whereas thicker fish will be about 5 minutes on each side.
  • I often see fish recipes online that look great but the fish varieties in Australian waters are different! So, this FAQ area from the Sydney Fish Market is a good resource for Australian families to find a good fish variety to substitute into recipes that include an unavailable fish variety.

“With such a wide variety of fresh Australian seafood available, it’s always best to be open to substitution in recipes. A particular species may be out of season, making it unavailable, not at its best, or expensive, whereas a similar species, in season, may be a much better (and more economical) choice.” – Sydney Fish Market

Top with fresh lemon too, if you would like!

Easy Pan Seared Fish with Butter Sauce and Asparagus
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Quick to prepare fish meal for the family. Serve the sauce on the side in a little bowl with a serving spoon or on top of the fish from the middle of the table with a side of pan seared asparagus. Other side dishes you can offer include crusty bread, rice, mashed potato, roasted vegetables or a salad.
Serves: 4
  • 4 large Fillets of Fish (Flounder, Whiting, Basa, John Dory, Flat Head, Monk Fish etc - see note above)
  • 7 Tbsp Butter (or Olive Oil)
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 bunch of Asparagus
  • (Salt and Pepper Optional)
  1. Heat 3 tbsp of butter in a large fry pan that can fit all 4 fillets of fish (otherwise you may need to do it in batches and use a bit more butter).
  2. When hot, add the fish and cook on each side for 3 - 5 minutes (depending on the thickness). Season the fish as you like at this stage with salt and pepper. Once cooked, remove the fish to place it on some absorbent paper towel.
  3. To the pan, add the remaining 4 tbsp of butter and lemon juice. Whisk while it heats up, when it starts to get a little brown, pour it into to a side bowl / gravy boat. (If doing the olive oil substitute, just heat it through with the lemon juice.)
  4. Rinse and trim the bottoms from the asparagus, add to the pan after the sauce has been made. This will impart a nice flavour. The asparagus will need to be turned over a few times and will take about 3 minutes to be cooked through.


Participate in the 5 ingredient dinner challenge!

It is easy to do, print up your challenge list, read all the info with the recipes and serve them as family style serves. Here is your free printable. And nearly all of the recipes are now on the blog…. So you can find them all on this website including Tegan’s 5 Ingredient Lentil Bolognese, Elaine’s Tomato Pasta, and Shiri’s Japanese Style Chicken Curry.

5 ingredient dinner challenge for #pickyeaters by Play with

Join the link-up for Fish OR Asparagus family meals!

Looking forward to sharing these over on the Play with Food Facebook Page. How have you prepared fish for fussy eaters?

🙂 Simone

%d bloggers like this: