The Tip For Getting The Crispiest Fish Involves A Humble Piece Of Brioche

Like fried chicken, fish gets the ultimate crunch when the skin is seared in a skillet. However, if you typically lean more on the skinless side, the best way to ensure you get a crispy outer layer is by bringing in a third-party ingredient: brioche. And we aren't talking about breadcrumbs, this technique — which was implemented at Michelin-starred seafood restaurant Le Bernardin — incorporates a thin slice of bread to act as the crispy skin. 

The original dish at the notable restaurant was made with snapper and sourdough bread, but chef Adrienne Cheatham created her spin on the dish using salmon and brioche for the ultimate buttery combination. The flavors meld together seamlessly when the bread soaks up all the delicious cooking juices, while also preventing the fish from sticking to the pan. A restaurant dish of this caliber may seem overwhelming for a home cook, but trust us, it's worth a shot.

For extra crisp sans the skin

To recreate restaurant magic at home, simply place your filet onto a slice of brioche and trim the edges. Next, transfer the fish bread-side-down onto a hot skillet with oil, garlic, and herbs, and baste it as the bread toasts. Lastly, flip the filet and move the entire skillet to a hot oven for it to finish cooking.

Because most crusted fish recipes require a binder like egg or mayonnaise, you might think it would be necessary for this method as well. However, if you slice the piece of brioche thin enough, say, ⅛-inch to ¼-inch thick, this is enough to adhere to the proteins from the fish. Therefore, it's best to purchase a whole loaf of unsliced brioche bread or make a loaf yourself.

This also gives you the freedom to cut the bread lengthwise, in case your filet is larger than a traditional slice of bread. Furthermore, when choosing a type of fish, salmon works especially well — it releases albumin, which better binds the bread and fish together.