Escalope-Style Flounder Recipe

Flounder is a vastly underrated fish. If you haven't tried it, it's thin, flaky, and kind of salty, like tilapia with a more fishy flavor. Because of its thin shape (it's only as thick as a few stacked quarters) a flounder filet is perfect for stuffing and frying. In particular, flounder is great for escalope-style frying, which involves a light breading and a quick, shallow fry for super-crispy, tender results.

Escalope is a French style of cooking meat and fish that is very similar to Milanese or German schnitzel. The protein is dredged in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs, then fried until golden brown and topped or paired with leafy greens. With all three of these preparations, the protein is pounded flat and tenderized before dredging, making a characteristically flat piece of chicken or pork. In this recipe written by Michelle McGlinn, flounder is swapped for meat, negating any need for pounding flat. This easy, light, summery meal is perfect for healthy weeknight dinners or weekend lunches, complete with a refreshing salad of arugula and onion.

Everything you need for escalope-style flounder

The very first ingredient you need to find is flounder, which is sold in filets seasonally or frozen year-round. If you don't live in a coastal city, you may need to do some searching in specialty stores for fresh flounder. If you can't find flounder and want to try the recipe anyway, swap it for tilapia.

Then, you'll need flour, egg, breadcrumbs (regular or panko both work), Kosher and Maldon salt, pepper, and oil for frying. You won't need a lot of oil for this; just enough that the entire fish is sitting in a thin layer. To make the accompanying salad, you'll need arugula, avocado, olive oil, onion, and red chili flakes. Don't use the same oil for frying that you use for the salad; olive oil will burn in the frying pan, and vegetable oil won't taste right in the salad.

Dredge the flounder

Prepare your dredging station. Beat the eggs in a bowl, then sprinkle the seasoned flour and breadcrumbs onto a flat surface or into shallow bowls. First dip the flounder into the flour, then dunk it into the egg, then press it firmly into the breadcrumbs. If you're using panko, be sure to press the crumbs into the filets and carefully set them aside. Repeat the dredging process with all the filets, setting them on a baking sheet until ready to fry.

Fry the flounder

Frying flounder escalope is a little different from deep frying. Fill the skillet with oil until there is a thin layer coating the bottom. Heat the oil until hot — to test this, drop a small piece of flour or breadcrumb into the oil and watch for immediate browning. Add a filet or two to the oil and brown on either side, flipping in between. The first flip will be easy since the flounder is still firm. Taking the flounder out of the skillet requires a gentler touch because the fish will become very flaky and fall-apart tender. Use a fish spatula to scoop the filets out of the oil.

Toss the salad together

The salad is easy enough to throw together that you can do it while the flounder cools. To prevent the avocados from browning before you serve, slice and add them right before serving. The rest of the salad can be prepped at any time. Mix together the onion, salt, pepper, lemon, and oil for a super-quick dressing, then toss into the arugula and add the avocado when ready to serve. The salad should be good on its own, so if it tastes bland to you, add a little more salt and pepper.

Serving flounder escalope

Like Milanese, escalope-style dishes are often served with a mound of leafy salad beside the protein. Serve the flounder, dividing the arugula salad between the four filets. Serve with rice, crispy potatoes, or even thin steak frites, and enjoy while the fish is still warm. To save leftovers, store separately in airtight containers. The salad with avocado will last for about a day and the fried flounder will keep for up to a week. To reheat, bake the flounder until warmed through.

Escalope-Style Flounder Recipe
4.9 from 14 ratings
For your next seafood dinner, try this flounder coated with breadcrumbs served with an arugula salad.
Prep Time
Cook Time
cutting flounder with a fork
Total time: 30 minutes
  • 4 flounder filets
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pepper, divided
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon Maldon salt
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 small yellow onion, sliced
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice from ½ lemon
  • 3 cups arugula
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  1. Prepare 3 dredging stations for the fish. In one bowl, whisk together 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and the flour. In another bowl, beat the eggs, and put the breadcrumbs in a third bowl. Pat fish completely dry.
  2. First dredge the fish in flour, then coat completely in egg. Once coated in egg, press into the breadcrumbs, coating on either side. Set aside.
  3. In a deep skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Oil should cover the bottom of the skillet generously; adjust the amount as needed. Once hot, add the breaded fish. Fish should sizzle immediately.
  4. Cook fish on either side until crispy and golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Carefully remove the fish from the oil and place on a wire rack to drain. Sprinkle with Maldon.
  5. To make the salad, first combine the sliced onions, olive oil, lemon juice, remaining salt, and remaining pepper in a small bowl. In another bowl, combine the arugula and avocado. Pour the dressing on top and toss to combine.
  6. Divide salad into 4 portions and serve alongside breaded flounder. Sprinkle with chili flakes to serve.
Calories per Serving 1,027
Total Fat 78.7 g
Saturated Fat 8.0 g
Trans Fat 0.4 g
Cholesterol 153.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 50.7 g
Dietary Fiber 6.2 g
Total Sugars 3.5 g
Sodium 927.8 mg
Protein 31.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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