Saeng sun Jun, or Korean Egg-battered Fish, is a simple pan-fried fish that can be served as an appetizer or a light main dish. Ready to eat in less than 15 minutes!
Korean pan-fried fish, also known as Saeng sun Jun, is a simple, delicious way to prepare whitefish. Fish fillets are dredged in seasoned flour and dipped in beaten egg, and then pan-fried to a golden brown. Mr B and I first encountered this Korean Pan-fried Fish recipe while vacationing in Hawaii. It is fast, easy, kid-friendly, and inexpensive, making it perfect for a weeknight dinner.
Why You Will Love this Recipe
- You only need the fish plus a few pantry ingredients to make it.
- You can use a wide variety of white-fleshed fishes: cod, rockfish, haddock, mahi-mahi, flounder, and snapper are all good options.
- Despite being pan-fried, it is relatively healthy: low in fat, high in protein.
- Serve it with fruit or a salad, and you've got yourself a meal.
- The leftovers make great fish tacos.
- The recipe is super simple to make, and it goes great with our Caribbean Mango Salad!
- It can be on the table in just 15 minutes (or less)!
What Goes into Saeng sun Jun
Egg and flour fried fish is one of the simplest recipes around! Just four ingredients, plus oil for frying.
- Fish: Any mild, white-fleshed fish will work.
- Our top fish choice for this recipe is Alaskan cod. It is mild and slightly sweet meat, and fries up very well.
- Other good options include rockfish (as shown in the image above), haddock, mahi-mahi, flounder, and snapper.
- Fillets for this recipe should be relatively thin: ½-¾ inch thick at most.
- Oil: Use a neutral cooking oil with a high smoke point: canola oil, avocado oil, and vegetable oil are good options. Avoid using olive oil: its smoke point is too low.
- Seasonings: We recommend keeping things simple by seasoning your dredge flour with a teaspoon of Old Bay; however, a little salt, pepper, and paprika will work just as well.
How to Make Pan-fried Fish
Prep Dredge & Egg-Dip
Rinse the fish filets, gently pat dry with a paper towel, and set aside.
Mix flour and Old Bay seasoning (or a little salt, pepper and paprika work) in a pie plate or resealable bag and set aside.
Whisk eggs with a fork until well beaten and put in a pie plate or flat-bottomed bowl and set aside.
Set Proper Skillet Temperature
If you are using an electric skillet, set the temperature for 375°F (190°C).
Maintain a temperature of 375-350°F (176-190°C) the entire time you fry the fish. If the temp falls too low, the fish may turn out soggy. If the temp is too hot, the fish may cook too quickly on the outside.
If you don't have an electric skillet, you can test the skillet temp by adding a droplet of water to the skillet. If it sizzles, the skillet is hot enough. Do not let it get too hot!
Fish the Fry
Add enough cooking oil to generously coat the bottom of the pan; about half cup in a standard 10-inch skillet.
Toss fish in the prepared flour mixture to coat lightly. Tap off any access flour.
Dip coated fish in the beaten eggs, and then immediately put them into the hot skillet. Do not crowd the fillets.
Fry fillets on each side for 1 to 3 minutes, depending upon the thickness of your fish. Fish is done cooking when it flakes easily.
When done, use tongs or a slotted spatula to remove the fish from the skillet.
Place the hot fish on a wire rack or paper towels to drain briefly.
Serve pan-fried fish with a salad or fruit.
When it comes to pan-frying, whether it's fried chicken, fish, or fritters, an electric skillet can make all the difference between a crispy, golden crust and a soggy, overcooked one. A skillet heated on a traditional stovetop will inevitably have hot spots: an electric skillet will consistently keep the temperature you set.
Best Temperature for Frying Fish
It's important to maintain the correct temperature for frying fish: between 350°F and 375°F (176-190°C).
- If the temperature of oil in the pan drops down below 350°F (176°C), the fish will begin to absorb the cooking oil, resulting in greasy, soggy fish.
- If the temperature rises above 375°F (190°C), the fish will cook too quickly on the outside, and not get done in the middle.
When fried at the correct temperature, the fish will come out golden brown, having absorbed very little oil.
According to the USDA, leftover fish should be safe to eat for a maximum of 3 days after it has been cooked. Store fish in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
You can test fish for doneness by piercing the thickest point with a fork set at an angle. If the fish flakes easily when the fork is gently twisted, the fish is done.
USDA guidelines recommend a minimum internal temperature of 145°F (63°C) for cooked fish. (Keep in mind, fish continues to cook for a few minutes when removed from heat.)
More Fresh Fish Recipes
It's no secret that we are partial to salmon here in the Pacific NW. Be sure to try our Honey Glazed Salmon recipe!
What to Serve with Pan Fried Fish
We love to serve this recipe with a fresh mango-avocado salad, sautéed vegetables, and a green salad. Other sides that pair well with pan-fried fish include french fries, quinoa salad, rice pilaf, coleslaw, and orzo.
Korean-style Pan Fried Fish
- 1 pound white-fish fillets ½-¾ inch thick at most. Use a firm, mild white-fish (i.e., Alaskan cod, rockfish, haddock, mahi-mahi, flounder, and snapper).
- 2 large eggs
- ⅔ cup flour
- ½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning or more
- Oil for frying See Note
- Rinse the fish filets and pat dry. Set aside.
- Mix flour and Old Bay seasoning (or a little salt, pepper and paprika work) in a pie plate or resealable bag. Set aside.
- Whisk eggs with a fork until well beaten and put in a pie plate or flat-bottomed bowl and set aside.
- If you are using an electric skillet, set the temperature for 375°F (190°C).If you don't have an electric skillet, you can test the skillet temp by adding a droplet of water to the skillet. If it sizzles, the skillet is hot enough. Do not let it get too hot!
- Add enough cooking oil to generously coat the bottom of the pan; about half cup in a standard 10-inch skillet.Heat the oil until it becomes shimmery in the pan.
- Toss fish in the prepared flour mixture to coat lightly. Tap off any access flour.Dip coated fish in the beaten eggs, and then immediately put them into the hot skillet. Do not crowd the fillets.
- Fry fillets on each side for 1 to 3 minutes, depending upon the thickness of your fish. Fish is done cooking when it flakes easily.
- When done, use tongs or a slotted spatula to remove the fish from the skillet.Place the hot fish on a wire rack or paper towels to drain briefly.
- Serve pan-fried fish with a salad or fruit.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.
- Most seafood should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145°F. (Shrimp: 120°F)
- Never leave seafood or other perishable food out of the refrigerator for more than 2 hours or for more than 1 hour when temperatures are above 90°F. Bacteria that can cause illness grow quickly at warm temperatures (between 40°F and 140°F).
- Thaw frozen seafood gradually by placing it in the refrigerator overnight. If you have to thaw seafood quickly, either seal it in a plastic bag and immerse it in cold water, or — if the food will be cooked immediately thereafter — microwave it on the “defrost” setting and stop the defrost cycle while the fish is still icy but pliable.
- Keep hot seafood heated until time to serve or divide the seafood into smaller containers and keep them in a refrigerator until time to reheat and serve.
- Serve hot seafood under a heat source (e.g., hot lamp, crock pot, hot plate, etc.) if it is going to stay out longer than 2 hours or discard the seafood after 2 hours.
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food that previously touched raw meat.
- Always wash hands after touching raw meat.
- Never leave cooking food unattended.
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove.
Thank you for visiting the Good Hearted Woman. Remember to bookmark this site, and come back soon!
Originally published August 11, 2015