4 good-sized firm white fish fillets, about 6 inches long, 1-inch thickness (cod, halibut, or Mahi would work well.)
3 TB melted butter (I use salted, but unsalted is fine)
Juice and zest from 1 medium lemon
1/2 tsp kosher salt, plus extra to taste
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 TB olive oil
freshly chopped basil or parsley leaves, for garnish and flavor
extra lemon slices for serving
Use paper towels to thoroughly pat-dry excess moisture from fish fillets – this step is crucial for fish to brown nicely in the pan. Set aside.
In a bowl, combine melted butter, lemon juice and zest, and 1/2 tsp kosher salt. Stir to combine well. Taste and add a bit more kosher salt, if desired.
In a separate bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 tsp kosher salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper. Evenly press spice mixture onto all sides of fish fillets.
In a large, heavy pan over medium-high heat, heat up the olive oil until hot. Once your oil is sizzling, Cook 2 fish fillets at a time to avoid overcrowding (allows for even browning.) Cook each side just until fish becomes opaque, feels somewhat firm in the center, and is browned – lightly drizzle some of the lemon butter sauce as you cook, reserving the rest for serving. Take care not to over-cook, as that will result in a tougher texture. Season with extra kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.