Pan-Fried Whitefish With Corn, Avocado, Lime and Basil Relish Recipe

Pan-fried whitefish with a tangy corn, tomato, and avocado relish. Jennifer Olvera

Pan-fried whitefish is the perfect blank canvas for a medley of fresh and bright summer flavors: sweet corn, red onion, avocado, tomatoes, and basil, all tossed in a bright lime vinaigrette. The resulting dish—quick and easy to prepare—is full of flavor and color, texture and tang.

Why this recipe works:

  • Whitefish or other mild white-fleshed fish, cooked skin-on in butter and olive oil, is an ideal foundation for the refreshingly tangy corn-and-avocado relish.
  • Because the relish can be made up to 1 hour in advance, it's great for stress-free entertaining or just a relaxing meal.

Note: The relish can be made up to 1 hour in advance. If you have any leftover relish, it's also delicious served with tortilla chips.

Recipe Facts

Active: 20 mins
Total: 30 mins
Serves: 4 servings

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  • 2 ears of corn on the cob, cooked, kernels removed (about 1 cup cooked kernels)
  • 1 small red onion, minced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 medium Hass avocado, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 small tomato, diced (about 1 cup), or 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 skin-on whitefish (or other light, white-fleshed fish) fillets, about 6 ounces each, patted dry with paper towels


  1. Combine corn, red onion, avocado, tomato, red wine vinegar, lime juice1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, and basil in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

  2. Season fish with salt and pepper. Melt butter and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until butter is foaming. Add fish, skin side-down, and cook, pressing gently on back of filets to ensure good contact with skin, until skin is crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. If skin shows resistance when attempting to lift with a spatula, allow it to continue to cook until it lifts easily. Flip fish and cook until just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes.

  3. Transfer fish to plates, top with relish and serve immediately.

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