Bonjour guys! I’m delighted to share some of my favorite French fish dishes that are both delicious and surprisingly easy to make at home. Many people think French cooking is overly complex, but these recipes prove that elegance and simplicity can go hand-in-hand, especially when it comes to seafood.
From the hearty Bouillabaisse stew from Marseille to the quick and flavorful Sole Meunière, French fish cookery offers approachable ways to inject Gallic flair into your weeknight dinners or dinner party menus.
Whether you’re looking to expand your recipe repertoire or impress guests with new dishes, read on for my picks of the best French fish recipes made for the American home cook. With a few simple ingredients and some basic techniques, say bon appétit to fabulous French fare!
Here’s a list of popular French fish recipes:
Originating from Marseille in the Provence region, bouillabaisse is a rich and flavorful fish stew made with various types of Mediterranean fish like red rascasse, sea robin, and shellfish like mussels and clams. It’s flavored with saffron, tomatoes, garlic, onions, fennel, and herbs like thyme and bay leaves. The dish is traditionally served with rouille, a garlicky saffron-infused mayonnaise, and crusty bread.
A classic French dish, Sole Meunière features delicate sole fish fillets dredged in flour and then sautéed in butter until golden brown. It’s typically served with a sauce made from the browned butter, lemon juice, and chopped parsley, providing a delightful balance of flavors.
Poisson en Papillote
This Poisson en Papillote dish involves wrapping fish fillets, such as sea bass or cod, with vegetables, herbs, and sometimes a splash of white wine or broth in parchment paper parcels. The parcel is then baked, allowing the fish to steam in its own juices along with the flavors from the added ingredients, resulting in a tender and aromatic dish.
Brandade de Morue
Hailing from the Languedoc-Roussillon region, Brandade de Morue is a creamy dish made from salted cod that’s been soaked, poached, and then blended with olive oil, milk, garlic, and sometimes mashed potatoes. It’s often served as a spread on bread or as a dip, showcasing the rich flavors of the cod.
Fish Quenelles are light, delicate fish dumplings made from a mixture of finely ground fish (such as pike or whitefish), eggs, cream, and breadcrumbs. The mixture is shaped into quenelle shapes, poached in simmering liquid, and often served with a rich sauce, like a lobster or crayfish sauce.
Salmon en Croûte
A show-stopping dish, Salmon en Croûte involves wrapping a salmon fillet, often accompanied by a filling of spinach, mushrooms, or herbs, in puff pastry. The pastry-wrapped salmon is then baked until the pastry turns golden brown and flaky, creating an elegant presentation and delicious flavors.
Bourride Fish Stew
Similar to bouillabaisse, bourride is a fish stew originating from the Provence region. It features white fish like monkfish or cod cooked in a broth made with garlic, white wine, and fish stock. The stew is finished with a sauce made from egg yolks and aioli, served with crusty bread and sometimes garnished with potatoes and vegetables.
These recipes showcase the diversity and deliciousness of French cuisine when it comes to preparing fish dishes. French fish dishes reflect the ocean’s diversity and regional influences within French cuisine, showcasing seafood cooking methods and flavors that highlight the freshness and quality of fish! Which one are you going to make?