Fried Pan-Fish in Spicy Paprika Flour

  • Prep Time
    10 mins
  • Cook Time
    10 mins
  • Serving
  • Ready In
    20 mins

Fried Fish in the Hungarian Way in Paprika Flour

Roasted bream rolled in paprika flour is one of the favorite dishes of Hungarians. A crispy delicacy that is easy and quick to make, evoking childhood memories in many of us. This summer weekend fishing brought wonderful memories to me too … The fish we caught now only resemble bream in size, but I was still very happy to finally be able to eat the fried fish I used to eat at home in Hungary. I will share my recipe with you on how to fry them in Hungarian style.

After pouring rain, when the waters are refreshed, catching fish is common. Anglers also say that fish eat at such times. After a summer morning thunderstorm, we went to see if the fish really ate? Nearby Muskoka is one of our favorite fishing spots at White Falls, where we’ve never caught anything, but the place is so captivating that just sitting on the lake shore and admiring the view is well worth it, but now, for the first time we got a fantastic fishing experience. So, the proverb did not lie.

White Falls, Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

At first we tried to catch fish under the waterfall, but we didn’t catch anything, so we went over to Six Mile Lake beyond the dam above the waterfall. There was not much to wait for the first fish and its companions either. It was real recreational fishing! The fish moved us well because we had to string the worms on the hook very often. The view of the landscape, the silence and the tranquility, on the other hand, completely turned off the stress.

Six Mile Lake, Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

We released back a lot of tiny fish, keeping only the ones that were already worth frying. In a short time, the two of us, with my husband, caught up as many fish as was enough for our dinner.

Of course, you can buy the fish at a fish market if you don’t like fishing, or you can even make this delicious delicacy with peeled fish fillets.

George & Me - Fishing on the Six Mile Lake, Ontario, Canada
I learned my recipe from my dad, who installed  his love of fishing in me. My dad is a Danube kid who was born with a paddle and a fishing rod in his hand in a fishing boat. Of course, this is just a kind of legend, but it could also be true, because he is 82 years old and actively fishing with my mother. As a child, we fished together a lot. We usually caught breams, then we peeled the fish and in the end I usually fried them to very crispy. We didn’t have to worry much about the dangerous bones.

The term panfish or pan-fish has been used to refer to a wide range of edible freshwater and saltwater fish species that are small enough to cook whole in one frying pan. It is also commonly used by anglers to refer to any small catch that will fit into a pan but is large enough to be legal. […]


How to Fry Panfish in Hungarian Style?

In my childhood, we rolled fish into simple paprika flour and suddenly fried in very hot sunflower oil.  Today, I no longer use sunflower oil at all, because these oils are usually squeezed out of the seeds at very high temperatures, using chemical solvents, which will cause them to become full of inflammatory trans fat. Instead, I fried the fish in a mixture of lard and olive oil.

My other adult innovation is that I handle spices much more boldly. Today I put not only red peppers in the flour, but pepper, vegetarian, a special fish-spice mixture, and even a little garlic powder. Just so that the penetrating garlic flavor doesn’t hit the fish to death, just be present. You won’t regret trying it.

People on a strict Keto diet (and especially gluten-sensitive ones) can replace white flour with almond flour. Anyway, the small amount of flour needed to turn the fish in is so low in carbs that it’s not worth counting on. (More than half of the amount given in the recipe will remain for the next fish frying.)


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Pan-Fish in Spicy Paprika Flour

For frying



    Clean the fish of scales, heads, fins and intestines, then wash thoroughly.


    Tiny fish are not filleted. The fish should be cut frequently to finely chop fish bones.


    The ready-to-cook fish can be frozen under vacuum for up to 6 months if not consumed that day.


    Salt the cut fish and let it stand until the salt melts.


    Weigh the flour into a plate and add the spices.


    Mix the flour with the spices.


    Soak the salt juice off the fish with a paper towel, then swirl the fish into the spicy flour thoroughly inside and out.


    Heat the fat and fry the fish crispy on both sides. The fish bones should also be fried crispy.


    When they are fried, soak up the remaining fat with a paper towel. (My dad used to smear crushed pickled garlic on the finished fried fish mixed with a little sugar and salt, this is his specialty.)

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