Pan-Fried Fish – Hamburger Pannfisch

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Hamburg's Hidden Treasure: Hamburger Pannfisch - A Delicious Symphony of Pan-Fried Fish, Potatoes, and Mustard Sauce

Greetings, fellow food lovers! Today, we’re diving into the flavorful world of German cuisine, exploring a regional specialty that deserves your attention: Hamburger Pannfisch. This hearty dish hails from the port city of Hamburg, and it’s a perfect symphony of pan-fried fish, potatoes, and mustard sauce. Read on to discover the fascinating history behind this dish, and learn how to recreate it in your own kitchen.

A Taste of History:

Hamburger Pannfisch has a rich history dating back to the days of Hamburg’s bustling fish market, where fishermen would bring in their daily catch. The city’s strategic location along the Elbe River and its access to the North Sea provided a constant supply of fresh fish, which became a staple ingredient in local cuisine. Pannfisch, or “pan fish,” was born from the need to create a satisfying, nutritious meal using simple, readily available ingredients.

The dish quickly became popular among Hamburg’s working class, especially sailors and dockworkers. It was not only filling and flavorful, but also a smart way to use up leftover fish and potatoes. Over time, Hamburger Pannfisch evolved into a beloved regional specialty that proudly represents Hamburg’s maritime heritage.

A Perfectly Balanced Flavor Profile:

What sets Hamburger Pannfisch apart from other fish dishes is its impeccable balance of flavors. The pan-fried fish – typically cod, haddock, or halibut – is tender and succulent, with a delicate, flaky texture. The potatoes add a comforting, starchy element, while the mustard sauce provides a tangy, savory kick that ties everything together.

The Mustard Sauce - A Match Made in Heaven:

The mustard sauce is truly the star of Hamburger Pannfisch. The sauce is made with whole grain mustard, which lends a robust, earthy flavor and a slightly grainy texture. Combined with cream, white wine, and a splash of vinegar, the sauce achieves a delightful harmony of flavors – tangy, sweet, and savory – that complements the fish and potatoes perfectly.

Creating Hamburger Pannfisch at Home:

Ready to try your hand at making Hamburger Pannfisch? Here’s a simple recipe that will transport your taste buds straight to Hamburg. A perfect side for the fish would be my country style pan fried potatoes, you can find the recipe here. If you want some additional vegetables and color on your plate, add some roasted carrots, onions and french beans to the potatoes, but that’s totally up to you.

Pan-fried Fish
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Pan-Fried Fish -Hamburger Pannfisch

A perfect combination of fish and mustard sauce
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: German
Keyword: Fish, Mustard, Potatoes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 324kcal


For the Fish

  • 4 Fish Fillet cod, haddock, or halibut
  • 1 tbsp. Butter
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable Oil
  • 2 tbsp. All-Purpose Flour
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

For the Mustard Sauce

  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • ½ cup White Wine
  • ¼ cup Whole Grain Mustard
  • 1 tbsp. White Wine Vinegar
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


  • Cut the fish fillets in big cubes, season with salt and pepper. Coat the fish in flour from both sides. Shake well to remove excess.
    4 Fish Fillet, Salt & Pepper, 2 tbsp. All-Purpose Flour
  • In a large frying pan, heat the vegetable oil and 1 tbsp of butter over medium heat. Don't let the butter burn. Add the fish fillets and cook for 3-4 minutes per side until golden brown and cooked through. Remove from the pan and keep warm.
    1 tbsp. Butter, 1 tbsp. vegetable Oil
  • For the mustard sauce, combine the heavy cream, white wine, mustard, and white wine vinegar in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    1 cup Heavy Cream, ½ cup White Wine, ¼ cup Whole Grain Mustard, 1 tbsp. White Wine Vinegar, Salt & Pepper


Calories: 324kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 76mg | Sodium: 214mg | Potassium: 114mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 978IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 1mg

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