Panko-Crusted Flounder Cheeks 

Flounder is a bountiful catch in the fall months, and is a wonderfully tasty inshore species to accompany a dockside meal. Because of its thinner structure and elliptical shape, it can be a bit awkward to cut. But if you get it right, you’ll be rewarded with the most delicious steaks. 

Captains Zachery Dillon, owner of Reaper Fishing Charters, and First Mate Ryan Bardot, run their 290 Center Console offshore as far as 120 miles for a good catch. They have contributed this delicious recipe for their own bounty, and it is an impressive dish for a fall day:


1 lb. Flounder fish cheeks

1 or 2 lemon wedges

2 eggs

1 Cup Flour

1 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons parsley, chopped


Pat the flounder cheeks dry with paper towel. Season the flour with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Dip each cheek in egg, then flour mix, then panko bread crumbs. In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter until it is bubbly and brown. Place cheeks in the butter and cook one to two minutes per side. Time will vary depending on the size of the pieces, but cooking time should be no longer than 5 minutes total.

When flipping the fish over, squeeze one lemon wedge over the cheeks. Add another tablespoon of butter and allow to melt. Give the pan a shake and remove from heat. Sprinkle with parsley and serve right away.

Captain Ryan Bardot, of Reaper Fishing Charters in Coca, FL, holds up a prize flounder.

Captain Ryan Bardot of Reaper Fishing Charters in Cocoa Beach, FL, holds a prize flounder.

How to Fillet Flounder

1.Cut around the gills towards the top of the head.

2. Cut down the center of the fish over the backbone. According to, “You’ll start where you made the first cut around the gills and end at the tail. There should be a faint line on the fish that you can follow. On the white side of the flounder, the center line will be more pronounced.”

3. Cut the top fillet off by starting at the center line and sliding the knife along the ribs.

4.Skin the fillet. “The key to skinning fish fillets without losing meat is to keep the knife handle off of the edge of the table so the blade can slide parallel to the table right above the skin.”