Pan-Fried Fennel

pan-fried fennel

Serve this simple and flavorful dish as an appetizer. For best results, use a heavy-bottomed saute pan.


  • 2 medium fennel bulbs

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, for dredging

  • 1 ½ cups fresh bread crumbs, for dredging

  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt, plus more for seasoning

  • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more for seasoning

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1 ½ cups vegetable oil, just enough to yield about ¼ inch in the pan

  • 2 lemons, cut into wedges


  1. Remove tops and fronds from fennel bulbs. Slice each bulb in half widthwise. Cut each half into slices about 1/8 inch thick.

  2. Pour flour into a medium bowl and bread crumbs into another. Season with the salt and pepper. Crack eggs into a third bowl; whisk until frothy. Season with salt and pepper. Dredge fennel lightly in flour, then in egg, and then in bread crumbs, shaking off excess after each step.

  3. Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Check to make sure the oil is hot enough by tossing a pinch of flour into the pan. If the flour sizzles, the oil is ready.

  4. Fry fennel slices until golden brown on each side, about 30 seconds per side, working in batches so as not to crowd pan. Drain on paper towels; season with salt. Serve hot with lemon wedges.

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