Lemon Caper Flathead – Julie Goodwin Recipe

This delicious salad is a Julie Goodwin remake. I always love lemon and capers with my seafood so I had to give the recipe a try. However, since I find it almost impossible to stick to an original recipe, so this is my version of Julie’s Lemon Caper Flathead.

Julie Goodwin Lemon Caper Flathead
Lemon Caper Flathead

The main differences are in the salad and the fish, so the truth is I just kept the Lemon Caper Sauce.

For this recipe, I used the very end pieces of Flathead tails, but you could use boneless whiting fillets.

Healthy Flathead & Lemon Salad
Healthy Flathead & Lemon Salad

You may ask how I came across such a large quantity of Flathead tails. The answer is big son number 2 (1 of 5) decided he wanted to give his mate a hand on a fishing trawler. His mate is a fairly sensible kid, and his dad owns the trawler so I agreed to the night fishing, even though it was on a school night!

Julie Goodwins Lemon Caper Flathead Salad
Julie Goodwins Lemon Caper Flathead Salad

For all the mums out there, I am sure you can understand the anxiety I felt knowing that my son was going to sea overnight, and probably wouldn’t even be home when I woke up. Especially given that the same friend currently has a major rope burn/laceration marks all down one arm where he got his arm tangled in a rope as a shark hooked on!! That friend nearly went swimming with said shark. By the look of his arm, he was also pretty lucky to still have it attached to his body.

Lemon Flathead w Homemade Tartare Sauce
Lemon Flathead w Homemade Tartare Sauce

I am slowly learning that as the children grow there is a letting go process that needs to happen to keep the household equilibrium.

When I have these moments, I remember a conversation I had years ago with a much wiser mum. I was at work heavily pregnant with number 2, this mum was in her office having a heated argument on the phone with her teenage daughter. When she got off the phone she said “I can’t wait until she leaves home!” This shocked me, “how can you say that?” “Won’t you worry?” I asked.  I am sure she thought I was so naive!

Flathead Served w homemade fries
Flathead Served w homemade fries

She smiled and explained that nature has this wonderful way of making sure mums don’t hold onto their children forever. It is called the teenage years, nature gives the kids a big burst of hormones so that your cute and cuddly little one is no more, and you have an argumentative, exhausting beast that you are happy to see fly free of the nest.

Many times I have thought back to that day. There was one time in particular, I wanted to leave the same son at a bus stop in Far, Far North Queensland and see if he could find his own way home! Then other times, it’s when I know I need to not smother him and let him do something which is scary for me, but a good opportunity for him.

In this instance I simply requested that he bring back some fish for me, and stay safe, he did both.

Lemon Caper Flathead


  • 30 small Flathead tails (boneless) or Whiting Fillets
  • 1 Cup Plain flour
  • 2 t/s salt
  • 1 t/s white pepper
  • 3 t/s garlic powder
  • 3 t/s onion powder
  • 50g butter
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 lemon (juice only)
  • 2 Tbs Capers
  • 20gm butter


  • Mixed salad leaves
  • 2 Lebanese Cucumbers
  • ½ Red Onion finely sliced
  • 1 Avocado sliced
  • 1 Lemons Lemon (cut into wedges)


  • 1 Lemon (Juice)
  • 2 Tbs Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper


Salad & Dressing

  1. Place salad leaves on individual serving plates.
  2. Add the cucumber, avocado, red onion and lemon wedges to the plates
  3. Add the dressing ingredients to a jar and shake well. Reserve for dressing the salad.
Salad Leaves ready for dressing
Simple Salad Greens

Lemon Caper Fish Fillets

  1. In a zip lock sandwich bag place the flour and all the seasoning ingredients. Seal and shake until combined.
  2. Add about three fish fillets to the seasoning mixture and shake the zip lock bag gently until the fish is coated. Reserve the seasoned fillets on a plate for frying.  Continue this process until all the fillets have been coated in the seasoned flour. TIP: Once all the fish are coated seal the zip lock bag and place in the freezer for next time.
  3. Heat a frying pan on a medium heat with the 50g of butter and the tablespoon of olive oil until the butter is frothing.
  4. Fry the fillets for around 2 minutes, or until they are a golden brown colour. Turn and fry for a further 1-2 minutes. Remove from the pan and place on absorbent paper.
  5. Add the capers to the butter used to cook the fish. Whisk in the lemon juice and another 20gm butter, season with salt if necessary, but taste first because capers can be salty.
  6. Serve the fish on the salad with a spoonful of the caper sauce over the fish pieces.

The salad dressing can be placed on the table and used as needed. I also like to serve the Lemon Caper Flathead and salad with a healthy homemade tartare sauce, it is healthy because it is made with yoghurt and no oil.

I hope you enjoy the recipe and my story.

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