Do you love fish? And chips? Do you love fish and chips?
Let me introduce you to your new favorite weeknight dinner. Chips ON Fish. This crispy, chip-crusted cod recipe brings all the indulgent crunch and fresh, flaky goodness of your favorite fish shop in a 20-minute dinner the whole family will love.
This mild white fish recipe with crispy topping is inspired by my childhood obsession with those salty potato sticks at the grocery store...and my ongoing obsession with all things British and all things fish and chips.
We use a simple aioli flavored with malt vinegar - the classic condiment for fish and chips - to add moisture and flavor to the fish, and it helps keep our crispy topping in place.
Then we skip the tartar sauce in favor of dipping our crusted cod in more aioli. The whole thing is a joy to make and eat and share with friends. And it's a great way to add more easy fish recipes to your weekly menu!
Simple ingredients for crusted cod recipe:
Cod fillets: fresh cod is easily accessible where I live, but frozen cod works well, too. Just thaw in the refrigerator overnight and dry really well before baking. Other flaky white fish options include mild tasting fish like haddock, halibut, hake, mahi mahi, grouper and sea bass.
Fried potato sticks: these crunchy, blast-from-the-past snacks in your grocery store's chip aisle are the perfect topping to complement the tender flakiness of the cod. If you have a bag of kettle chips in the cabinet, that would do the trick, as well. Just crush them a bit before sticking them onto the aioli-covered cod.
Mayo: I prefer full fat mayo for the flavor (and because cod has very little natural fat), but use what you have.
Malt vinegar: if you've spent any time around a classic English pub, you know fish and chips are the perfect pairing for malt vinegar. Adding a splash into our aioli brings all those classic flavors together. Substitute a tablespoon of red wine vinegar or dill pickle juice, if needed.
Ground mustard: dry mustard powder adds a lovely richness to the aioli. Dijon is a perfectly good substitute, just mind the different measurements (listed in the recipe card).
Garnish: salt and pepper is used in the aioli, and a light dusting of salt on the cod fillets before baking. Diced fresh chives add color, flavor and freshness to our finished crispy crusted cod, and lemon wedges are a requirement for serving fish, as a squeeze of fresh lemon juice balances all the flavors perfectly. Substitute fresh parsley or scallions, if you'd like!
Full ingredient measurements included in the printable recipe card below.
Step by step instructions for chip-crusted cod:
First, make the malt vinegar aioli. Combine mayonnaise, malt vinegar, ground mustard (or Dijon) and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl. Mix well, then divide the aioli, removing about 3 tablespoons to another small bowl and setting aside the larger dish for serving with the finished fish.
Preheat oven to 375℉. Dry fish fillets well with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Season lightly with kosher salt. Arrange flaky fish fillets on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Use a pastry brush to spread a couple of teaspoons of malt vinegar aioli across the top of each fillet (using the small dish of aioli).
Next, top each fish fillet with with crispy potato sticks. Press lightly to be sure the potatoes stick to the top of the fish.
Transfer the prepared baking sheet to your preheated oven and bake fish for 10-12 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fillets. For accuracy, you can use an instant read thermometer. The internal temperature of the fish should read 145℉.
Gently remove the sheet pan from oven. Top your crusted cod fillet with fresh chives and serve with lemon wedges and remaining malt vinegar aioli.
FAQ's and Serving Suggestions:
While the recipe calls for cod fillets, you can substitute cod with other white fish varieties like haddock, hake, sea bass, mahi mahi, grouper or even halibut. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time if the fillets are thicker or thinner than cod.
If using panko, I recommend seasoning the crumbs before adding them to the fish. Or grab my recipe for Panko Crusted Cod with Parmesan and Pesto.
Absolutely! Most brands of all the ingredients are made gluten free. Check your labels, but the recipe should not require modifications for gluten-free eaters.
To store leftover fish, transfer to an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, transfer cod to a baking sheet and heat on 375℉ in the oven until just heated through and the chips are crisped and golden brown.