If you're anything like me, you love a good fried fish, but don't want to think about what it's doing to your arteries...or the top of your stove.
Team, we have a delicious compromise. Crispy cod, coated in a super-flavorful breading and baked in a few tablespoons of butter until the fish flakes perfectly. It's a healthy meal (healthy-ish?) that feels like a splurge, and something the whole family will enjoy.
And our arteries and stovetops have never been happier...
What you'll need to make this delicious oven-fried fish recipe:
- cod fillets
- self rising flour
- large eggs
- hot sauce, optional
- sea salt and black pepper
- garlic powder
- cayenne pepper
- neutral oil and butter
- lemon wedges, for serving
- homemade tartar sauce, for serving
(full ingredients and instructions listed in the recipe card below)
Step by step instructions for Crispy Southern Breaded Cod:
Begin by setting up a dredging station. In one shallow dish, add the self-rising flour, cornmeal, 1 teaspoon sea salt, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne and black pepper. Mix to combine.
In a second shallow dish, add milk, eggs, ¼ teaspoon salt and hot sauce, if using. Whisk well to combine.
Use paper towels or a kitchen cloth to dry the cod filets. Dredge the filets in the shallow bowl of seasoned flour and cornmeal mixture to lightly coat, then dip fish into the milk and egg mixture, then back into the flour for a full coat of the breading. On the second dip into the dry seasoning mix, really pack the coating onto the fish, ensuring an even, crispy coating when cooked.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat a dark sheet pan or large cast iron skillet in the oven. When hot, melt 2 tablespoons butter and add 1 tablespoon neutral oil to the pan.
Gently lay the breaded fillets in the pan with the melted butter and return the pan to the hot oven.
Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the pan and gently flip the fillets. Add the last tablespoon of oil (if the pan is dry). Return to the oven and bake for the final 5 minutes, or until the fillets are cooked through (this will depend on the thickness of your fillets). Broil for the final 2-3 minutes to get that golden brown glow across the top of the fish.
While the fish is cooking, combine all the ingredients for the homemade tartar sauce in a small bowl. Mix well to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Once the fish is cooked through, remove from the oven and let the cooked fish sit on the pan for 3-4 minutes before serving. Serve with homemade tartar sauce and lemon wedges.
FAQ's and Serving Suggestions for this Crispy Cod Recipe:
Always! Just thaw the fish fillets in the refrigerator overnight, and be sure to dry the thawed fish very well with paper towels before cooking.
Any mild white fish would be a good option - haddock, hake, sea bass or tilapia would all be lovely. Any flaky white fish your local grocery store has on sale this week!
Panko breadcrumbs or seasoned Italian breadcrumbs would add a crunchy texture to the fresh cod fillets. A panko crust has less flavor than Italian herb breadcrumbs, but a lot more crunch. But either one works!
Add extra ground cayenne pepper to the breading mixture, extra hot sauce to the egg mixture, and serve your piece of cod with a bottle of your favorite hot sauce.
My favorite side is baked truffle potato wedges with parmesan cheese. Obviously. But if French fries don't excite you, a few different sides to consider include Napa Cabbage Slaw, Cucumber Gazpacho Salad, Garlic and Lemon Seasoned Green Beans or Mediterranean Tossed Salad.
To store, wrap tightly or move the breaded pieces of fish to an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator up to two days. To reheat the next day, place each piece of fish in a preheated oven at 400 degrees f for about 8 minutes, or until heated through.
This recipe post may contain affiliate links to products we know and love.
Also check out some of our other pescatarian favorites:Print