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finished recipe served with fries and tartar sauce in a basket

Crispy Southern Breaded Cod Recipe



1 pound cod fillets

1 cup self-rising flour

1/2 cup cornmeal

2 large eggs

2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon hot sauce, optional

2 teaspoons sea or kosher salt, divided

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons neutral oil

2 tablespoons butter

Lemon wedges, for serving

Homemade tartar sauce, for serving

Homemade tartar sauce:

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons dill pickles, finely diced

2 teaspoons fresh dill

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Pinch of salt and black pepper


  1. 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 and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Whisk well to combine. 
  2. Use paper towels or a kitchen cloth to dry the cod filets. Dredge the filets in the seasoned flour and cornmeal mixture to lightly coat, then into the egg and milk wash, 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.
  3. Preheat oven to 425. 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 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 - internal temperature should be around 145). Broil for the final 2-3 minutes to get that golden brown crust. 
  4. 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.
  5. Once the fish is cooked through, remove from the oven and let the fish sit on the pan for 3-4 minutes before serving. 

  6. Serve with homemade tartar sauce and slices of lemon.


For a deep golden brown finish, broil for the final 2-3 minutes.

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Category: Easy Recipes
  • Method: Oven and Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Breaded Cod, Southern Fish Recipe