My youngest son absolutely loves fish, I know it sounds odd for a kid to love fish but he does. He especially loves this style of fish because it’s breaded and fried, so who could blame him. I don’t make fish as often as I should because we live in Alberta and I’m not always happy with the quality of fish we get here. That said, I have started using frozen fish fillets and I actually really like them. There’s a bit of a compromise in the texture for sure but the flavor is better than what I find in fresh fish. Living in Alberta, most of the fish we get fresh already smells fishy and it’s expensive. I decided to go with the frozen product because my son asked me to make this dish which we hadn’t had in a while; I was pleasantly surprised. I like to use cod because it’s a neutral flavor and a firmer fish but haddock will work great and halibut would be amazing but expensive.
This is a great meal for a dinner party in the summer when you can fry outdoors, the breading part of the recipe can be done up to a day in advance and then you just need to fry them.
Breaded Cod Fillets
10 Small Cod Fillets or 5 Large
325g Breadcrumbs (unseasoned)
25g Lemon Pepper, I used Lawry’s
2 Tbsp Flatleaf Parsley, fresh and chopped fine
2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Milk
6 Cups Vegetable Oil (for frying)
You will need to defrost your fish if using frozen, don’t try to make this recipe with the fish still frozen because it will make the breading soggy as it defrosts.
Now you’ll need to set up a breading station, this is simply a three step process to bread anything. It is plain flour first, then an egg wash mixture and finally breadcrumbs that have been seasoned. To make this use three pie plates or large containers with sides. Add the plain flour to the first pie plate. Mix the eggs and milk together and add to the second pie plate and then add the lemon pepper and parsley to the breadcrumbs and mix well to combine and add it to the third pie plate.
Make sure you have clean hands and start breading. The principle is simple, take a wet fish fillet and dry it off in the flour, lightly coat the fish with the flour and tap off extra. Then take the dry fish and get it wet with the egg wash by coating it completely in the egg mixture. Now the dry breadcrumbs will stick to it, simply lay the fillet into the breadcrumbs and coat completely. Repeat for each fillet and done. Place all fillets on a clean plate, cover with plastic and place them in the fridge until needed.
Preheat the oven to 250F. Once you are ready to fry these up, get a large, heavy bottom skillet ready to go on the stove with about 6 cups of vegetable oil, canola works well. Heat the oil to 340F, add the fish and fry until golden brown. The thin fillets I used took approx. 3 minutes each, if using a thicker fillet and you are concerned about the doneness of the fish, reduce the heat of the oil to 325F and allow the fish to take longer to brown while cooking the interior. If the fish browns quickly, drain it on a paper towel and then place on a parchment lined baking sheet and put it in the oven to finish cooking. The oven is low enough that it will not brown the fish further but will cook it to the correct internal temperature. Repeat with all fillets until complete.