Crispy Fried Cod Dinner

Crispy Fried Cod Dinner
Yields: 2 Servings Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 15 Mins Cook Time: 10 Mins Total Time: 25 Mins

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A Friday fish fry is a huge deal here in Wisconsin, and if you’ve ever been to Door County (one of my most favorite places on earth), then you’ve probably heard of – or even witnessed – a fish boil.

Not quite the same as a fish fry, but the experience can’t be beat.

Traditional Door County fish boils involve a lot of fire, so it is something I prefer not to do at home – especially with the amount of wind we get around here. Besides, I just can’t resist a good crispy batter on fresh fried fish.

I mean, can you blame me?

Friday Fish Fry

Light and crispy fish batter on the outside full of crunchy flavor with butter soft, succulent meat within…  served steaming hot with a side of cool, tangy tartar sauce for dipping.

Getting hungry yet?

I know, it may be too hot to cook today (it will reach 83 degrees here, which means it will be over 90 further inland) and you may not want to wait too long for such a decadent cod fish dinner to be prepared. However, this crispy fried cod comes together in 30 minutes from start to finish.

Some of the best fried fish I’ve had are at the local VFW halls in Wisconsin. The fish breading is always super light and crispy, never soggy or heavy, so I tried for some time to come up with a homemade fish fry breading like this. I discovered that adding something fizzy to the batter helps, as does mixing in a lighter flour, like rice flour. I figured that there must be something to the fizziness since beer batter seems to be a huge hit on pretty much everything these days.

Tasty Fish Batter

When I first experimented with this recipe, I used non-alcoholic ginger beer. The result was a sweeter batter, which works great with a meaty white fish like cod. You can certainly make it this way by trying my 30 Minute Amazing Cod Dinner recipe. If you prefer your batter more on the savory side, this I think this crispy fried cod dinner will do the trick (and since there is more than one best fish to fry, you can make this recipe with any other firm white fish, too, like halibut, bluegill, or perch).

Whenever I work with something fizzy, in this case, club soda, I find that I need to work quickly. Hey, it’s summer, so I can’t imagine that this will be a problem for you, either! Who wants to be in the kitchen when the weather is nice? We only get 4 to 5 months of decent weather here, so the last thing I want to do is spend it inside over a hot stove. If you make this in the winter though, you will still need to work quickly or you will lose the fizziness that gives the pan fried cod flour it’s wonderful added crunch. Working quickly is the secret in how to make fish fry crispy.

Don’t fret if the tasty fish batter seems to cake on too thick, the final result won’t be gummy or soggy. A lot of the batter falls off when frying. (Don’t forget to serve up those crunchy bits on top of the fish when you plate it!) What is left behind are light, golden pieces to give you a good mouthful of fish in every bite.

Because… there is nothing worse than a mouthful of nothing but heavy batter… leaving you asking, “Where’s the fish?!”

I like to serve this up with buttered white rice and a ramekin of tartar sauce made with sweet pickle relish and capers. You can cook the rice and whip up the tartar sauce as the fish fries. 

How To Make Fish Fry Crispy

Since I start with partially frozen cod, once the golden color shows up in the fry pan, I remove the fish to a sheet pan lined with foil and fitted with a rack, place the fish on it, and let it hang out in a 200 degree oven for a bit. This allows the excess oil to drain off while keeping the fish nice and hot. It also insures maximum crunchiness without overcooking the fish or burning the batter in the hot oil.

So there you have it… you now know how to pan fry cod for your very own Friday fish fry.

Now, that’s a piping hot dish on a hot summer day that we can all fully enjoy!


Wine Pairings for this Crispy Fried Cod Dinner:

Wine Pairing NotesA firm white fish like cod that has been deep fried boasts a lot of fatty flavor. So, you want to stick with a white wine with light tannins and some acidity to cut through the fat, like a crisp sauvignon blanc. Sparkling whites like champagne also work wonderfully. Not a wine person? Go for a bitter pale ale instead!

 

Cod Fish Recipe

Making Crispy Fried Cod Dinner:

How to make batter for fish begins with these simple ingredients:

How To Make Batter For Fish

To make fish batter for the cod, you will need to start with 2 medium-sized bowls. In the first bowl, season the all-purpose flour with salt and pepper. In the second bowl, whisk together the rice flour, cornflakes, and breadcrumbs.

How To Make Fried Cod Fish With Flour

Slice the cod into 2-inch pieces.

Best Fish To Fry

Pour the vegetable oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet. It should come to about 1/4 inch deep. Begin heating the oil over medium-high. It will rise to temperature as you prepare the cod.

How Long Does It Take To Pan Fry Cod

Place the cod into a third bowl. Pour enough milk over the cod to cover the pieces then toss, gently massaging the milk into the meat with your fingers. The massaging is important, so don’t skip it. It adds richness and moisture to the fish and gives the best result.

Fish Batter With Milk

Combine the club soda and fish sauce. Pour half of the soda mixture into the bowl with the rice flour and stir vigorously with a fork until combined and frothy. Avoid using a whisk because the club soda batter will thicken quickly only to get stuck in it. Add the remaining soda mixture to the batter and stir until foamy.

Club Soda Batter For Fish

Drain the milk from the fish pieces. Discard the milk. Add the cod a couple of pieces at a time to the seasoned all-purpose flour and toss to coat. Quickly transfer the cod to the bowl with the club soda batter and toss to coat the fish on all sides. Press the batter into the fish and set on a wire rack that has been placed over parchment paper. Continue until all the fish pieces are battered.

Homemade Fish Fry Breading      How Do You Make Crispy Batter For Fish?

How To Prepare Fish Fry      How To Prepare Fish To Fry

Drop a small dribble of the club soda batter into the hot oil. If it sizzles vigorously, the oil is ready for frying. Carefully add the cod pieces to the hot oil. Place in a single layer and do not crowd them or they will not cook evenly. If you need to, work in batches. Allow them to fry for 2 to 3 minutes, turn, and fry for another minute or two. Once the fish has reached a golden brown color, use a slotted spoon to carefully remove them to a sheet pan lined with foil and fitted with a wire rack. They will be tender and can break apart if you are not careful. Place in the warm oven until all of the fish pieces are fried.

How Long Do I Pan Fry Cod?      How Long Do You Fry Fish For?

Best Way To Fry Cod

Serve steaming hot with buttered rice and ramekins of tartar sauce.

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

I use cod that is still slightly frozen. I find that it is easier to get a nice, clean cut on it, plus this keeps the meat moist when it is frying. Take them out of the freezer 2 – 3 hours before frying for the best result.

These crispy fried cod pieces make a great filling for fish tacos or fish sandwiches, too!

Beer Battered Fish

Tasty Fish Batter

Crispy Fried Cod Dinner

Making homemade fish batter for pan frying cod has never been easier. This fried cod recipe takes less than 30 minutes. For this light and crispy fish batter, club soda makes a great non-alcoholic alternative to beer batter.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 626kcal
Author: The Gourmet Country Girl

Equipment

  • cast iron skillet

Ingredients

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup rice flour
  • ¼ cup crushed cornflakes
  • ¼ cup plain dry breadcrumbs
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ pounds wild caught cod loins
  • 1 cup whole milk plus more
  • 1 cup club soda
  • 1 tsp fish sauce

Instructions

  • To make fish batter for the cod, you will need to start with 2 medium-sized bowls. In the first bowl, season the all-purpose flour with salt and pepper. In the second bowl, whisk together the rice flour, cornflakes, and breadcrumbs.
  • Slice the cod into 2-inch pieces. Preheat oven to 200°F.
  • Pour the vegetable oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet. It should come to about ¼ inch deep. Begin heating the oil over medium-high. It will rise to temperature as you prepare the cod.
  • Place the cod into a third bowl. Pour enough milk over the cod to cover the pieces then toss, gently massaging the milk into the meat with your fingers. The massaging is important, so don’t skip it. It adds richness and moisture to the fish and gives the best result.
  • Combine the club soda and fish sauce. Pour half of the soda mixture into the bowl with the rice flour and stir vigorously with a fork until combined and frothy. Avoid using a whisk because the club soda batter will thicken quickly only to get stuck in it. Add the remaining soda mixture to the batter and stir until foamy.
  • Drain the milk from the fish pieces. Discard the milk. Add the cod a couple of pieces at a time to the seasoned all-purpose flour and toss to coat. Quickly transfer the cod to the bowl with the club soda batter and toss to coat the fish on all sides. Press the batter into the fish and set on a wire rack that has been placed over parchment paper. Continue until all the fish pieces are battered.
  • Drop a small dribble of the club soda batter into the hot oil. If it sizzles vigorously, the oil is ready for frying. Carefully add the cod pieces to the hot oil. Place in a single layer and do not crowd them or they will not cook evenly. If you need to, work in batches. Allow them to fry for 2 to 3 minutes, turn, and fry for another minute or two. Once the fish has reached a golden brown color, use a slotted spoon to carefully remove them to a sheet pan lined with foil and fitted with a wire rack. They will be tender and can break apart if you are not careful. Place in the warm oven until all of the fish pieces are fried.
  • Serve steaming hot with buttered rice and ramekins of tartar sauce.

Notes

I use cod that is still slightly frozen. I find that it is easier to get a nice, clean cut on it, plus this keeps the meat moist when it is frying. Take them out of the freezer 2 - 3 hours before frying for the best result.

Nutrition

Calories: 626kcal | Carbohydrates: 85.4g | Protein: 42.8g | Fat: 10.7g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 466mg | Potassium: 75mg | Fiber: 2.6g | Sugar: 6.4g | Calcium: 166mg | Iron: 2mg

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