Cornmeal Fried Fish, deliciously golden and crunchy on the outside, but soft on the inside, and with a cheeky touch of lemon, this is the best cornmeal-crusted cod you can have. Ready in no time, a great meal for little and big ones too.
As much as a love cooking and baking, I try as much as a can to avoid frying, especially deep frying. Not just because it's not as healthy as other cooking methods, but also because I'd rather not stink up the whole kitchen (and house!). So, I tend to leave frying for special occasions. Or just special dishes.
Now, baked fish is a real treat; and a super healthy one too. You know me already, I love fish of all kind, and have become more adventurous with seafood too - the latest delicacy tried was langoustines- but a good old white fish is family-favourite, and I can't possibly say no to it.
Now, this cornmeal-crusted cod is shallow-fried, so still better than drenching it in unnecessary amounts of oil. But you know what, it's absolutely delicious, and worth every single second spent frying it. Coating it in cornmeal rather than just regular flour or batter makes it super crispy and a lot nicer too.
Ingredients needed to make cornmeal fried fish
- cod fillets - or any other white fish fillet
- salt & black pepper
- cornmeal - polenta flour
- vegetable oil - for frying
- juice from a lemon - for drizzling over the fish
Step-by-step photos and instructions
- in a bowl, add the cornmeal, flour, salt and pepper, and mix to combine
- coat the fish fillets with the cornmeal mixture, shaking off the excess cornmeal
- heat up the oil on a medium heat, and add the fish fillets skin down first, without overcrowding the pan, so best to work in batches
- fry for about 3-4 minutes on each side, or until deliciously golden
- transfer to a plate lines with kitchen paper to soak up the excess oil, then drizzle some lemon juice over
- serve immediately
White fish fillets are the best choice here, I used cod, but you can use any white fish that doesn't have those annoying little bones that you spend half of your time picking them out. You only have only large bone to worry about, and that's that.
I find that cornmeal sticks perfectly to fish, so there is no need to coat it in anything else to help stick the cornmeal better.
For a thicker crust, you could try coating it first with cornmeal, then dipping it in beaten egg, milk or buttermilk, then coat it again with cornmeal. But as I said, that's entirely optional.
What to serve with fried fish
Fish an chips are the nation's favourite meal in the UK and not only. Served with salt and vinegar, or gravy and cheese, or just a nice garlic and mayo sauce, the sky is the limit here. Go for whatever takes your fancy and spoils your taste buds.
A good fresh green salad on the side sounds great too, or just the regular peas for a complete meal that is always a big hit with kids and grown-ups too.
In Romania we like serving fried fish with polenta and "mujdei de usturoi", which is minced garlic seasoned with salt and pepper, and a little bit of oil added. You can't possibly get a better combination here.
So here is a ridiculously simple fried fish recipe that I can guarantee you will be demolished in seconds. Do give it a try, it beats any take-away!
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Cornmeal Fried Fish
- 4 cod fillets
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoon flour
- ½ cup cornmeal
- ¼ cup vegetable oil for frying
- juice from a lemon for drizzling over the fish
- In a large bow, combine the cornmeal, flour, salt and pepper.
- Coat the fish fillets in the cornmeal mixture, shaking off the excess cornmeal.
- Heat up the oil in a frying pan set over a medium heat, and fry each fillet for about 3-4 minutes on each side (skin down first), or until golden.
- Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper to soak up the excess oil.
- Serve hot with lemon juice drizzled over the fillets.
- White fish fillets are the best choice here, I used cod, but you can use any white fish that doesn't have those annoying little bones that you spend half of your time picking them out. You only have only large bone to worry about, and that's that.
- I find that cornmeal sticks perfectly to fish, so there is no need to coat it in anything else to help stick the cornmeal better.
- For a thicker crust, you could try coating it first with cornmeal, then dipping it in beaten egg, milk or buttermilk, then coat it again with cornmeal. But as I said, that's entirely optional.