I was recently chatting with a friend about favorite childhood foods and we agreed that fish stick dinners were a WIN in both our households. You too? I couldn't get enough of those crispy, battered bites with undoubtedly more breading than fish, but de-licious nonetheless. The mild flavor of the fish was easy for us kids to agree to as well, which I'm sure made our parents happy too.
As an adult, fish sticks translated into fish and chips. To this day, I still can't help myself when this fried duo is on the menu. I'm usually the girl with the basket of fish while everyone else has fillets on cedar planks 🤦♀️
We set out to put an upgraded spin on this classic dish and get the best of both worlds: crispy, crunchy exterior, tender, flaky (not dry!) fish, and ZERO soppy grease or guilt. I am happy to say we nailed it and think you'll agree. Please feast your eyes on these Crispy Baked Fish & Chips.
This recipe is a simple, nutritious alternative to traditional f&c and (shocker!) can be frozen for meals down the road! Seriously. It's not often you can reheat fish with desirable results. We definitely would not lie about this one. We opted for cod as this fish is mild in flavor, holds up well to breading, and when cooked correctly, is incredibly tender and flaky.
The preparation of this dish dances between fish prep and chip prep so there are a lot of steps, but we've broken it down into basic, easy steps. Plus, we took a TON of pictures to follow along to. Ok, we're getting hungry. Let's get started.
First, scrub and slice your potatoes into small wedges.
Next, place potatoes into a bowl of cold water. This will help achieve that 'crisp' factor later on.
While your spuds take a swim, prepare your breadcrumbs. We wanted our fish to have an extra crispy exterior, so we pre-toasted our breadcrumbs. To do this, add dry breadcrumbs and olive oil to a large pan. Slowly toast over medium-low heat until lightly golden.
Now, it's time to add some seasonings. We wanted the fish to be the standout so we kept it simple with salt, pepp, garlic, and a touch of heat. Toss mixture until well combined.
Now, it's back to those potatoes. Drain and pat to remove excess water.
Drizzle with olive oil and add your seasonings. Toss to coat well.
Pop onto a sheet pan and into the oven while your prep your fish.
Slice your fish filet into even 'hunks' -or- kindly ask your local butcher to lend a hand when selecting your catch. Ours more than happily obliged. You can also use frozen if that's more cost effective and convenient. Just be sure to thoroughly thaw prior to cooking.
Thoroughly coat fish with seasoned breadcrumbs. Don't be afraid to really press those breadcrumbs on. The better the coating = crispier the fish.
Lastly, remove your fries from the oven and give them a good toss. Place back into the oven, along with your fish until golden and crispy.
Plate and serve!
Nutrition Notes: Cod is a low calorie, lean protein source, rich in vitamins B6 and B12, phosphorus, niacin, and omega 3 fatty acids. These nutrients support heart, brain, and cell health and hormone regulation. Vitamin B12 is also essential to prevent a type of anemia known as megalomaniacblastic anemia. Cod is considered to be low in mercury and can safely be consumed weekly.
1 lb cod, fresh or defrosted, sliced into 3"-4" pieces
3 cups unseasoned panko
1-2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne powder, more or less to taste
6-7 small yukon gold potatoes (approx. 3-4 large)
1 tablespoon Dry Ranch Seasoning
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Wash and scrub potatoes. Slice into even, 2" pieces. Place in a bowl and cover with cold water. This step will help remove some starch, therefore helping you achieve crispy 'chips'. Set aside as you prepare your breadcrumbs.
Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add breadcrumbs and stir often. Over the course of the next few minutes, the breadcrumbs will begin to toast to a golden brown color. Remove from heat and pour into a large mixing bowl. Immediately add salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne. Taste and adjust seasonings per preference; set aside.
Drain potatoes and pat with a paper towel to remove excess water. Season with olive oil and dry ranch seasoning. Pop into the oven for 10 minutes while you prepare your fish.
Remove fish from packaging. Fish should be bright, translucent, and have little to no odor. Old, unusable fish will be dull, opaque or gray, and have a 'fishy' smell. Firmly press fish into breadcrumbs until fully coated. (Note: We opted for no egg wash (and often don't find the need) but if your fish is too dry or not picking up the breadcrumbs you can use a basic egg wash, or quick dip in evoo or melted butter). Place breaded fish onto a sheet pan lined with foil or a silicone mat. By this time your fries are ready for a quick toss. Toss and pop back into the oven along with your fish. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until fish and chips are golden and crispy.
Nutrition Facts (makes 5-7 servings)
Calories - 326 Fat - 3g Carbohydrates - 55g Protein - 23g Fiber - 5g