Crispy Fried Fish Recipe to Satisfy Your Cravings

Are you tired of the same old fish recipe that your mom used to make? Do you want to try something new and exciting that will leave your taste buds dancing? Look no further than my Not My Mom’s Fried Fish Recipe. Trust me, this recipe will have you forgetting all about your mama’s fried fish and asking for seconds.

Growing up, my mom always cooked her fish in a pan with breadcrumbs, but I’ve taken it up a notch. With my recipe, you’ll be using panko breadcrumbs and eggs to make the perfect batter for your fish fillets. This creates a crispy texture that is perfect for pan-frying or even oven-baking. Don’t worry if you’re not the most confident cook in the kitchen because I’ve got you covered with step-by-step instructions to make the process easy and stress-free.

Not convinced? Just wait until you try it out for yourself. Once you bring out the golden brown oven-fried catfish on a Friday night fish fry, or enjoy some southern-style fried flounder with homemade tartar sauce, everyone at the table will be begging for more.

So ditch that old Pinterest recipe or the one your mom called “the classic,” and give this Not My Mom’s Fried Fish Recipe a try. Your taste buds will thank you.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Not My Mom's Fried Fish
Not My Mom’s Fried Fish

Are you a fan of fried fish but bored with the usual pan-fried or oven-baked options? Let me introduce you to my Not My Mom’s Fried Fish Recipe! Trust me, you won’t be going back to those less-than-exciting recipes anytime soon.

What sets this recipe apart is the use of beaten eggs in the coating mixture which gives the fish fillets a crispy and golden brown texture that will make your taste buds dance with joy. The secret lies in the combination of egg and panko breadcrumbs, which create a perfect crunch while still allowing the fish to remain moist and tender.

If you’re used to your mom’s (or grandma’s) fried fish, then this recipe will provide a welcomed change from tradition. It’s time to try something new and add some excitement to that Friday night fish fry.

So why will you love this recipe? The crispy coating, tender fish, and unique twist from the classic pan-fried or oven-baked techniques guarantee that your taste buds will thank you. Plus, it’s easy to make and perfect for any level of home cook. Give it a try and discover your new favorite way to enjoy fried fish!

Ingredient List

Let’s dive into the ingredients that you will need for this Not My Mom’s Fried Fish Recipe. These are all simple and easy-to-find ingredients that you might already have in your kitchen. You will need:

Main Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 to 2 lbs. of fish fillets (catfish, mojarra, smelt, or any other flaky white fish)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups of Panko breadcrumbs
  • Oil for pan-frying

Seasonings and Spices:

  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Paprika
  • Cayenne pepper

For serving:

  • Homemade tartar sauce [bold important information phrase] or any store-bought sauce that you prefer.

Make sure the fish fillets are 3/4 to 1 1/2 inches thick so they cook evenly. Also, I’d recommend getting fresh fish instead of frozen. You can find Panko breadcrumbs in the Asian section of most grocery stores. These breadcrumbs are perfect for frying because they create a light and crispy texture that beats regular bread crumbs any day. And finally, choosing the right oil is crucial to get that perfect crispy and golden brown coating on your fried fish. I suggest using vegetable oil or canola oil because they have a high smoking point which means they won’t burn easily while frying.

The Recipe How-To

Let me guide you through the steps to make “Not my mom’s fried fish” recipe. I promise it is easy to follow and will result in crispy and flavorful fish that will make your taste buds dance!


Before anything else, let’s make sure that we have all the ingredients we need for this recipe. Here’s what we’ll need:

  • Fish fillets: You can use any type of fish you like, such as catfish, mojarra, smelt or flounder. Make sure they’re around 3/4 inch thick.
  • Eggs: 2 eggs, beaten.
  • Panko breadcrumbs: 1 1/2 cups of panko breadcrumbs.
  • Flour mixture: 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour mixed with 2 tbsp salt, 1 tbsp garlic powder, and 1 tbsp paprika.
  • Oil: Enough oil (canola, vegetable or peanut) to fill a large pan by about two inches.
  • Homemade tartar sauce for serving.

Step 1: Prepare the fish fillets

Pat dry your fish fillets with a paper towel. Season both sides with a pinch of salt and black pepper.

Step 2: Coat the fish fillets

Dip each fish fillet into the flour mixture, then into the egg mixture, followed by the panko breadcrumbs until fully coated.

Step 3: Fry the fish fillets

Heat up enough oil (canola, vegetable or peanut) in a large pan over medium-high heat until it reaches 350°F. Gently put in some of the coated fish fillets in and fry until they turn golden brown, which should take about 3 – 4 minutes per side. Continue frying until all are done.

Step 4: Drain excess oil

Remove the fried fillets from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain them on a paper towel-lined plate to get rid of any excess oil.

Step 5: Serve

Serve hot with homemade tartar sauce on top and some chips on the side.

Enjoy your delicious homemade fried fish!

Substitutions and Variations

Making substitutions and variations to a recipe can be a fun way to create new twists on old classics. Here, I suggest some ways to mix things up with “Not My Mom’s Fried Fish Recipe”.

– Fish: This recipe will work well with all kinds of fish, but I recommend using white fish fillets that are around 3/4-inch to 1 1/2-inches thick. You can use tilapia, cod, haddock, flounder, smelt, catfish or mojarra.

– Pan-fried or Oven-fried: Of course, you can always pan-fry the fish fillets for a classic fried fish experience. But if you’re looking for something slightly healthier than traditional fried fish yet still crispy and delicious, you can try oven-frying the fillets instead. Also, if you do not have access to an oven or a stovetop pan, you can try shallow frying it in a pan.

– Panko breadcrumbs: Instead of using plain breadcrumbs as called for in the recipe, you can make a switch with panko breadcrumbs for an extra crunchy texture.

– Homemade Tartar Sauce: I like to make my own tartar sauce at home as it tastes better than store-bought tartar sauces. If you want to give it a go, combine mayonnaise, diced pickles (dill or sweet), diced onion, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

– Fish and Chips: Who doesn’t love fish and chips? Just cut the fish fillets into smaller chunks before frying them until golden brown. Serve with French fries or homemade potato wedges and ketchup or malt vinegar.

– Southern Fried Fish: For a southern twist on this recipe use cornmeal instead of breadcrumbs and add 1 tablespoon of Old Bay seasoning for extra flavor.

By trying out these different variations of mom fried fish recipe, you can cater to your taste preferences while experimenting with various flavors and textures.

Serving and Pairing

Fried fish is a dish that deserves to be paired with drinks and sides that can complement its flavor and texture. In this recipe, I suggest serving the fried fish with homemade tartar sauce or a side of lemon wedges to add a tangy flavor that works greatly with the crispy exterior of the pan-fried fish.

For drinks, some people would prefer to accompany their dish with cold beer, which gives that crisp refreshing sensation in your mouth that complements the salty and savory taste of the fried fish. A glass of white wine such as Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay can also go well with fried fish due to its low tannin content and crispiness.

As for sides, classic options like french fries, coleslaw or hush puppies are always a crowd favorite, but if you’re looking for healthier options, you might want to try roasted veggies like asparagus, squash and zucchini. A salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes and cucumber drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette can also be a great choice to add brightness to the plate.

Lastly, it might be worth experimenting with different types of fish species like smelt or catfish. And you can try different cooking methods too. Oven baking or oven frying using panko breadcrumbs can provide another delicious dish on your plate.

There is nothing better than enjoying tasty fried fish surrounded by family and friends during a Friday night fish fry. So just sit back after preparation and savor the moment of crispy golden brown oven-fired goodness!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

Sometimes, you don’t want to cook, but still crave that delicious pan-fried fish on a Wednesday night. Fear not! You can make the fish ahead of time, store it correctly, and reheat it for later.

To make these fish fillets in advance, follow the recipe as normal but leave them slightly undercooked. Once they’ve cooled down completely, place them in an airtight container lined with parchment paper. They can sit in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours and the freezer for up to two months.

When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and arrange the fillets on a wire rack placed over a baking sheet. Bake them until golden brown all over and heated through about eight to ten minutes.

Alternatively, you can reheat the fried fish on the stovetop by placing it on a hot skillet with a little oil or butter for extra crispiness.

As much as we’d love fried food always to taste delicious the day after cooking it, unfortunately, that’s rarely the case. But if you must store any leftover fried fish, be sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil before placing it in an airtight container or zipper bag. Then store in the fridge for up to three days maximum.

When reheating leftover fried fish remember this: do not microwave!! It will turn into soggy mush! Instead use a hot skillet or a 375°F (190°C) oven and reheat those golden brown oven-fried fish fillets until they’re piping hot again.

Homemade tartar sauce complements this dish beautifully and can also be made ahead of time to keep in your fridge for weeks.

Tips for Perfect Results

Now that you’ve got a handle on how to make this recipe, allow me to share some tips to ensure perfect results every time you make Not My Mom’s Fried Fish.

First and foremost, it’s important to choose the right fish fillet cut. I recommend selecting fillets that are at least 3/4 inch thick for pan-frying, as thinner fillets can fall apart easily during the cooking process. If you prefer a crunchier texture, using panko breadcrumbs instead of regular breadcrumbs can add an extra crispiness to your fried fish.

Proper coating is essential to achieving a crispy and delicious fried fish dish. To ensure even coating, start with patting the fish fillets dry with a paper towel before dredging them in flour, dipping them in egg wash and then coating them with breadcrumbs or cornmeal mixture. This will help the breading adhere better and makes for a more evenly coated fish.

When it comes to pan-frying, make sure your oil is hot enough before adding the fish fillets. A temperature of around 350-375°F is ideal for golden-brown crust while keeping the inside moist and juicy. And don’t overcrowd the pan! Too many fillets at once will lower the oil temperature and result in soggy fish.

If you’re not confident with pan-frying method or just looking for a healthier alternative, try oven-baking or oven-frying instead. Preheat your oven to 400°F and place your breaded fish fillets on a baking sheet drizzled with oil or cooking spray. Bake for about 12-15 minutes until golden brown and crispy.

Lastly, don’t forget about homemade tartar sauce! The perfect accompaniment for Not My Mom’s Fried Fish is some tangy and creamy tartar sauce made from mayonnaise, dill pickle relish, lemon juice, chopped onion, salt and black pepper. And if you’re feeling fancy you can add some herbs like parsley or capers for extra flavor.

By following these tips, you’ll be sure to elevate your fried fish game to the next level!

Bottom Line

Overall, this recipe for Not My Mom’s Fried Fish is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. It’s a pan-fried fish recipe that goes beyond what your mom used to make. With simple ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions, even novice cooks can enjoy a perfectly crispy dish. By adding your own twist or variation, you could make it even more delicious.

So why not give it a try? Whether it’s for a Friday night fish fry or just a homemade dinner with family and friends, this recipe is sure to satisfy. And don’t forget to pair it with your favorite sides and homemade tartar sauce!

In conclusion, this is one of the best fried fish recipes out there. So why settle for something mediocre when you can create something truly amazing at home? I guarantee that once you’ve tried this recipe, you’ll never look back. So get cooking!

Not My Mom's Fried Fish

Not My Mom’s Fried Fish Recipe

This is someone's Mom's fried fish recipe but it's not MY Mom. I found it in Taste of Home, June/July 2005 issue and made it tonight for dinner. It's very, very good and SO easy. The recipe called for the fish to be deep fried but I fried it in about 3/4 inch of oil in a large, heavy skillet. Also, the original recipe called for whitefish fillets, cut in half lengthwise....I used some thin Chilean sea bass fillets and it was excellent. I think any firm, white fish fillets will work. This recipe was printed in Taste of Home magazine and attributed to Julie in Wisconsin. Julie, if you ever become a member of Zaar, contact me and I'll ask Kathy to transfer this recipe over to you and thanks for the great dinner!
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American (Southern)
Calories 256.2 kcal


  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed saltine crackers (about 45 crackers)
  • 2 lbs fish fillets (use a firm, white fish, about 1/2 inch thick such as -- whitefish, tilapia, sea bass)
  • vegetable oil (for frying)


  • Place beaten eggs and saltine cracker crumbs in separate shallow bowls or pie tins.
  • Dip fillets into eggs, then coat with crumbs; let stand for 5 minutes.
  • In a heavy, deep skillet, or electric frying pan, heat oil (about 3/4 to 1 inch of oil) to 375°. Fry fillets, a few at a time, for 2 minutes on each side or until fish is golden brown and flakes easily (I found that when the fish is golden brown it's DONE).
  • Drain on a rack over paper towels. If you're making lots of fish place the rack in a 225° oven while you're cooking the remaining batches.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 185gCalories: 256.2kcalCarbohydrates: 13.1gProtein: 38.2gFat: 4.4gSaturated Fat: 1.1gCholesterol: 145.1mgSodium: 336.8mgFiber: 0.5gSugar: 0.5g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Bass, Easy, Healthy, High In..., High Protein, Perch, Stove Top, Whitefish
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