Crispy Oven Fried Fish > takeout
Do you ever drive by a favorite taco joint, pizzeria, or other take-out spot and immediately lament that eating low-carb or grain-free excludes you from crossing the threshold and blowing all your healthy food habits by eating said takeout? For me and the fella, the local fish & chips shop falls squarely in this category. Every time we pass it one of us (without fail) comments about how awesome it would be to grab a fish fry takeout like we did in the UK, where it was served in paper wrappings that we eagerly ripped open to eat by hand, greasy fingers be damned.
This Crispy Oven Fried Fish can be made in 30 minutes or less and produces a fully crispy, crunchy, and delicious crust – just like the traditional fish fry of your dreams, but without the carb hangover. This will also leave you plenty of time to decide if you’re going to eat them by hand or grab a plate. I’m not judging!
Oven Frying vs. Pan Frying
I prefer to oven fry the fish, which basically means that I simply roast them at high heat. Yes, I understand that this is technically a misnomer, but it better describes the delicious crispy coating you’ll find on this Crispy Oven Fried Fish, much like you would traditionally fried fish. Skip the oily mess and inevitable splatter stain on the favorite shirt you happen to be wearing (always), and pop these babies in the oven to do all the crisping. I feel confident you won’t be disappointed.
Yes, this recipe can be made on the stovetop by pan frying the fish in a small amount of oil. However, you are more likely to incur a bit more difficulty with the crispy coating remaining as intact than you would baking the fish in the oven – only because this method requires a good flipping. <—(coincidentally, great band name?)
I would definitely advise against deep frying as I do not feel confident the lovely crunchy coating would survive the trip in the oil bath.
Let’s talk about the “breading” for a minute
This Crispy Oven Fried Fish recipe uses 4 primary ingredients to get a it’s perfect crispy “breaded” coating: Pork rinds (aka chicharrónes), almond flour, parmesan cheese, and egg. Though there are plenty of basic “breading” recipes that use a simplified version of just flour + egg or just cheese + egg, I find that the combination of all 4 of these ingredients yields the best texture for a truly crispy oven fried fish.
If you’re not familiar with pork rinds as anything other than a snack, now is the time to acquaint yourself to your new favorite binder. I had never had a pork rind before my keto-abiding fella introduced me to them as a great low-carb snack. I quickly realized that when crumbled, the texture was an ideal swap for panko bread crumbs and I have been using them to hep bind meatloaf, meatballs, and various “breadings” ever since. My favorite pork rind option are these Epic Oven Baked Pork Rinds with Pink Himalayan + Sea Salt.
Almond flour fills in the gaps between the pork rind crumbles nicely, and also helps neutralize the flavor a bit. Because pork rinds are made of pork (obviously), they do taste slightly porky (imagine that!). I do not find that this flavor overwhelms most dishes, but I also don’t want the pork rinds to have the opportunity to drive the flavor in one direction. The almond flour helps negate the need for ample amounts of pork rinds to coat the fish, and is a bit more neutral in flavor.
Parmesan holds its shape well when used as a coating. It sticks together just enough when heated to form a kind of crosshatched crispy nest for food, without becoming overly melty and gloopy like it’s softer cheese counterparts. It also packs the perfect amount of saltiness that pairs perfectly with neutral white fish such as cod and tilapia.
Egg is the OG binder that I almost never bread without. It provides a sticky coating for all of the delicious ingredients in your breading to better bind to – like glue. It is the perfect balance of moisture and protein, so things stick to it, but it doesn’t become runny when heated. If you have an egg allergy, I would suggest swapping with yogurt, buttermilk, or heavy cream, though this may affect the overall efficacy of the coating holding together as well as slight flavor differences.
I dip, you dip, we dip
I’m definitely dating myself with that sweet 1997 reference (…anyone?), but I had to.
Delicious dipping sauces are must for me when were talking fried fish. My favorite being this easy Lemon Herb Tartar Sauce, that will blow all other tartar sauces out of the water for you. Whip this delicious sauce up in 5 minutes or less while your fish is in the oven and just try not to pour it all over everything when you’re done – I dare you!
This batch of sauce will make plenty for this recipe plus a bit leftover to drizzle on top of other things. I can attest that it is also scrumptious on top of salmon, chicken, and roasted veggies. Store any leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container – these are my favorite.
A note for special diets
This Crispy Oven Fried Fish is gluten-free, grain-free, low-carb, and friendly for Keto, SIBO, and Low-FODMAP diets. If you have an egg allergy, you can check out alternative options for swapping this ingredient in the “breading” section.
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- 4 cod fillets (1.5 lbs) – you may also use haddock, halibut, or tilapia if you prefer though the cook time may need adjusted
- 3/4 cups pork rinds (I like Epic Oven Baked Pink Himalayan + Sea Salt), crushed or blended until fine and granular
- 1/2 cups parmesan cheese, shredded
- 6 tbsp almond flour
- 1 tsp paprika
- cracked pepper, to taste
- 1 large egg, beaten with a splash of water
The recipe for Lemon Herb Tartar sauce can be found here.
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F (232 C).
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set to the side.
- Combine the pork rinds, parmesan cheese, almond flour, and paprika until evenly combined in a wide mouthed dish that can accommodate the length of a fish fillet.
- Assemble the beaten egg and water in a shallow dish that can accommodate a fish fillet.
- Drench each fish fillet in the egg wash on both sides until coated, then transfer to the dish with breading and press unto each side firmly until coated.
- Transfer each fillet to the parchment lined baking tray in turn. If there is additional coating leftover, I like to press a bit of extra into the tops of each fish fillet.
- Roast in the middle of the oven until fish reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees F and the top is golden, about 15-20 minutes.
- Serve with Lemon Herb Tartar Sauce and lemon wedges.
Nutritional information on Whip & Wander is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site.
- Serving Size: 1 cod fillet
- Calories: 307
- Sugar: 1 g
- Sodium: 1126 mg
- Fat: 15 g
- Saturated Fat: 3 g
- Carbohydrates: 5 g
- Fiber: 1 g
- Protein: 38 g
- Cholesterol: 164 mg