Crunchy Oven Fried Fish Fillets

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Post Wed, Nov 09 2022, 1:13 pm
This was not fancy but the cooking technique really produced a superior result - baking it elevated on the rack is critical.

The recipe just looks long as there is a variation for fish sticks as well as a really delicious tartar sauce.

Crunchy Oven Fried Fish Fillets

Excerpt From: America's Test Kitchen - Foolproof Fish: Modern Recipes for Everyone, Everywhere



2 large eggs
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
½ teaspoon table salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 cups panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 (6- to 8-ounce) skinless haddock fillets, 1 inch thick

1 | Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, set wire rack in sheet, and spray with vegetable oil spray. Whisk eggs, mayonnaise, flour, lemon zest, salt, and pepper together in shallow dish.

2 | Toss panko with oil in bowl until evenly coated. Microwave, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer toasted panko to second shallow dish.

3 | Pat haddock dry with paper towels. Working with 1 fillet at a time, dredge haddock in egg mixture, letting excess drip off, then coat with panko mixture, pressing gently to adhere. Transfer fillets to prepared rack.

4 | Bake until crumbs are golden and haddock registers 135 degrees, 12 to 16 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Transfer haddock to platter and serve.



We found that cutting the fish into 4-inch-long pieces made for the sturdiest fish sticks. Any longer and they were too delicate to pick up. If you’re freezing the fish sticks, we recommend brining the fish before breading and freezing (see this page). If brining, omit the salt from the egg mixture.

Working with 1 fillet at a time, cut haddock fillets into ¾-inch-wide by 4-inch-long strips. Decrease baking time in step 4 to 10 to 12 minutes. (Raw fish sticks can be frozen for up to 1 month. Do not thaw frozen fish sticks before baking; increase baking time to 12 to 18 minutes.)



Be sure to rinse the capers before mincing them or else the sauce will have a strong, briny flavor. This is a classic with fried white fish but it pairs nicely with baked fish, too.

¾ cup mayonnaise
1½ teaspoons minced shallot
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and minced
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1½ teaspoons white vinegar
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Combine all ingredients in bowl, let sit for 15 minutes, and season with salt and pepper to taste. (Sauce can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.)


Batter-fried fish is a summertime treat (see our recipe for Fish and Chips on this page), but frying is a special-occasion activity for us. We wanted a recipe for moist, flavorful fish fillets with a crunchy crust as good as fried—but from the oven. Panko bread crumbs crisp right up in a hot oven and create a crunchy crust. Pretoasting them maximizes that crunch; doing so in the microwave maximizes ease. We dipped the fillets first in a sticky wash of mayonnaise, flour, and eggs and then applied the browned crumbs for a thick, satisfying crust. Placing the coated fish on a wire rack for baking allowed air to circulate, crisping all sides for fish that’s just as good as fried. To delight all eaters, we also created a fish stick variation for the freezer—they’re at the ready to dunk into Classic Tartar Sauce (this page).
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