This Crispy Fried Fish Burger Recipe will be a go-to when you’re craving something delicious! Panko crusted cod fillets are fried until golden brown and crispy. The whole thing is generously topped with a homemade tartar sauce recipe and an easy coleslaw. You’re gonna love this one!
Hey friends! I’m really excited to be sharing this crispy fish burger recipe with you today! Ok, truth be told, I’m always pretty amped up to share a recipe with you guys, but even more so with this one.
Why? Well, firstly it’s cod season here in Newfoundland! If you know anything about this province it’s that cod is king! Secondly, this cod fish burger is super easy to whip up. And, of course, it’s SO freakin’ good!
I picked up freshly caught cod (like caught that day) and was determined to put it to good use. With just a couple of extra things to go with, like homemade tartar sauce and coleslaw, this is one belly satisfying burger.
Though this is a ‘fried’ fish burger, it’s really not heavy, like, at all. The panko crust is light and the cod is quite delicate. It’s definitely a treat, but won’t leave you with a heavy feeling, if you know what I mean.
If you’re into seafood, and especially cod, you’re gonna want to make this one asap…I also have more easy cod recipes on the way for you guys so stay tuned!
What’s the Best Fish for this Homemade Fish Burger Recipe?
Ok, I may be a little biased here, but I love fresh Newfoundland cod. Fresh cod is readily available here in Newfoundland this time of year, so you know I went for that!
When frying (like I did today for this fried fish recipe), I prefer fresh over frozen. However, if you can’t get fresh you can totally use frozen. Just make sure it’s completely thawed and patted dry of any excess moisture.
If you can’t find fresh cod where you are, haddock would be another delicious option that’s quite similar to cod. Tilapia or halibut would work too (though, halibut is typically much more expensive than either of those).
- You want skinless fillets, ensuring that there are no bones in there. If you can’t buy them that way, ask your fishmonger to prepare them for you.
- Cut the fish into equal pieces, about 4 ounces each.
- I opt for centre cut because you will get a more even cook.
- The time to fry the fish will vary slightly, depending on the thickness of the fish.
How to Make a Homemade Tartar Sauce Recipe
So, clearly, every fried fish burger needs a delicious tartar sauce, don’t you think? Don’t waste money getting store bought…whip up your own in minutes! All you need is –
- Lemon juice
- Chives, green onion or red onion
- Minced pickle (I like to use a Kosher pickle)
- Salt, pepper and dried dil
- Mix all the ingredients together and voila – an easy homemade tartar sauce!
There is more than enough tartar sauce here for two fish burgers. It makes for an epic dip for french fries too….just saying 😉
How to Make an Easy Coleslaw Recipe without Mayo
Gilding the lily here, I also topped the fish burgers with an easy coleslaw recipe. It adds a little freshness and crunch (not to mention a pop of colour) to the burger. You’ll need –
- Thinly shredded cabbage
- Julienned or shredded carrot
- Sliced green onion or red onion
- Thinly sliced chili (optional)
- Salt, pepper and sugar
You just mix everything together and let sit for a little bit while you are preparing those burgers.
Within minutes, you’ll see the coleslaw begin to break down a little. Stir again before topping the burgers.
The recipe yields enough for 4 burgers or 2 burgers with some slaw on the side.
If you’d rather skip the homemade coleslaw, no worries! Just use your favourite lettuce. I love shredded iceberg lettuce with these burgers too.
How to Know When Frying Oil is Ready to Use
Your surefire way of knowing when the oil is ready is to invest in a food thermometer (I have one that’s a ‘Candy and Deep Fry Thermometer’ that I’ve had forever). This is what I recommend and is my go-to. You can easily get one for under $20 and you’ll be sure to use it over and over again.
If, however, you prefer not to use a thermometer (or simply don’t have one on hand) and you really want this fried fish burger, you can test the oil in other ways –
You can stick a wooden spoon in the preheated oil for several seconds and see how the oil bubbles around it. If it has a decent little bubble going around the spoon (similar to when you would place food in there), the oil should be ready. If it bubbles aggressively, then it’s too hot and you’re gonna burn that food! It needs to cool down a little.
One of the most well known ways is to place a cube of bread in there and if it turns nice-n-golden brown and crispy within 30 to 40 seconds or so, you should be good to go.
Finally, if you have an electric deep fryer that you are comfortable with using, you can use that instead. Note: If using an electric deep fryer, always ensure you are familiar with the manufacturer recommended operating instructions and know how to properly/safely use (as with any kitchen appliance/device/tool you are using).
Bottom line: You don’t want the oil too low because it will take a while to cook the fish and it will absorb an incredible amount of grease (ain’t nobody got time for that). Conversely, you don’t want the oil too hot because the food will burn and it’s simply not safe. Know what you’re doing and always use caution when frying.
How to Make a Breaded Fish Burger
Ok, onto the really really yummy stuff – this homemade fish burger!
Get Your Dredging Station Ready – You can use disposable paper plates if you want to make clean up a little easier. Also, at this point, start to heat up your pot of oil.
- On one plate, combine panko bread crumbs and all of the spices, along with some salt and pepper.
- On another plate add sifted all purpose flour
- In a bowl, whisk an egg.
Prepare Cod Fillets and Get Dredging
- I started with a 8 ounce piece of cod and cut in half to make roughly two 4 ounce pieces. If you want the pieces to be perfectly equal, you can just trim narrower ends.
- Pat cod fillets dry with a paper towel and season with a little salt. Dredge in flour, shaking off excess
- Dip cod into egg, allow excess to drip off
- Then, dip cod into panko spice mixture, pressing to adhere the bread crumbs.
Time to Fry!
- Gently lower cod fillets into heated oil, laying away from you.
- Fry for about 3 minutes per side or until fish is completely cooked through, opaque, and flakes easily with a fork. If you happen to take out and find it’s not cooked, continue cooking until it is. A food thermometer is a great investment to be sure! Note: In Canada, the recommended minimum internal cooking temperature for fish is 158 degrees Fahrenheit (according to the Government of Canada). In the United States, the recommended minimum internal cooking temperature for fish is 145 degrees Fahrenheit (according to Foodsafety.gov).
Garnish those cod burgers! After you carefully remove/drain fillets from oil, garnish to your little heart’s content and enjoy!
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Can I Make These Panko Fish Burgers Ahead of Time?
Like with most fried food, I recommend making and enjoying these homemade fish burgers as soon as they are made. That’s when they are freshest (and crispiest).
I mean, seriously, doesn’t this look so good??
More Tips for Making this Homemade Fish Burger Recipe
Use an oil with a decent smoke point, like canola or peanut. These are some great oils for frying.
Use a large high sided pot for cooking the fish. I use a heavy duty cast iron pot.
If doubling the recipe, don’t overcrowd the pan! As you add cold fish to oil, the temperature will drop. Try to keep the heat up to the recommended temperature and cook in batches.
Note: I like to cook no more than 2 pieces of fish at a time. And if you are cooking in batches, preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit to keep fried fish on a rack (that’s placed on a baking sheet) while you are completing batches.
Speaking of cooking, the cook time will vary depending on the thickness of the fish. Just heat until it’s completely cooked through, is opaque and flakes easily with a fork.
Things move quickly with these cod burgers. I recommend having everything prepared (i.e laid out and ready to go) before starting any cooking…that means firstly preparing the tartar sauce and coleslaw.
You don’t want to have those delicious fish burgers laying around waiting for the garnish, do ya 😉 ?
What to Serve With these Breaded Fish Burgers
- Pickle (I love Kosher pickle)
- Potato chips (crunchy kettle chips are always a fave)
- French fries or potato wedges
- Grilled corn smeared in butter with a pinch of salt and pepper
- A simple mixed green salad
- Potato salad
- Pasta salad
Like this Easy Cod Recipe? You May Enjoy These Too!
Look at those delicious big flakes of cod…YUM!
Hope you love this crispy fish burger recipe as much as we do!
If you make this panko crusted cod burger, be sure to leave a comment below. Love to know how you enjoyed! Thank you!
Crispy Fried Fish Burger Recipe (w/ tartar sauce and slaw)
Crispy Fish Burger Recipe
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup unseasoned panko bread crumbs
- ½ teaspoon salt , divided
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 large egg
- 8 ounce boneless/skinless cod fillet (two (4 ounce) pieces)
- canola oil or vegetable oil (enough to come about about 2 to 3 inches up side of large, high sided, heavy duty pot).
- 2 burger buns
Homemade Tartar Sauce Recipe
- ½ cup mayo (your favourite brand)
- 1 small kosher dill pickle , minced (about 3 tablespoons)
- 2 tablespoons chives , minced
- ½ teaspoon dried dill
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
Simple Coleslaw Recipe
- 2 cups shredded cabbage (I used two 'heaping' cups)
- 1 carrot , peeled and julienne (thinly cut) or shredded
- 1 pencil chili pepper , thinly sliced (or pinch of cayenne powder), optional
- 1 green onion , minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar (or regular white vinegar)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon sugar
Other Suggested Garnishes
- lettuce (to taste. I enjoy iceberg for this burger)
- thinly sliced pickle (to taste)
- sliced tomato (to taste)
- hot sauce (to taste)
- sliced cheese (to taste)
Crispy Fish Burger Recipe
- Heat oil in a tall sided heavy pot or dutch oven to 360 degrees Fahrenheit (oil should come up about 2 to 3 inches). Note: Oil may drop in temperature when fish is placed in there, but try to keep it around that temperature.
- Sift flour out on one plate and spread out. On another plate add panko with ¼ teaspoon of salt as well as pepper, onion powder, paprika, thyme cayenne, and garlic powder. In a bowl, whisk egg. Lay to one side.
- Cut cod into two equal pieces and pat dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle with remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt.
- Dredge each piece of cod in flour, coating all around, shaking off excess.
- Then, dip in egg, shaking off excess
- Finally, dredge cod in panko bread crumbs, coating all around, pressing to adhere.
- Gently lower each piece of cod into preheated oil, away from you, and cook about 3 minutes on each side or until cooked through, is opaque, and cod flakes easily with a fork.
- When cooked, carefully remove cod from oil (I used a spider strainer so the oil drained through) and sprinkle with additional salt, if desired. Optional: Place cod on wire rack on baking sheet to drain any excess grease for a minute or two, if necessary (though, mine weren't greasy).
- Place on buns (toast if you like) with tartar sauce and coleslaw (if using) or any of the other suggested garnishes. Enjoy!
- Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until well incorporated.
Simple Coleslaw Recipe
- Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, stirring to combine. Let sit while preparing burgers.
- Use an oil with a decent smoke point, like canola or peanut.
- Use a large high sided pot for cooking the fish. I use a heavy duty cast iron pot. Know what you’re doing and always use caution when frying.
- If doubling the recipe, don’t overcrowd the pan! I like to cook no more than 2 pieces of fish at a time. And if you are cooking in batches, preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit to keep fried fish on a rack (that’s placed on a baking sheet) while you are completing batches.
- Speaking of cooking, the cook time will vary depending on the thickness of the fish. Just heat until it’s completely cooked through, is opaque and flakes easily with a fork.
- Things move quickly with these cod burgers. I recommend having everything prepared (i.e laid out and ready to go) before starting any cooking…that means firstly preparing the tartar sauce and coleslaw.
- Recipe for coleslaw yields enough for two burgers with some slaw on the side OR enough coleslaw for 4 burgers.
- Always ensure you are familiar with the manufacturer recommended operating instructions and know how to properly/safely use any kitchen appliance/device/tool you are using.
- Recipe for tartar sauce yields plenty for burgers with enough extra for dipping fries, etc.
- For more recipe tips, see body of post above.