Best Upstate New York Haddock Fish Fry Recipes

Wednesday, August 28, 2019
Where I grew up in Utica, New York we had the best fish fry.

The competition of restaurants was everywhere in my hometown.

I pretty much tried them all, many great, some not so good.

We had a favorite place we would go to on Kossuth Ave it was a market and bring the fried haddock home hot when I was a kid every Friday night.

As they say, the good old days gone but not forgotten.

When I go home to visit, it's the first stop off the plane and haddock fish fry is a must!

Now I make it at home here in Florida and just reminisce about those delicious fish fries in Utica.

I like a crispy coating on fish, mom loved a batter fried or Italian coating.

Dad loved the flour-cornmeal style coating.

I have a roundup of different recipes from Italian style, battered, and more coatings that we developed over the years after moving to Florida.

Every one of these is different and delicious to use on many kinds of seafood, not only the famous haddock fries we left behind in Upstate New York.

My favorite is the last recipe on the printable card below that you will find.

I love a crispy crunchy crust on my fish.

If you ever visit my hometown, make sure you try the fish fries!

Scroll down to the recipe card to print it off and try one of the recipes that sounds good to you too!

this is beer battered fried fish on a white plate with parsley sprinkled over it

Fried Fish

I love fried fish, it's a must when traveling home and so many favorites to choose from.

I really enjoy eating haddock which is a Northern fish in Upstate New York, which you will find on every menu.

It's usually deep fried and served with coleslaw, baked potato and just a delicious entree for any seafood lover.

Haddock is a lighter flavored fish, not strong, white and very flakey.

It's perfect for frying but if you can't find it, try using cod or grouper.

this is a plate of fried fish on a white plate

So Many Kinds

You will find many coatings below that are made with either flour or bread crumbs.

Then seasonings added, dipped in egg, some in buttermilk.

Everyone has a different perspective on what the best fish fry-style is.

After carefully reading the ingredients, one of them may be your favorite.

Honestly, they are all great!

this is a white plate with fried haddock on it and potato

The Oil

When deep frying, choose an oil with a high smoke point (peanut, grapeseed, safflower, soybean, sunflower, canola, and extra light olive oil are all good

choices) and a flavor that is either neutral or appropriate to the type of food you're cooking.

Don't use unrefined oils for deep frying, as their smoke points are much lower.

If you have a deep fryer, great!

You can deep fry the fish with a basket to get the best-fried restaurant style version at home.

this is a pan of seasoned floured bite sized pieces of haddock fried in oil in a grey pan

The Results

Deep fried fish and seafood should be light, crisp, and wonderful, not heavy, sodden, and awful.

Making the right choices and using the proper deep-frying techniques and tools can make all the difference.

For successful deep-frying, you will need a heavy, deep pot, oil, a thermometer, tongs remove fried items and an area to drain the cooked seafood on paper towels

A deep skillet or pan is fine however you must wait until the oil reaches to 375 degrees, to start frying.

At the minimum, the pot should hold about 3 inches of oil

The best oil to use is a blend of vegetable and extra light olive oil for a great tasting fish fry.

this is a plate full of fried fish

Don't Crowd The Pan

Putting a lot of food into the oil all at once can lower the temperature drastically and allow the oil to seep into the food, resulting in greasy and heavy food.

Frying in small batches produces much better results.

A good rule of thumb is to not use more than half of the surface area of the hot oil.

This will ensure plenty of room for the food to cook.

this is three pieces of raw fish getting ready to be breaded and fried on a clear glass plate

Best Fish For Frying

  • Haddock
  • Tilapia
  • Alaskan Cod
  • Catfish
  • Halibut
  • Striped Bass
  • Trout
  • Perch
  • Shrimp

this is a plate of fried fish on a white plate


Before cooking, make sure your filet is completely dry—inside and out— since excess moisture lowers the temperature of the oil and causes the oil to become more agitated, which leads to burnt fish and a messy splattered kitchen (I know from experience).

this is a piece of cornmeal and floured haddock seafood on a white plate with potato


You should be able to find your favorite coating with my roundup of recipes below.

But if you ever get a chance to visit Utica, New York,  do try the Best Upstate New York Haddock Fish Fry out there, it's worth a trip!

Favorite Recipes to Try

Florida Red Fish
Seafood Primavera
Coconut Shrimp
Apricot Glazed Salmon
Almond crusted Haddock and Shrimp
Lemon Garlic Shrimp Pasta
Filet Mignon topped with shrimp and crab

Pin or later

this is a pin for later how to make the best seafood fried fish recipes


Like its close relative, cod, this whitefish haddock hails from the cold waters of the North Atlantic Ocean.

Sometimes sold under the name scrod, haddock enjoys a slightly sweeter taste and finer texture than cod, but the two are often swapped in recipes.

Haddock rates among the best fish to eat because of its high-protein, low-calorie, and low-mercury content, but it ranks lower than much other fish for it's heart-healthy fats.

The health benefits of haddock include: very low in calories (77 calories per 3 ounces), high in protein (17 grams per 3 ounces) and an excellent source of selenium, phosphorus and some of the B vitamins.

The American Heart Association recommends 3 ounces as the serving size for cooked fish.

To visualize 3 ounces, think of the size of the palm of your hand.

This fish is what I go out of my way to find and fry and my favorite to use and of course, if you want it healthier than try baking it, click here!

New York Fish Fry, fish batter, fish coating, fish fry, frying fish, fried fish recipes
seafood, fish, haddock, how to fry fish, coating fish, fish fry
Yield: 6

how to make the best fish fry and this is a photo of beer battered fish

Best Upstate New York Haddock Fish Fry Recipes

prep time: 10 Mcook time: 9 Mtotal time: 19 M
If you have ever traveled to Utica New York, they have some of the best fish fried ever in local restaurants.
This is a roundup of coating recipes for fish that we love to make at home.


  • Fish for Frying:
  • Just a few ingredients you may need:
  • Flour
  • Eggs
  • Cornstarch
  • Seasonings
  • Cornmeal
  • Buttermilk
  • Eggs
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Kinds of Fish to Use:
  • Haddock,  Mahi Mahi, Cod, Grouper, or any other kinds of hearty fish.
  • Note: Flounder is thin and tends to fall apart
  • Oil extra light olive oil, vegetable or canola
  • See All Recipes Below for Coatings


How to cook Best Upstate New York Haddock Fish Fry Recipes

  1. Cornmeal Coating:
  2. 1/2 cup buttermilk
  3. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  4. 2 pounds haddock filets
  5. oil for frying (I use Canola, however, the best taste comes from a vegetable and olive oil blend)
  6. Beat together dip the fish in this mixture.
  7. Then shake into this one:
  8. 1/3 cup cornmeal
  9. 1/3 cup flour
  10. 1/2 teaspoon each garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper
  11. dash of cayenne pepper
  12. Add to a plastic zip lock bag, shake fish in and fry in oil.
  13. Batter Fried Fish:
  14. 3/4 cup flour
  15. 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  16. 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  17. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  18. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  19. 3/4 cup water
  20. 2 pounds fish filets
  21. oil for frying
  22. Mix together. Coat fish and fry till golden brown.
  23. Breadcrumb Coated Recipe
  24. 2lb. fresh fish fillets, steaks or pan-dressed whole fish
  25. 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
  26. 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  27. pinch cayenne
  28. 1 egg plus
  29. 1 tablespoon milk or water beat together
  30. 1 cup Italian dry bread crumbs or buttery cracker crumbs
  31. Dip the fish fillets in egg and milk mixture. Shake them in crumb mixture and fry in oil till golden brown.
  32. Beer Batter Recipe:
  33. 2 pounds of whitefish of choice fillets snook, cod, haddock, walleye, perch, shrimp, scallops, tilapia, redfish.
  34. Batter:
  35. 1 cup of all purpose flour
  36. 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  37. 1/2 teaspoon of each, parsley, oregano, basil
  38. 2 tablespoons of paprika
  39. 2 teaspoons salt
  40.  teaspoons black pepper
  41. 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  42. 1 egg
  43. 1 - 12 ounces can or bottle of beer
  44. 2 quarts of cooking oil for frying vegetable and olive oil blends: heat to around 375 degree
  45. Combine all dry ingredients, add egg then beer. Dip fish in batter and fry in hot oil.
  46. Drain on paper towels.
  47. Italian Style Coating:
  48. 3/4 cup flour
  49. 3/4 cup romano cheese grated
  50. 3/4 cup cornmeal
  51. 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  52. 2 tablespoons seasoning salt
  53. 1 teaspoon each oregano, parsley, and black pepper
  54. Mix all the above ingredients adding to a ziplock bag.
  55. Dipping mixture:
  56. 1 cup milk plus one egg beaten
  57. 2 lbs haddock filets
  58. oil for frying
  59. Dip haddock filets into milk mixture into coating mix and deep fry in oil.
  60. The Best New York Resturant Style Coating (personal favorite recipe)
  61. 4 quarts of vegetable, and extra light olive oil or canola blend oils
  62. 6 large eggs
  63. 1/2 cup water
  64. 2 cups flour (such as Wondra) or sifted twice regular flour
  65. 2 cups cornstarch
  66. 1/4 cup baking powder
  67. 3 tablespoons kosher salt, plus additional for sprinkling
  68. 1 tablespoon black pepper
  69. 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper ( less if you don't like spicy)
  70. 1 tablespoon granulated garlic powder
  71. 1 teaspoon onion powder
  72. 3 pounds flounder, grouper, cod, or other white, flaky fish fillets
  73. Lemon wedges
  74. Heat oil in a large stockpot to 375 degrees over medium-high.
  75. Whisk together eggs and water in a shallow bowl or baking dish.
  76. Whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, all seasonings salt, and both peppers in another shallow bowl, ziplock bag or baking dish.
  77. Place half of the fish pieces in egg mixture, turning to coat completely. Shake off excess.
  78. Dredge in flour mixture to coat completely; shake off excess. ( I use a ziplock bag and shake the pieces in the flavored flour).
  79. Carefully add fish to hot oil. 
  80. Cook until golden brown and crispy, 4 to 5 minutes.
  81. Drain on paper towels; sprinkle with kosher salt. Repeat process with remaining fish.
  82. Serve with lemon wedges.
Fat (grams)
Sat. Fat (grams)
Carbs (grams)
Net carbs
Created using The Recipes Generator

Pin or later

this is a pin for later how to make the best seafood fried fish recipes

More Recipes To Try

Baked Italian Style Flounder
Escargot with wine, butter and cheese
Seafood Medley Scampi Pasta
How to cook perfect Shrimp
Italian Tuna Casserole
Fish Zucchini Parmesan

this is a beer battered haddock on a white plate

Disclosure: This recipe was originally shared in 2012. It was edited and re-published in 2019.


  1. What a tasty breading so fragrant :) This fish looks really appetizing. Bye, have a graet week

  2. This looks amazing! The recipe is very tasty!

  3. Great recipe!!! Looks just like my perfect dish XX

  4. I love the look of the beer batter recipe!

  5. We are coming to fresh lake fish in Minnesota (fishing opener has happened) and these coatings will be referred to again and again.

  6. you and I are so much alike, we do love our fish ... like all of these coatings - beer is such a good effervescent for the batter and flavor additive to use for breading... I sometimes use club soda which is neutral in taste and simply add salt and red pepper for fresh, mild fish - gonna try your Italian coating next time

  7. Yummy, love haddock so much. This looks great.

  8. Wow, Claudia-such an impressing list of coatings for fish. I love your Beer Batter coating, especially...but all of them are great.
    Your haddock is totally golden, crunchy, and moist, now doubt!
    Bookmarking these...a fabulous keeper:DDD

  9. How wonderful to have a choice of breading! This sounds wonderful. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  10. Both of these batters look like they would have a lot of flavor. I have been disappointed at the lack of flavor in this dish presented by restaurants before-especially the beer batter kind.
    Your picture here does look amazing-yum!

  11. They all sound delicious and one will be tried for our next fish fry.

  12. Dear Claudia, I love these recipes. Fresh fried fish is the best. Blessings dearest. Catherine xoxo

  13. Dear Claudia, Looks delicious. Blessings, Catherine xo

  14. Hello from Marcy NY! No doubt the fish frys here are the best! Starts today too!

  15. We ate our first ever Haddock during a trip to Maine years ago and I loved it and agree with it being excellent for frying. However I have some catfish fillets the frig that I will try your favorite batter on.


Thank you so much for your kind words and questions, I will try and reply to each of them. If you need help right away, contact me on Facebook or my email