Best Fish Fry Recipes

Wednesday, August 28, 2019
I just love a good fish fry and here are several coating recipes below that will be perfect for any kind of fish you like.

Where I grew up in Utica, New York our family loved to go out for a haddock fish fry every Friday night.

The competition for making the best fish fry in local restaurants was everywhere in my hometown, we just rotated and tried just about all of them.

Our hometown also had a market-style fish place we would go to and they would fry the fish right there and we just had to bring it home.

Those are some fond memories of growing up and we all just love fish fries and looked forward to them.

Living in Florida we go ocean fishing often and are lucky to have some fresh fish to cook mostly snook which is seasonal and redfish which can be caught all year.

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

Dad loved the flour-cornmeal style coating.

So here is a roundup of different recipes from Italian style, batter, and more that we developed over the years after moving to Florida to season and fry fish with.

Every one of these is a different coating to try and hard to choose which one we like the best.

Our favorite fish to eat is still haddock but again, cod, and grouper are good choices and any coating you choose will work with just about any fish you like.

I love all kinds of seafood, some of my other family's favorite recipes, especially on Christmas Eve when we make more than 7 fishes celebration!

You may also enjoy my Baked Fish with Roasted Vegetables or a delicious Cioppino which is a fish stew.

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

this is a panko crusted fried snook fish draining on paper towels from a recipe of the best fish fry coatings

assorted batter coated fish fry

Fresh Fish

We are lucky here in Florida to be able to have fresh fish just about all year long.

When I lived in Upstate Utica New York, we always had haddock, cod or freshly caught bass and walleye.

We love to fish and bring home a fresh catch during snook season in Florida which is our favorite fish fry here.

Whichever kind of fresh or store-bought fish you like, there is a fantastic coating recipe below to fry or bake it in.

It's hard to choose but if you're a fish lover, you will find just what you were looking for in the roundup of fish coating recipes.

clams, haddock, scallops, calamari and shrimp deep fried

Ingredients to Have on Hand for Frying Fish

  • Flour
  • Eggs
  • Cornstarch
  • Seasonings
  • Cornmeal
  • Buttermilk
  • Eggs
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Kinds of Fish to Use:
  • Haddock, Mahi Mahi, Cod, Grouper, fresh-caught walleye, snook, redfish or any other kinds of hearty fish.
  • Oil

this is a huge fry pan with fish frying in it coated with panko bread crumbs

Frying Fish

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

Best Fish For These Coatings

  • Haddock
  • Walleye
  • Tilapia
  • Alaskan Cod
  • Catfish
  • Halibut
  • Striped Bass
  • Trout
  • Perch
  • Shrimp
  • Scallops
  • Calamari
  • Lobster
  • Lump Crab Meat
  • Chilean Seabass
  • Trout
  • Snook
  • Redfish
  • Flounder ( very thin best batter fried)
  • Halibut
  • Salmon
  • Bass

This is freshly caught snook frying in a pan of oil that is coated with cracker crumbs


  • 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).
  • Always heat the oil first to heating instructions
  • Don't crowd the fish in 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.
  • Place fish on paper towels to drain the oil after cooking

this is cooked and fried white fish that is breaded and browned

Coating for Fish Recipes

There are several coatings to try.

Some with flour, cracker crumbs, and bread crumbs.

There is even a batter-fried fish recipe below.

All of these coatings are wonderful, you will have to just try them all!

cornmeal coated fish frying

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

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pin for later fish fry

Healthy Fish

If you want to lower calories and bake the fish, no problem any coating can be air fried or baked on a baking sheet drizzle with a little olive oil.

The only recipe below that must be fried is with the batter although I have also air-fried the batter-coated fish.

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 has a slightly sweeter taste and finer texture than cod, but the two are often swapped in recipes.

A very low-calorie, low mercury fish to use is haddock and a favorite of mine.

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.

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 fillets
  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 or any other white fish
  58. oil for frying
  59. Dip haddock filets into milk mixture into coating mix and deep fry in oil.
  60. The Best New York Restaurant 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 with 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 the process with the remaining fish.
  82. Serve with lemon wedges.
Fat (grams)
Sat. Fat (grams)
Carbs (grams)
Net carbs
Created using The Recipes Generator

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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 fried fish on a white fish dish

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.

  16. NOTHING beats a good homemade fish fry. This is one of the best! Thanks for the great recipe!

  17. These instructions were detailed and our fish came out perfect!


Remember to use the search option for a recipe you're looking for and thanks for all your kind words and support. We love our readers all the best Claudia