Crunchy Batter Fried Cod

The ultimate Pub food, this batter-fried fish recipe is easy to whip up and takes only a few minutes to cook.  I like to serve it with a side of Southern Hushpuppies, a Crunchy Asian Slaw to cut through the fat of the fish and hushpuppies, and Crispy Oven Baked Potato Wedges – to make the meal healthier ????.

A dish of crispy, crunchy batter fried cod - a batter-fried fish recipe

Growing up, Friday dinners meant something vegetarian or fish – and not just during Lent.  These meals were often among my most favorite.

A dish of crispy, crunchy batter fried cod - a batter-fried fish recipe

Fried fish, whether in a sandwich or with ‘chips’ is something I love, but I am hesitant to order in a restaurant.  It’s either too greasy and heavy or the fish doesn’t taste fresh, or the coating is too thick and doughy or falls off of the fish.  I’m a harsh critic when it comes to fried fish.

I think part of my pickiness on fried fish comes from growing up in Pittsburgh, where during Lent, you went to the church’s fish fry for Friday dinner.  The fish those little church ladies made was amazing every time.

And a Pittsburgh fish sandwich is off the charts.  Let your tastebuds imagine a pillowy hoagie roll, topped with a perfectly fried fish fillet that’s triple the size of the roll, topped with American cheese, and slathered with tangy tartar sauce.  My mouth is watering just reminiscing. I have yet to find a fish sandwich that comes close to those in ‘da ‘burgh’.

How Do You Make the Best Fried Cod? 

  • Use fresh, white cod.  It will smell like the ocean and not strong and fishy.  It will be smooth, firm, and all white.
  • Using rice flour in the batter will lighten the batter and make it crunchier.  You can use all-purpose flour for all of the recipe, but your batter will be heavier and thicker.
  • Don’t skip the baking powder.  It will help your batter puff up and look fluffy.
  • Flouring the fillets before battering them helps the batter adhere to the fish and is worth the extra step.
  • Use an oil thermometer to check and double-check the temperature of your oil.  If its too hot, the coating will burn before the fish is done. If the temperature of the oil is too low, you’ll end up with greasy, heavy fish.

Recommended Equipment when Frying Fish

Here are a few more meal ideas to get you through the Lenten season:



What’s better than a batter-fried fish recipe that comes out crisp and crunchy on the outside and tender and flaky fish on the inside.  This easy and delicious recipe will be a Lenten favorite and is ready in about 30 minutes.

  • Author: Eats By The Beach
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 - 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Fry
  • Cuisine: English



Canola oil

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 ½ cups rice flour, divided

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning

1 large egg, beaten

2 ¼ cups club soda, ice-cold

2 ½ pounds cod fillets

Salt and black pepper


Fill your deep fryer with canola oil,  Preheat the fryer to 375 degrees.  

Place a wire rack over a cookie sheet and set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together the all-purpose flour, 1 cup rice flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and Old Bay Seasoning.  

In a smaller bowl, whisk together the egg and club soda.  

Whisk the liquid into the dry ingredients until just combined.  Don’t worry if there are small lumps in the batter.

Use a sharp knife to cut each cod fillet in half and season both sides with salt and pepper.

Dump the remaining ½ cup of rice flour into a ziplock bag.  Shake the fish fillets in the bag to coat them lightly.  

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Dip the fish fillet into the batter.  Shake off any excess.

Holding onto one corner of the fillet, submerge the fillet into the oil almost to where you are holding it.  Carefully sway the fillet back and forth in the oil for 5 to 10 seconds to solidify the batter before submerging the fillet.  Repeat with half of the fish fillets.

Fry the fish for 5 to 7 minutes until the outside is golden brown on all sides and floats up towards the top of the fryer.

Using a wire skimmer, remove the fillets and place them on the wire rack.   Place the rack and cookie sheet in the preheated oven.

Repeat the process with the remaining fish.

Serve warm.

Keywords: batter-fried fish recipe, cod recipes, fish fry, Lenten recipes, fish recipes