How to Bread Fish for Frying

Fried fish fillet with vegetables
The breading makes fried fish crispy on the outside. (Image: tiverylucky/iStock/Getty Images)

Pan-frying is a traditional method of preparing fish fillets for a crispy finish. The breading or batter used to coat the fish affect the flavor and the crispiness of the cooked fish. When the breading hits the hot oil, it cooks quickly and seals it to the fish fillet. The ingredients used for a basic fish breading are commonly found in most kitchens, making it a simple meal to prepare from either fresh-caught fish or frozen fish fillets from the supermarket.

Step 1

Cut the fish fillets into 5-inch pieces. Remove any bones or skin remnants from the fish pieces. Salt and pepper the fish pieces lightly.

Step 2

Stir together the breadcrumbs or cornmeal, lemon pepper and cayenne pepper in a shallow dish. Add additional salt and pepper or other dry seasonings as desired.

Step 3

Whisk the eggs and water together in a shallow bowl. Line up the egg, breading and a plate for easier breading.

Step 4

Dip the fish pieces one at a time into the egg mixture. Turn the fish so all sides are coated with the egg mixture. Lift the fish out of the bowl, allowing the excess egg to drip back into the bowl.

Step 5

Place the fish into the breading mixture. Turn the fish and sprinkle the coating so it is covered completely. Place the breaded fish on a plate until you are ready to fry it. Repeat the process with each piece of fish.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 lb. fish fillets

  • Knife

  • 1/2 tsp. salt

  • 1/2 tsp. pepper

  • 3/4 cups breadcrumbs or cornmeal

  • 1 tsp. lemon pepper

  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

  • Shallow dish

  • 2 egg whites

  • 1 tsp. water

  • Bowl

  • Whisk

  • Plate

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