How To Fry Fish With Cornmeal

Fish Fried With Cornmeal

Cornmeal Fried Fish has a golden, flaky exterior and a tender, delicate interior. In a matter of minutes, you’ll have an incredible lunch or supper entrée option. This dish pairs perfectly with various foods, including fries, fresh salad, and coleslaw! Keep reading to learn how to fry fish with cornmeal.


How To Fry Fish With Cornmeal

bag of corn meal

This recipe requires only a few ingredients, which are listed below. But you know what? It’s incredibly delectable and well worth the time spent frying it. I used cornmeal rather than regular flour or batter to coat it, making it extra crispy and delicious.



  • 4 (3 ounces) fish fillets (I used cod)
  • ⅓ cup cornmeal
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • oil for frying
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice



  1. Combine the cornmeal, flour, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
  2. Coat the fish fillets in the cornmeal mixture and shake off any excess cornmeal.
  3. On medium heat, heat the oil.
  4. Place the fish fillets, skin side down, into the pan and fry for 3-4 minutes or until nicely golden brown.
  5. Take it out with a slotted spoon, place it on a plate lined with kitchen paper to soak up the extra oil, and then drizzle with lemon juice.
  6. Serve immediately with your favorite sauce. Enjoy!


Serving Options

Most people have a fondness for fish and chips. However, the possibilities are endless when it comes to serving this dish. Serve it sprinkled with salt and vinegar, gravy and cheese sauce, or simply a delicious garlic and mayo sauce. Choose whatever appeals to you and satisfies your palate.

It is delicious served with a fresh salad or simply serve with the regular roasted peas for a complete dinner that is always a favorite with children and adults alike.

Serve with a spicy tartar sauce on the side, made with mayonnaise, garlic, and onions, seasoned with hot pepper, mustard, hot sauce, and salt. You won’t find a better combo than this.


Ingredients Substitutions And Variations

  • Whitefish fillets are the greatest option here; I used cod, but any white fish without those annoying little bones that you spend half your time picking out would work. You simply have to worry about one major bone, and that’s it.
  • I find that cornmeal sticks to my fish nicely; thus, I don’t feel any need to coat it with anything else to help the cornmeal stick better. However, to get a thicker crust, coat it with cornmeal first, dip it in whisked egg, milk, or buttermilk, and finally coat it with cornmeal again. However, as I already stated, that is completely optional.
  • While a blend of cornmeal and flour is often used for frying fish, it can also be fried entirely with cornmeal. For optimal coverage, use finely ground cornmeal.
  • You can also spice up your fry fish fillets by using some chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, dried thyme, or cayenne pepper.


How Do You Know When Your Deep-Fried Fish Is Done?

When ready, your fish should have an internal temperature of 145° F. When the fish is cooked, and the coating has crisped up, carefully take the fillets out from the oil using a skimmer and set them on a wire rack or plate lined with a paper towel to drain excess oil.


How Do You Maintain The Crispiness Of Deep-Fried Fish?

Fish Fried With Cornmeal

The best way to keep your fried fish crispy is to place the fried fish on the metal cooling rack.

Place the rack on top of a cookie sheet to enable the oil to trickle to the bottom. This way, the fish will retain its crispiness and prevent it from becoming soggy. And your guests will be delighted.

Chef’s Notes

  • To get the best results, make sure your fish is completely fresh. The smell of fresh fish should resemble that of clean water. Avoid purchasing fish that has a fishy odor. Cooking will not enhance it. This is something I’ve personally experienced.
  • If this is your first experience frying fish, you can cut the fish into small bite-sized pieces, chunks, or strips before frying. It can be difficult to handle whole or large fish fillets.
  • Make sure not to overcrowd the pan. Overcrowding the pan or deep-fryer will cause the oil’s temperature to drop, resulting in soggy fish. Therefore, it is preferable to work in batches.
  • The temperature of the oil should be approximately 375 degrees before frying. This makes a shield between the fish and the oil so that the fish doesn’t get burned. The fish will soak more oil if your oil temperature is too low.
  • I usually use a cast-iron skillet to get crispier results. They are good for retaining more heat.

So this is an incredibly delicious and easy fried fish with cornmeal recipe that I’m sure will be finished in a matter of seconds. Give it a try; it is far better than any takeaway!


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Written by Laurie Graves

Laurie is a 50-something wife and boy mom, who loves to share easy recipes, DIY home ideas, and food hacks. She truly believes that with a little inspiration, anyone can make their home and meals feel special.