You can make this easy Pan-Fried Cod Fish in less than 30 minutes! You just need eggs and seasoned flour to coat the fish before frying it in oil. This will become your go-to recipe for fried fish on the stove!
Behold, my family's favorite cod recipe. And that says a lot, since I've got several delicious ways to cook cod!
Maybe it's because this Pan-Fried Cod is more indulgent than my healthier Oven-Fried Cod, which has become the most popular recipe on Cooking with Mamma C. Both recipes are mouthwatering, in my opinion.
This pan-fried cod fish is simply dipped in beaten eggs and dredged in seasoned flour before being added to a sizzling-hot pan with oil on the stove. The result is cod that's lightly crispy on the outside and moist and tender on the inside.
Enjoy it with a squeeze of lemon, and perhaps some mayo.
Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy! (I always wanted to say that.)
Cod: It starts with fresh cod fillets or cod loins. But, feel free to substitute haddock, pollock, orange roughy, or any sturdy white fish. Let this be your go-to fried fish recipe!
Batter: Notice, there are no bread crumbs here. We're simply using eggs and seasoned flour as the batter. If you need to make this gluten free, use gluten-free flour.
Seafood Seasoning: I try to use common ingredients in most of my recipes. This time, I'm going to push you to get Old Bay Seasoning (affiliate link), if you don't have it already.
After testing, retesting, and testing some more, my family unanimously agreed this pan-fried cod tastes best with Old Bay. It's a seafood seasoning that contains celery salt, red pepper, black pepper, paprika and more. It's great on chicken wings, too.
You'll add it to the flour used to coat the fish and, then if you're like us, you'll sprinkle on some more once the cod is fried.
If you don't have Old Bay, you'll need to add more salt to taste.
Paprika: Hot paprika is the way to go here, to provide a little kick of heat. But if you only have regular paprika, use that with some black pepper or a dash of cayenne pepper.
Oil: Use cooking oil with a high smoke point for frying the fish. I prefer avocado oil, a healthy choice that lends great flavor. You also could use canola or corn oil. Don't use olive oil, which has a lower smoke point and will burn during frying.
How to make fried cod
See the recipe card at the bottom of this post for full instructions, but here's an overview.
- Dip the cod in beaten eggs, coating both sides.
- Dredge the fish in seasoned flour.
- Add the cod to a sizzling-hot frying pan with oil.
- When the first side is golden brown, flip the fish over to fry the second side.
- Make sure the oil is sizzling hot before starting to fry. It should measure 350 degrees F, if you have an instant thermometer.
- Don't overcrowd the pan. Fry the fish in two batches, if needed.
- Don't move the cod until it's time to flip it over. This will prevent the batter from peeling off.
- To prevent sogginess, when the fish is done, place each piece on a cooling rack positioned over paper towels to drain. (If you don't have a cooling rack, put the fried cod on a platter lined with paper towels.)
- Blot the fried fish with paper towels to absorb excess oil.
- Let the pan-fried cod sit for a few minutes before serving so you can taste the flavors better.
What to serve with pan-fried cod
Or, make a fried cod sandwich or fried fish taco with some lettuce, tomatoes and even cheese. These are my favorite ways to use leftover fried cod.
Frequently asked questions
Less oil is used in pan frying than deep frying. Deep-fried fish is completely submerged in oil during cooking.
Pan-fried fish calls for using enough oil to cook the bottom of the cod fillets, while leaving the tops exposed. The fish needs to be flipped over to cook the other side.
Fried cod tends to get soggy when frozen and reheated. I recommend refrigerating the leftovers and using them within three days. Expect them to be softer after reheating.
More fried seafood recipes
More cod recipes to love
- Broiled Cod with Paprika
- Parmesan Baked Cod (Keto, Low Carb, GF)
- Sautéed Cod with Tomatoes
- Baked Cod with Coffee Butter
If you try this Pan-Fried Cod recipe, be sure to leave a comment and a rating!
Pan-Fried Cod Fish (Easy!)
- 2 pounds cod (or any white fish) (See notes if you want to make just 1 pound.)
- 2 eggs (extra large)
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour)
- 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning (plus extra for serving; see notes)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon hot paprika (or regular paprika + ⅓ tsp black pepper or a dash of cayenne)
- ¾ cup avocado oil or canola oil (for frying)
- lemon wedges for serving
- mayo for serving (optional)
- Rinse the cod and feel for any bones to remove. Pat the fish dry with paper towels. Use kitchen scissors to cut any large fillets into smaller servings.
- Beat the eggs in a shallow bowl. Add the flour to a dinner plate and stir in the seasonings (Old Bay, salt and hot paprika).
- Set up an assembly line from left to right with the cod, the beaten eggs, the flour and a large platter or pan to hold the fish.
- Dip each piece of cod in the eggs, coating both sides and letting the excess drip off. Then, place the cod in the seasoned flour, patting on the flour with the back of a fork. Flip the fish and flour the other side. Let excess flour fall off and add the fish to your platter in a single layer.
- Add the oil to a 12-inch frying pan and heat it on medium high. When the oil's temperature reaches 350 degrees F (test it with an instant thermometer or just wait until it’s starting to ripple), add about half the fish to the pan in a single layer. (You'll need to fry it in two batches.)
- Fry the first side without moving it for 3-4 minutes (or less for thin pieces), until golden brown. Flip over the fish and fry the second side without moving it for another 3-4 minutes (or just 2 minutes for thin pieces). To check for doneness, you can place a thick piece of fish to a plate and cut it open. The fish should flake easily and not look shiny inside.
- Continue frying the rest of the fish in a second batch. You shouldn't need to change out the oil, but if it gets too dark, you can replace it with fresh oil.
- Place the fried cod on a cooling rack positioned over paper towels to drain. (This prevents sogginess.) Pat the fish with a paper towel to absorb excess oil. If you don’t have a cooling rack, you can drain the fish on a platter lined with paper towels.
- After a few minutes, squeeze lemon juice onto the cod and serve immediately with extra Old Bay and some mayo, if desired.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to three days. Leftovers are delicious slightly warmed in the microwave (or try a toaster oven) and served with mayo for dipping, or in a fish sandwich or taco. Do not freeze.
(Recipe Source: Cooking with Mamma C)