Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a half sheet pan with foil and grease it with cooking spray.
Rinse the cod and feel for any bones to remove. Pat it dry with paper towels. Cut any large pieces into serving portions. Wash your hands.
In a dinner plate, add the bread crumbs, Parmesan, garlic powder, salt, paprika (and cayenne pepper, if needed). Stir with a fork to combine.
Place the flour in another plate or shallow bowl.
Crack the eggs into another shallow bowl and beat them with a fork.
Set up an assembly line from left to right with the fish, flour, eggs, bread crumb mixture and the baking pan.
Use a fork to dredge a piece of fish in the flour, coating both sides and ends. Use another fork to transfer the floured fish to the beaten eggs. Coat the fish all over with the eggs and let any excess drip off. Then, dredge the fish in the bread crumb mixture, coating both sides and the ends.
Place each piece of breaded cod on the prepared pan. Spray the entire surface of the fish with cooking spray. (This is important for texture and flavor.) Bake for 20 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and the coating is golden brown and crispy.
Squeeze some lemon juice on the fish. Serve the cod as is, or with mayo, if desired.
Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to three days. The cooked fish also can be frozen and should be used within three months, for best quality.
Fish substitutionsYou can use haddock, pollock, orange roughy or any sturdy white fish in this recipe.Can you use seasoned bread crumbs?If you don't have plain bread crumbs in the house, you can certainly start with seasoned ones. Just add the Parmesan and hot paprika to them.You shouldn't need the salt and garlic powder. But taste the breading once it's mixed (before it touches raw fish), to see if it needs anything.How to serve oven-fried cod
It's delicious with just a drizzle of lemon juice, but you can dip it in mayo, if you wish.