Crispy Panko Fish Recipe (2024)

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This crispy panko fish is perfectly crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Use it for salads, sandwiches, or as a main dish!

Crispy Panko Fish Recipe (1)

Nothing brings you back to the joys of childhood quite like a chicken nugget or a crispy fish stick. Sometimes it’s the simple things that just hit the spot. This recipe for panko fish is one of those dishes you legitimately crave and brings back warm memories. Not only is it ridiculously versatile, but it’s also crazy easy to make and budget-friendly.

Getting Panko Breadcrumbs to Stick

There’s nothing worse than having your breadcrumbs fall right off the fish. To prevent making this common misstep, here are a few tips:

  • Pat your fish dry. Make the surface area of the fish more sticky by patting the fillets down of any excess moisture.
  • Dip the fish into the egg first. The whisked egg will act as a glue that holds the breadcrumbs to the fish.
  • Gently press the fish into the breading. Apply a bit of pressure when dipping the fish into the breadcrumbs.

Kitchen Tool Tip: A long, thin fish spatula will prevent you from tearing off the breading when you flip the fish.

Preparing Crispy Panko Fish

Begin preparing crispy panko fish by combining the dry breading of parmesan cheese, flour, panko breadcrumbs, salt, and black pepper in a shallow dish.

  • Whisk the Eggs: In another small bowl, whisk the egg and milk together.
  • Slice the Fish: Next, slice the fish into chunks.
  • Bread the Fish: First, dip a piece of fish in the egg mixture. Then, dunk it into the breadcrumbs. Repeat until all your fish are breaded.
  • Fry the Fish: Preheat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the fish for 2 1/2 minutes per side (adjust depending on the thickness of the fillets). Enjoy!
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Pro Tips for the Best Crispy Panko Fish

A handful of pro tips will help you make the most irresistible panko fish.

  • Use whichever white fish you like best. Cod or halibut are our favorites, but feel free to use tilapia, grouper, catfish, or snapper.
  • Tweak the breading. Play around with different seasonings and herbs in the breading to fit with the dish you’re dreaming up. Garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, paprika, and chili powder are all great options.
  • Use the right oil. Some oils are better than others when it comes to frying! See our awesome oil guide to get the 411 on cooking oils!
  • Let the fish rest on a paper towel. To absorb excess grease that could turn the fish soggy, allow it to rest on a plate lined with paper towels before serving it.
Crispy Panko Fish Recipe (6)

Different Ways to Serve Panko Fish

Panko fish can be used in a million and one different ways. For classic fish and chips, serve it alongside air fryer french fries, tartar sauce, and lemon wedges. If you’re craving a fish sandwich, melt some American cheese on top of a couple of pieces of fish and sandwich them between a fluffy brioche bun. Or, keep it light by using the fish as a topper for a homemade caesar salad.

Storing & Reheating Panko Fish

Whether you have some leftovers to stow away or would like to freeze a batch for a rainy day, find all the best storage and reheating tips here.

  • Refrigerator: To keep panko fish on hand for up to 3 days, store it in an airtight container in the fridge to prevent it from turning soggy.
  • Freezer: Panko fish can be frozen raw or baked. To do so, assemble it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and pop the sheet in the freezer uncovered. Once the fish is completely frozen, transfer it to a freezer-safe bag for up to a month.

Reheating Tip: To reheat refrigerated or frozen panko fish, pop it in the oven or air fryer until crispy and cooked through.


What is panko made out of?

Panko is made from crustless white bread that has been flaked and dried.

Is panko healthier than breadcrumbs?

Neither panko nor breadcrumbs are much healthier than one another. At the end of the day, both are made from bread.

What can I substitute for panko breadcrumbs?

You can substitute panko breadcrumbs for crushed crackers, corn flakes, bread stuffing, or traditional breadcrumbs.

Can this fish be baked instead of fried?

If you’d prefer, bake the panko fish at 425°F for 15-20 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. Of note, it’s better to bake the fish as whole fillets versus smaller pieces to help it retain more moisture.

Can you grill panko fish?

Grilling panko fish is not recommended, as the breading will burn over an open flame.

More Tasty Seafood Recipes

  • 10 Minute Pan-Seared Butter Scallops – Butter and herb scallops
  • Easy Baked Cod Recipe – Baked cod with veggies
  • Fish Soup aka Ukha – Ukrainian salmon, rice, and potato soup
  • Pan Fried Tilapia – An easy fish entree using tilapia + a simple seasoning blend.
  • Brown Sugar Glazed Salmon Recipe – Sweet and salty salmon


Crispy Panko Fish Recipe (7)

Crispy Panko Fish Recipe

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6 servings

Prep Time 10 minutes mins

Cook Time 20 minutes mins

Total Time 30 minutes mins

Recipe contributed by: Natalya Drozhzhin

This crispy panko fish will bring your right back to your childhood. Each bite is the perfect combo of flakey fish and crispy breading!


  • 3 lbs white fish cod or halibut
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp salt adjust to taste
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper adjust to taste
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • oil for frying

US UnitsMetric


  • Combine parmesan, flour, panko bread crumbs, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish.

  • In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and milk together.

  • Slice the fish into big chunks. Dip the fish fillets into the egg mixture, followed by a dunk in the panko mixture.

  • Preheat a skillet to medium-high heat with a bit of oil. Fry the fish for about 2 1/2 minutes per side or until it turns golden brown. Between each round of frying, remove the loose panko left behind in the oil.

  • Serve immediately and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Crispy Panko Fish Recipe

Amount Per Serving

Calories 416 Calories from Fat 90

% Daily Value*

Fat 10g15%

Saturated Fat 5g25%

Trans Fat 0.003g

Polyunsaturated Fat 1g

Monounsaturated Fat 3g

Cholesterol 153mg51%

Sodium 860mg36%

Potassium 772mg22%

Carbohydrates 24g8%

Fiber 1g4%

Sugar 1g1%

Protein 56g112%

Vitamin A 188IU4%

Calcium 260mg26%

Iron 3mg17%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Posted October 25, 2022

About Author

Crispy Panko Fish Recipe (13)

Natalya Drozhzhin

Natalya founded Momsdish to demonstrate that placing a homemade meal on the table is not hard at all. Natalya makes cooking easier and approachable, by simplifying the ingredients, while still producing the same great taste.

    1. Crispy Panko Fish Recipe (15)

      Will WallaceDec 23, 2023

      That is how I have always done it as well. Thanks Craig! Thanks Natalya!

    2. Crispy Panko Fish Recipe (16)

      Natalya DrozhzhinSep 13, 2023

      Thanks for your feedback and suggestions Craig!

  1. Crispy Panko Fish Recipe (17)

    WanieJun 27, 2023

    Hi, how many pieces of panko fish per serving? Thank you~

    1. Crispy Panko Fish Recipe (18)

      Natalya DrozhzhinJun 27, 2023

      Hi Wanie, I'd say its around 2 pieces of fish per serving. If you cut the pieces smaller than I do (see the photos) then you may get closer to 3 pieces per serving. Hope you love the recipe!

  2. Crispy Panko Fish Recipe (19)

    LauriMay 15, 2023

    I’m just learning to cook fish. Do you recommend buying the fish fresh from the meat department or frozen.
    Do you recommend doing anything to the fish before cooking to get the “fishy taste” out.

    1. Crispy Panko Fish Recipe (20)

      Pat WonacottJun 3, 2023

      Soak the fish in milk for 20 minutes…a chemical reaction happens to rid the fishy taste and smell…pat dry then do the panko

      1. Crispy Panko Fish Recipe (21)

        casein allergyJan 11, 2024

        wat aboot oatmilk

    2. Crispy Panko Fish Recipe (22)

      Natalya DrozhzhinMay 15, 2023

      Hi Lauri, a lot of the times fresh fish at market would also be "previously frozen" unless you live close to fish towns. I think it depends on your preference, you can buy fresh or frozen. If you get frozen, you should thaw in the fridge. I dont have a trick with removing fishy taste, we try to buy in places where we know they sell good quality seafood.

  3. Crispy Panko Fish Recipe (23)

    Sherry MMar 19, 2023

    I added 2 T of butter to the oil and double dipped/breaded the fish…. This recipe was terrific! Thanks so much! As good if not better than any fish sandwich you could buy!

    1. Crispy Panko Fish Recipe (24)

      Natalya DrozhzhinMar 20, 2023

      Hi Sherry, I am thrilled that this recipe was a success! Thank you for sharing your process and feedback. Enjoy!!

  4. Crispy Panko Fish Recipe (25)

    StewJan 7, 2023

    Makes a big difference if you’ll process the Panko in a food processor before using. A finer Panko makes a much better outer crust on anything. Good Eating!😁

    1. Crispy Panko Fish Recipe (26)

      Natalya DrozhzhinJan 8, 2023

      Hey Stew, thats a great tip, thank you for sharing.

    1. Crispy Panko Fish Recipe (28)

      Natalya DrozhzhinNov 9, 2022

      Hi John, So glad to hear it! Enjoy!

  5. Crispy Panko Fish Recipe (29)

    JohnOct 29, 2022

    Can this be done in the trusty old air fryer?

    1. Crispy Panko Fish Recipe (30)

      Natalya DrozhzhinOct 31, 2022

      Hi John! I would say you absolutely can! Should you give it a try, I would love to know how it went!

      1. Crispy Panko Fish Recipe (31)

        johnNov 7, 2022

        Cooked at 400 F for 5 minutes and flipped them and did another 5. Turned out nice and crispy but next time I will spritz them with oil so they'll get that nice brown color. Fantastic recipe, it was wonderful!

        1. Crispy Panko Fish Recipe (32)

          Natalya DrozhzhinNov 7, 2022

          Hi John, So glad to hear it turned out well! Thank you for the feedback! Enjoy!

  6. Crispy Panko Fish Recipe (33)

    jessOct 25, 2022

    I love the addition of parmesan cheese to this panko breading! thank you so much for sharing this amazing recipe

    1. Crispy Panko Fish Recipe (34)

      Natalya DrozhzhinOct 25, 2022

      Hi Jess, So glad this recipe was a hit! Thanks for the feedback. Enjoy!

  7. Crispy Panko Fish Recipe (35)

    KristynOct 25, 2022

    Panko makes everything taste amazing!! It is perfect for this fish! It's crunchy & tasty!

    1. Crispy Panko Fish Recipe (36)

      Natalya DrozhzhinOct 25, 2022

      Hi Kristyn, I agree with you! Thanks for the feedback. Enjoy!

  8. Crispy Panko Fish Recipe (37)

    Shana YOct 25, 2022

    This was delicious and actually stayed crispy! My kids and husband all loved it too, thank you.

    1. Crispy Panko Fish Recipe (38)

      Natalya DrozhzhinOct 25, 2022

      Hi Shana, So glad this recipe was a hit! Enjoy!

  9. Crispy Panko Fish Recipe (39)

    Dave PerraultApr 1, 2022

    In my recipe I added a tablespoon of garlic powder, a tablespoon of paprika, 3/4 tablespoon of cayenne pepper as well as a tablespoon of seasoning salt. As Emeril would say I kicked it up a notch and it is terrific. A few drops of lemon at the table and your off to the races.

    1. Crispy Panko Fish Recipe (40)

      Natalya DrozhzhinApr 1, 2022

      That sounds amazing, Dave! I love when people add their own twist to recipes to suit your taste. Thanks for commenting!

  10. Crispy Panko Fish Recipe (41)

    JamieApr 18, 2021

    I also added dill, accidentally dumped in a buttload of dill to the panko crumb mix but it turned out great with that little extra flavor. Fish was crispy and quick.

    1. Crispy Panko Fish Recipe (42)

      Natalya DrozhzhinApr 19, 2021

      Haha, I'm glad it worked out well in the end with the "buttload of dill". Thank you for your feedback, Jamie!

  11. Crispy Panko Fish Recipe (43)

    tanush mJan 28, 2014

    super fast and easy!! perfect dish for a full time mommy!! definitely a keeper, thanks!

    1. Crispy Panko Fish Recipe (44)

      Natalya DrozhzhinJan 28, 2014

      Yes, for sure! And it's pretty healthy too 🙂

  12. Crispy Panko Fish Recipe (45)

    Diana GaidarjiJan 23, 2014

    Just had this fish for lunch... My husband and I really enjoyed it... but I also added finely chopped almonds to the crumbs mixture... thank you for the recipe... 🙂

    1. Crispy Panko Fish Recipe (46)

      Natalya DrozhzhinJan 23, 2014

      Hi Diana, oh, interesting! I will have to try the almond thing next time.

    1. Crispy Panko Fish Recipe (48)

      AnnaHannaJan 23, 2014

      Hello Lily I just made it with tilapia, it really GOOD=)

    2. Crispy Panko Fish Recipe (49)

      Natalya DrozhzhinJan 23, 2014

      Yes, I didn't think of that one 🙂 any white fish works good with this recipe .

  13. Crispy Panko Fish Recipe (50)

    AnnaHannaJan 23, 2014

    I love fish going to try this friday. Thank you =)

    1. Crispy Panko Fish Recipe (51)

      Natalya DrozhzhinJan 23, 2014

      Hey! That is a good way to wrap up the week 🙂

      1. Crispy Panko Fish Recipe (52)

        AnnaHannaJan 23, 2014

        lol you know what, I just made them lol can wait till friday. I usually season the fish dip in the flower and then in the egg. I do it like my mom does. Your recipe is really good too my husband love's it. Thank you. =)

        1. Crispy Panko Fish Recipe (53)

          Natalya DrozhzhinJan 23, 2014

          Hey, well that works 🙂 I have heard of that method but usually when we did that it wasn't crispy enough. Well for it it wasn't 😉

Crispy Panko Fish Recipe (2024)


How do you get panko to stick to fish? ›

Dip the fish fillets in the plain flour, coating each piece thoroughly. Dip the flour-coated fillets in the egg mixture and then coat them with the panko crumb mixture, pressing lightly to help the crumbs adhere to the fish.

How can I get my fish crispy? ›

Place 1 or 2 pieces of fish at a time in plastic bag with bread crumbs; seal bag and shake to coat completely. Fry fish in batches in hot oil about 4 minutes, turning once, until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot.

What do I coat my fish with before frying? ›

  1. Heat oil in a deep fryer to 365 degrees F (185 degrees C). Rinse fish, pat dry, and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Combine flour, garlic powder, paprika, 2 teaspoons salt, and 2 teaspoons pepper. Stir egg into dry ingredients. ...
  3. Dip fish fillets into the batter, then drop one at a time into hot oil.
May 17, 2022

What is the best oil for panko fish? ›

Best Oil to Fry Fish. Thanks to its neutral flavor, affordable price, and high smoke point, canola oil is the most popular oil for frying fish. Peanut, cottonseed, and coconut oil are also great fish frying oils.

How do you keep fish from falling off breading? ›

Seal the plate gently with a length or two of plastic cling wrap. Don't pull it too tight, but make sure that all of the edges are sealed. Place the plate into the refrigerator and let the food sit for at least 60 minutes. This helps the coating to harden a bit, which will keep it on the food.

What oil makes fish crispy? ›

Oils for Pan-Frying Fish

It is far better to use an oil with a high smoke point when cooking at very high temperatures. The oil with the highest smoke point is avocado oil, but it can be expensive. More affordable alternatives are canola, corn, and vegetable oil.

Which flour is best for crispy fish? ›

Semolina or Stone Ground Wheat Flour

When it comes to fried fish and seafood, it's not all about taste—texture matters, too. If you want something crunchy, but not as grainy as cornmeal, use semolina flour or stone-ground wheat flour.

Should I use flour or cornstarch to fry fish? ›

What Breading Ingredients Make the Crispiest Fried Fish? The base of the breading mixture will be a cup of all-purpose flour and a cup of yellow corn meal. This gives the fried fish the classic gritty breading texture. Corn starch is essential to fish breading.

Why do people soak fish in milk before frying? ›

Apparently, the proteins present in milk can bind to the fatty acids that have been exposed to air and give salmon its fishy odor or taste and mitigate them to be more neutral. (Fishiness is caused by the oxidation of fatty acids.)

Why put fish in milk before frying? ›

milk will remove some of the fishy taste and smell of old fish. If flesh of fish is firm and shiny it is good to cook. Soaking in milk for about 30 mins is to remove the odour.

Should you coat fish in flour before frying? ›

Don't skip the flour coating since it provides a delicious crispy texture, protects the fish from soaking up too much oil, and also keeps the fillet in one piece. For best results, use a heavy-bottomed pan, as it distributes the heat evenly.

Why is my fried fish not crispy? ›

A few things will help keep that golden coating super crispy and crunchy. First, keep the oil at 375°. If frying in batches, bring the oil back up to temperature before adding more fish. Don't overcrowd the pan with fillets, resist the urge to move the fish around once it's in the oil, and fry it long enough.

Will panko stick without egg? ›

You could also try milk or yogurt. For heavier coatings (like panko or breadcrumbs), you might dust the fish with flour first. Once the floured fish is dipped in the butter or milk, it will get a little gummy and help the coating adhere better.

Should you coat fish in flour before baking and breading? ›

Don't skip the flour coating since it provides a delicious crispy texture, protects the fish from soaking up too much oil, and also keeps the fillet in one piece.

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