Crispy fried fish nuggets are not just for children, though we think they’ll love these just as much as their grown-ups. Customizable for delicate taste buds, these are sure to please.
1 tablespoon neutral oil, such as canola or grapeseed, plus more for shallow frying
1 small garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 fresh rosemary sprig
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 cup good-quality jarred marinara sauce
1 large portion white fish, such as cod, lingcod, or rockfish (12 to 14 ounces) Available in Our Seafood Subscription Box
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Make the Dipping Sauce
Heat the 1 tablespoon of oil in a small saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the garlic, rosemary sprig, and crushed red pepper (if using), and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the marinara sauce, and ¼ cup water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until slightly thickened and flavorful, about 8 minutes.
Coat the Fish
Meanwhile, pat the fish dry and cut into 1½-inch pieces. Place the flour, beaten egg, and panko into 3 separate shallow bowls. Add the Parmesan to the panko and stir to combine. Lightly dust the fish pieces with the flour, then add them to the egg, turning to coat and allowing excess to drip off. Working in batches, add the fish pieces to the panko, pressing to adhere the panko all over the pieces.
Fry and Serve
Line a platter with paper towels and set next to the stovetop. Add ½-inch oil to a medium skillet and place over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot (it should sizzle when a pinch of panko is added), add the fish, in batches if necessary, and cook, turning occasionally, until golden and crisp all over, 4 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fish nuggets to the platter to drain. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Reduce the heat between batches if the oil gets too hot.
Transfer the sauce to a small bowl and serve alongside the crispy fish nuggets for dipping.
Premium Seafood Subscription Box
Pair it Up
Something light and fizzy is always tasty with fried foods. A crisp, chilled lager or sparkling lemonade is a refreshing match.
Spice It Up
The doctored marinara sauce is infinitely riffable. Try adding a few capers or chopped olives for briny flavor or a small dollop of miso paste for an unexpected umami blast.
Change It Up
For a fun play on chicken parm sandwiches, arrange the crispy fish nuggets on soft Italian hero rolls. Spoon some of the sauce over the fish and top with shredded mozzarella. Bake in a 375°F oven until melted.
Lighten It Up
Place the fish nuggets on a baking sheet and generously mist with cooking spray. Slide onto the center oven rack and broil until golden and crisp, turning once, about 2 minutes per side. For airfryer fish nuggets, generously mist with cooking spray and airfry at 400°F for about 15 minutes.