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Super Crispy Fried Fish Fingers with Easy Homemade Tartar Sauce

  • All White Fish
  • Fish fry
  • Family friendly
  • Shallow / Deep-fry
  • Grace Parisi
  • Active Time:30 min
  • Total Time:30 min
  • Servings:2
  • Difficulty:Intermediate
Photo by Grace Parisi

As the title suggests, these fish fingers are super crispy and super light, thanks to the combination of flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and seltzer. The batter, seasoned with Old Bay, does double duty. It’s used first as a dry coating — the dredge — which helps the batter to stick, then gets mixed with seltzer for a final dunk before frying. Once you make your own tartar sauce you’ll never buy the jarred stuff again. This one is a classic, but feel free to play around. Swap out cornichons and capers for the sweet relish and tarragon for the dill for a sophisticated remoulade.


Tartar sauce

  • ½ cup mayonnaise

  • 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish or chopped sweet gherkins

  • 1 tablespoon chopped dill

  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped shallot

  • ¼ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Fried fish

  • 12 ounces white fish, such as lingcod, halibut, cod, or rockfish, cut crosswise into 1 ½-inch wide strips Available in Our Seafood Subscription Box

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • ¼ cup cornstarch

  • 2 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 7 ½ ounces (about 1 cup) seltzer or club soda

  • Neutral oil for frying

  • Lemon wedges for serving


Make the Tartar Sauce

In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, pickle relish, dill, lemon juice, shallot, and lemon zest and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Prep the Fish & Batter

Fill a medium skillet with 1 to 2 inches of oil and heat to 375°F. Line a platter or baking sheet with paper towels and top with a wire rack.

While the oil heats, pat the fish dry and season with salt and pepper. In a medium bowl combine flour, cornstarch, Old Bay, and baking powder and season lightly with salt and pepper. Transfer ¼ cup of the dry mixture to a sealable plastic bag. Add the fish to the bag and toss to coat.

Add ¾ cup of the seltzer to the remaining dry ingredients in the bowl and whisk until smooth. It should be the consistency of thin pancake batter. Add more seltzer if necessary.

Fry the Fish and Serve

Add the fish to the batter, tapping off excess flour first, and turn to coat. One piece at a time, add the fish to the oil, allowing excess batter to drip off before adding to the pan. Cook, turning once, until golden and crisp, 6 to 7 minutes. Drain on prepared rack and sprinkle with salt. Serve right away with lemon wedges and tartar sauce.

Premium Seafood Subscription Box delivery of halibut and sockeye portions
Premium Seafood Subscription Box delivery of halibut and sockeye portions

Premium Seafood Subscription Box

$159 / box 4.5 lbs

Pro Tips

Pair it Up

Whether you’re throwing a fancy fish fry or this recipe is your Friday regular, a crisp sparkling white wine or a light lager-style beer will help cut through the deep-fried richness.

Level It Up

For a sophisticated remoulade, swap out the sweet relish for chopped cornichons and capers and tarragon for the dill.


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