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 on a serving tray with lemon wedges.

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!

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 with lemon and ranch.

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.

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About Author

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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.