Marinated Fried Fish Recipe

Background and History

Marinated Fried Fish is a delectable dish that combines the flavors of a well-seasoned marinade with the crispy texture of fried fish. This dish has roots in various culinary traditions around the world, from the Mediterranean to Southeast Asia, where marinating fish before frying is a common practice to enhance flavor and tenderness. The marinade often includes a blend of spices, herbs, and acidic ingredients like lemon or vinegar, which help tenderize the fish and infuse it with rich flavors.


  • 4 white fish fillets (such as cod, tilapia, or haddock)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, for heat)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Lemon wedges and fresh herbs (parsley or cilantro) for garnish


4 people


  • Preparation: 20 minutes
  • Marination: 30 minutes
  • Cooking: 15 minutes

Cooking Time

15 minutes


Marinate the Fish

  • Rinse the fish fillets under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels.
  • In a large bowl, combine the buttermilk, lemon juice, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne pepper (if using), salt, and black pepper.
  • Submerge the fish fillets in the marinade, ensuring they are fully coated. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Prepare the Coating

  • In a shallow dish, mix the all-purpose flour and cornmeal together.
  • Remove the marinated fish from the refrigerator and let the excess marinade drip off.
  • Dredge each fish fillet in the flour and cornmeal mixture, ensuring an even coating on all sides. Shake off any excess.

Fry the Fish

  • In a large skillet or frying pan, heat about 1/2 inch of vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
  • Once the oil is hot (around 350°F or 175°C), carefully place the coated fish fillets in the pan. Do not overcrowd the pan; fry in batches if necessary.
  • Fry the fish for about 3-4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and crispy. The fish should flake easily with a fork.
  • Use a slotted spoon to transfer the fried fish to a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess oil.


  • Serve the marinated fried fish hot, garnished with lemon wedges and fresh herbs.
  • Accompany with your favorite sides, such as coleslaw, french fries, or a fresh green salad.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

  • Calories: 350
  • Protein: 25g
  • Fat: 18g
  • Carbohydrates: 20g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sodium: 600mg
  • Cholesterol: 60mg


Choosing the Fish

Opt for white fish fillets that are firm and have a mild flavor. Avoid fish with a strong odor, as this may affect the taste of the dish.

Oil Temperature

Maintaining the correct oil temperature is crucial for achieving a crispy coating. Use a thermometer if possible to monitor the temperature.

Marination Time

Marinating for at least 30 minutes is recommended, but for more intense flavor, you can marinate the fish for up to 2 hours.

Allergy Warning

  • Fish: This recipe contains fish, which is a common allergen.
  • Gluten: The use of all-purpose flour may contain gluten. For a gluten-free version, substitute with a gluten-free flour blend.
  • Dairy: Buttermilk is a dairy product. Substitute with a dairy-free alternative if needed (e.g., almond milk with a splash of lemon juice).

Enjoy your delicious Marinated Fried Fish, a flavorful and crispy delight that is sure to become a favorite!

Should fish be marinated before frying?

Yes, marinating fish before frying enhances its flavor and helps tenderize the fish, making it more delicious and juicy.

How to marinate whole fish for frying?

To marinate a whole fish, clean and score the fish, then immerse it in a marinade made of lemon juice, garlic, herbs, and spices. Let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to absorb the flavors.

How long should you marinate fish?

Fish should be marinated for at least 30 minutes, but no more than 2 hours, to avoid breaking down the flesh too much and becoming mushy.

What can you soak fish in before frying?

You can soak fish in a mixture of buttermilk or milk and lemon juice, or a seasoned brine, to add moisture and enhance flavor before frying.

Why marinate fish in milk?

Marinating fish in milk helps to neutralize any fishy odors and adds a mild sweetness and tender texture to the fish.

What do I coat my fish with before frying?

Coat your fish with a mixture of flour and cornmeal, or use breadcrumbs or a seasoned batter, to achieve a crispy and golden crust when frying.

How to season fish before frying?

Season fish before frying with salt, pepper, and a blend of spices such as paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder, or use a pre-made seasoning mix suited for fish.

What is the secret to frying fish?

The secret to frying fish is maintaining the oil at the right temperature (around 350°F or 175°C) and not overcrowding the pan to ensure a crispy, evenly cooked fish.

How to fry fish like a restaurant?

To fry fish like a restaurant, use fresh, high-quality fish, marinate it well, coat it in a seasoned flour mixture, and fry in hot oil until golden brown and crispy, ensuring the oil is at the correct temperature.

How many minutes to fry fish in oil?

Fish typically takes about 3-4 minutes per side to fry in oil, depending on the thickness of the fillets, until golden brown and fully cooked.

Ignatius Thornfield
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Ignatius Thornfield, the discerning Recipe Connoisseur behind this site, is a culinary aficionado dedicated to transforming pet dining into an art form. With an exquisite taste for flavors and a keen eye for nutritious combinations, Ignatius shares a curated collection of gourmet pet recipes. His site is a sanctuary for pet owners seeking to indulge their furry friends with delectable and health-conscious meals. Ignatius's expertise in the realm of pet cuisine is evident in the sophisticated and thoughtfully crafted content he presents. For those who appreciate the finer culinary experiences for their pets, Ignatius Thornfield's site is a treasure trove of gastronomic delights.