When I have the time, I bread fish, and it’s worth it. My family loves breaded anything, so they gobble up breaded cod (except for my fish-hating college student). This recipe evolved from one I found on the Smitten Kitchen blog. I’ve simplified it to make it gluten-free and dairy-free.
I only buy wild-caught fish, as farmed fish can be contaminated with really gross stuff. Some farmed fish might be great (it likely depends on the supplier), but I buy most of my fish frozen from the supermarket or Trader Joe’s, so I’m sticking with wild-caught fish.
Cod is a mild white fish that my non-fish-hating family members tolerate if it’s cooked nicely. That means no fishy smell, nothing gelatinous, and no dried-out hunks of chewy fish flesh.
Cooking fish correctly is challenging. Overcook it for 30 seconds, and it’s tough, but undercook it by half a minute, and it’s raw in the middle. Yetch to both.
On the bright side, fish cooks quickly, so it’s an easy dinner. My basic rule of thumb when cooking fish is to cook it with an oil, a vegetable, and an acid. For example, if I’m in a hurry, I wash the fish, cut it into pieces, dribble olive oil over it, top it with minced garlic and tomato, and spritz a little lemon juice or vinegar on top and pop it into a 400 degree oven. In 5-7 minutes, dinner’s on the table.
I cut the fillets into pieces of similar thickness and watch it carefully as it cooks, particularly during the last minute. Thinner pieces I remove from the oven as soon as they start to look opaque. I guestimate about 7 minutes per inch of fish filet, but this depends. Cod is light and flaky, so I cook it from 5-6 minutes per inch. Heavier fish like salmon can stand a little more cooking time, but not much.
Breading adds to the cooking time. That’s why I cook breaded cod for 7 minutes per inch-thick filet. If your cod is thicker, add a little more time, but watch it carefully during the last minute. Press it gently with a fork if you’re not sure if it’s done. If it oozes a lot of water, let it cook for another minute. If it’s firm, take it out immediately.
Gluten-Free Breaded Wild Cod
Gluten-free breading is a great way to make fish palatable to the fish-averse members of your family. Wild cod is a white fish with little fishy flavor.
- 1 pound wild-caught Alaskan cod filets
- 4 slices gluten-free bread
- 1 tablespoon minced onion (1 teaspoon dried onion is fine too)
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh (or 1/4 teaspoon dried) thyme
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh (or 1 tablespoon dried) parsley
- 1/2 cup gluten-free flour, separated
- 3 large eggs
- lemon wedges and parsley for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Wash and pat dry the cod fillets.
Pulse the bread in a food processor to make bread crumbs.
Add the onion, garlic and olive oil, and pulse a few times until blended.
Put the bread crumbs into a small, flat dish or bowl, and stir in the thyme and parsley.
In another small, flat dish, whisk the eggs with 1/4 cup flour until well blended.
Put the remaining 1/4 cup flour into a third small, flat dish.
Dredge each piece of fish in flour, then in the egg mixture, then in the bread crumbs.
Place the breaded fillets on a baking dish.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 6-8 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish.
Garnish with fresh parsley, and serve immediately with lemon wedges.
This fish was frozen and thawed. Fresh fish is best, but frozen fish is available all year.
I use takeout containers for the egg mixture, flour and breadcrumbs.
Using tongs, dredge each piece of fish in flour, dip into egg mixture, and coat with breadcrumbs.
Place breaded fillets in a baking dish and bake at 400 degrees F for 7 minutes per inch of fish. Breaded fish takes slightly longer to bake.
Cut up a lemon…
…and serve immediately with lemon wedges.