This is the easiest and most delicious recipe for baked panko fish. Turn cod or tilapia into a truly amazing meal with this simple recipe that's elegant, flavorful and has the crunchy panko topping we all love. Bonus: A creamy, zippy creme fraiche and mustard sauce on the side.
I'm often tempted to buy affordable cod or tilapia, but then I get it home and always wonder, what should I do with this fish?
I love white fish pan-fried in butter, but that just isn't going to happen at my house on a weeknight (The fishy smell! The mess!) And I love fish and chips, but that definitely is never going to happen at my house (restaurant meal only, am I right?)
And so, I regret to say that over the years I've served my family quite a few bland and disappointing cod and tilapia dinners. I had almost given up completely.
Finally, I've found a recipe for white fish that's really easy and mess-free, flavorful and perfectly cooked every time. The fish is moist on the inside and crunchy on the outside. It's a little bit salty and flavored with everyone's favorite seafood spice mix, Old Bay Seasoning.
Bonus: It's served with a really delicious, grown-up sauce on the side.
Baked panko fish with creme fraiche and mustard sauce is delish. Adults love it, kids love it, and you will feel like a talented chef when you serve it, even though secretly you'll know the recipe is dead simple.
The Easiest Recipe for Baked Panko Fish
- Pat dry and lightly salt & pepper thin fillets of white fish
- Spread a thin layer of creme fraiche on each fish fillet
- Mix together panko, olive oil, Old Bay Seasoning and salt
- Spread and pat the panko on top of the fish
- Bake 12 minutes
For an extra-fancy finish, snip chives, parsley or dill on the baked fish and serve the baked panko fish with creme fraiche and mustard sauce on the side. The sauce is creamy, tangy and bright, and just a teeny bit spicy. It's like tartar sauce, for grown-ups.
What is Creme Fraiche?
Creme fraiche is cultured cream. It's thick, rich and creamy. Buy creme fraiche that doesn’t have any added stabilizers or thickeners. The only ingredient should be cultured cream. It will taste better and melt better into the fish. My favorite brand is Bellwether Farms. Creme fraiche is sold in the refrigerated dairy aisle, sometimes near the cheese and sometimes near the sour cream.
What's the Difference Between Creme Fraiche and Sour Cream?
Creme fraiche has a higher fat content and is richer, thicker and less tangy than sour cream. Unlike sour cream, creme fraiche won't curdle in hot sauces or soups.
What Type of Fish Can I Use for Baked Panko Fish?
Thin fillets of cod, tilapia, snapper or other white fish all work well in this recipe. "White fish" is simply a category of mild-flavored fish that's usually more affordable.
Can I Coat the Fish with Gluten-Free Rice Crumbs?
Unfortunately, no. Rice crumbs don’t work as well as panko does. The rice crumbs don’t brown and don’t have as much flavor. However, I've read about finely ground Rice Chex cereal being a good gluten-free substitute for panko. Has anyone tried it? Let me know!
Whole Wheat or White Panko?
Either will work. The photos for this recipe are taken of panko fish with whole wheat panko (it has a nice, golden color even before baking).
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