The Ideal Fried Fish Coating For A More Buttery Bite

What makes a good fish fry? For many people, besides the type of fish and the sides, the breading is a major factor in determining the taste quality of fried fish. A soggy, bland breading will ruin the flavor no matter how tasty the fish is. For a buttery and crunchy fried fish that will not disappoint, try using Ritz crackers for the crust. The salty, flaky crackers with a buttery taste make the perfect coating whether it's for bluegill, walleye, cod, perch, bass, haddock, or another fish fry favorite.

Often referred to as New England-style fish fry, cracker-encrusted fish is popular on the east coast in states like Maine and Rhode Island. Restaurants in this region often serve haddock or other white fish with a Ritz cracker coating. It's also an easy and convenient way to deliver delicious fried fish at home with limited ingredients. Ritz cracker-coated fish is easy to make on the stove, in the oven, or in the air fryer. You can bake it if you prefer, but frying it helps the cracker crumbles stick better, resulting in a more evenly coated fillet. And considering how popular these crackers are, there's a good chance you already have them in your pantry.

Tips for coating your fish in Ritz crackers

Depending on how many fillets you are frying, you'll need at least one sleeve of crushed buttery round crackers. (You can put them in a Ziploc bag to crush them.) For one cooking method, you add softened or melted butter to the cracker crumbs, along with any seasonings you prefer such as parsley, seasoned salt, or garlic. Then, simply spread the mixture on the fillets, coating all sides evenly.

A different method consists of dipping the fillets in flour and an egg wash before coating them with cracker crumbs. The egg wash and flour process will result in a thicker breading that sticks to the fish, while the cracker crumbs and butter method offers a lighter coating that falls off more easily. Both result in a crunchy crust with a delicious, buttery flavor.

If using the stove, fry the fillets in hot oil for about 4 to 5 minutes per side on medium to medium-high heat. Be careful to watch the fish closely since it can burn easily if left too long in the hot oil. For air fryer fried fish, spray the basket with cooking oil, then arrange the fish in the fryer and coat it with the cracker topping. Cook at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for around 10 minutes.