Crispy Lemon Codfish

Crispy lemon codfish

​The Spruce

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 25 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
541 Calories
20g Fat
40g Carbs
48g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 541
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g 25%
Saturated Fat 7g 37%
Cholesterol 116mg 39%
Sodium 825mg 36%
Total Carbohydrate 40g 15%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 48g
Vitamin C 5mg 23%
Calcium 129mg 10%
Iron 4mg 20%
Potassium 573mg 12%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This codfish recipe is a favorite for kids and adults alike. Cod is a mild fish, and it tends to take on the flavors of whatever it is paired with. In this codfish recipe, the lemon butter sauce adds richness and pizazz.

If your kids like fish sticks or chicken nuggets, it's easy to tempt them with this recipe. You can be assured of the type of fish and what is in the coating rather than buying frozen prepared products.

The cod fisheries in both the Atlantic and Pacific are well-managed, with the Alaskan cod fishery being especially noted for being abundant. The cod from those areas are two related species. The meat of the Atlantic cod is slightly sweet while the Pacific cod is milder and more savory.

Side dish suggestions for this crispy lemon codfish are fried corn and apple pecan coleslaw. It will also go well with kid-favorites such as tater tots.


For the Fish:

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 large egg whites

  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs (Japanese bread crumbs)

  • 1 1/2 pounds codfish fillets

  • Dash kosher salt

  • Dash freshly ground black pepper

For Lemon Butter Sauce:

  • 1/3 cup lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Steps to Make It

Make the Fish

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients in crispy lemon cod fish recipe
    ​The Spruce
  2. In a large nonstick frying pan, heat butter and olive oil over medium heat.

    Oil in pan
    ​The Spruce 
  3. Set up a breading station with two shallow dishes. Beat the egg whites and set them in one dish. Spread out panko breadcrumbs in a thin layer in another shallow dish.

    Breading station
    ​The Spruce 
  4. Dip the cod first in the egg whites, then in the panko, pressing lightly to help the breadcrumbs adhere. Season with salt and pepper.

    Dip the cod
    ​The Spruce 
  5. Sauté the coated fillets in the butter-olive oil mixture until golden, about 3 minutes.

    Saute cod fillets
    ​The Spruce
  6. Flip and cook on the other side until cooked through. The fish will be opaque and flake easily with a fork. If using an instant-read or meat thermometer, the internal temperature should reach 145 F.

Make the Lemon Butter Sauce 

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the lemon juice and vinegar over medium-low heat until the mixture is reduced by half, about 6 minutes.

    Lemon juice in pan
    ​The Spruce
  2. Stir in butter and salt.

    Stir in butter and salt
    ​The Spruce
  3. Drizzle sauce lightly over the crispy codfish fillets. Serve and enjoy!

    Drizzle lightly
    ​The Spruce


  • You can use fresh or frozen cod fillets for this recipe. Allow frozen fillets to defrost overnight in the refrigerator before using them. Alternatively, you can quickly defrost the fish in a sealed plastic bag placed in cold water for an hour or in a microwave on the "defrost" setting. Use the defrosted fish immediately if you use a quick method to defrost.
  • Panko breadcrumbs are especially crispy, so they are preferred if you want a great crunchy coating. If you don't have them available, use toasted breadcrumbs as a substitute.
  • Be careful not to overcook your fish. It should start to flake apart when it is done.