Easy and Fantastic Thai Fried Fish

Four cod fillet and the rest of the ingredients for oven fried fish fillets are photographed from the top.
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Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 2 to 3 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
176 Calories
5g Fat
19g Carbs
14g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 3
Amount per serving
Calories 176
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 7%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 33mg 11%
Sodium 261mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 19g 7%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 14g
Vitamin C 14mg 71%
Calcium 37mg 3%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 230mg 5%
*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 Thai fried fish is so delicious you might just find it addictive. Any firm, white-fleshed fish fillets can be used for this recipe—cod is excellent, but you can also use ​basa (a type of catfish native to Indochina), halibut, or tilapia. Just dust any white fish fillets in the spice mixture and pan-fry.

Note that you don't have to deep fry this fish—it turns out perfectly when fried in a slim layer of oil in your frying pan, and it cooks in just a couple of minutes. Serve it up with plenty of Thai jasmine rice, lime wedges, and sweet chili sauce on the side for dipping. Enjoy and be prepared to share.


  • 2 medium-large fillets cod, tilapia, or any white-fleshed fish

  • 1 lime

  • Vegetable oil, for frying

For the Spice Mix:

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1/3 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seed

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more, if desired

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 5 tablespoons cornstarch

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Rinse fish under cold water and pat to nearly dry.

  3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine all "spice mix" ingredients. 

  4. Using a sharp serrated knife or a clean pair of kitchen scissors, slice fish into chunky, 4-inch segments. (This makes frying easier and results in a crispier end product.)

  5. Sprinkle a clean plate with cornstarch. Dip fish into spice mixture, coating all sides. Place coated pieces on plate with cornstarch.

  6. In a wok or medium-size frying pan, pour enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan, about 1/4- to 1/2-inch deep. When oil is hot enough to make fish sizzle immediately when dipped in, it is ready. Gently set coated fish pieces in oil, allowing them to cook at least 1 minute before turning with tongs.

  7. The fish is done when the outside turns light golden brown.

  8. Remove from oil and drain. Serve this fish with lime wedges on the side and plenty of Thai jasmine rice. 

Side Sauces: This fish is excellent on its own, with just a little lime juice squeezed over. However, it's also spectacular served with ​Thai sweet chili sauce on the side. Another nice side sauce for spice lovers is nam prik pao.

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