Thai Fried Fish, Easy & Fantastic!

Four cod fillet and the rest of the ingredients for oven fried fish fillets are photographed from the top.
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  • 40 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins,
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: Serves 2-3
Ratings (5)

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, and I also really like ​basa, halibut, and 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. I have used cod, tilapia, and basa for this recipe, all are equally wonderful. 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!

What You'll Need

  • 2 basa (medium-large fillets (of cod, tilapia, or any white-fleshed fish)
  • 1 lime (fresh)
  • 6-7 tbsp. vegetable oil (canola)
  • Optional: coriander (fresh for garnish)
  • For the Spice Mix:
  • 1 tsp. coriander (ground)
  • 1/3 tsp. cumin (ground)
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seed (whole)
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (or more depending how spicy you want it)
  • 1 tsp. onion (powder)
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic (powder)
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 5 tbsp. cornstarch

How to Make It

  1. Rinse fish under cold water and pat to nearly dry.
  2. In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine all 'Spice Mix' ingredients. 
  3. Using a sharp serrated knife or a clean pair of kitchen scissors, slice fish into chunky, 4-inch segments (this makes frying easier and crispier results!).
  4. Sprinkle a clean plate with cornstarch. Now dip fish into the spice mixture, coating all sides.  Place coated pieces on the plate.
  1. In a wok or medium-size frying pan (not too large), pour oil, enough to cover the bottom of the pan plus a little more (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 the oil, allowing them to cook at least 1 minute before turning with tongs.
  2. Fish is done when the outside turns light golden brown.
  3. Remove from oil and drain, or set directly on serving plate. Serve this fish up with lime wedges on the side (to be squeezed over right before eating) 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 (If you'd like to make your own sweet chili sauce, see my Thai Sweet Chili Sauce Recipe.) Another nice side sauce for spice lovers is my Nam Prik Pao Traditional Thai Chili Sauce (this one is savory, not sweet).