Recipes · Seafood

My New Favorite Fish Fry

Every Friday in Wisconsin, restaurants and pubs around the state compete to host the best fish fry around.  If you’re not familiar, fish frys are like the midwest’s version of Fish and Chips.  You get your choice of local fish — typically lake perch or walleye or a light fish like haddock — and it’s served with a potato and other fixings.  This is definitely local to Wisconsin culture and something I miss dearly.  So every now and again I attempt a homestyle version of fish fry to satisfy my cravings.

I have tried various breading methods and even invented a tasty baked fish fry recipe that I really enjoy, but nothing had quite satisfied my craving for that glorious Wisconsin fish fry… until now.  This week my prayers have been answered because I finally found that winning fish fry recipe!

Ever wonder what the heck you’re going to do with the chip crumbs in the bottom of your potato chip bag?  Try using it for an extra crispy coating on fish.  Yep, you heard it right here … potato chip crusted fish.

How does the saying go again?  Teach a man to cook a fish and he’ll eat for a day.  Teach a man to crust a fish in potato chip crumbs and he’ll eat like a king.

Yes, I believe that’s how it goes.

Whenever I fry anything I use my cast iron.  If you haven’t purchased a cast iron yet, do so immediately (or beg your mother, sister, significant other to buy you one for that obscure holiday that is coming up).  Cast iron is perfect for smaller items like fillets of fish.

 Start off by dredging your fish in a little flour.  You can use just about any fish you like.  We used cod because we like the big flakes of fish meat you get when it’s cooked.

Dip your dredged fish in a little egg wash then coat with crushed potato chips. The egg wash will help the crumbs stick to your fish.

Line your cast iron with enough oil to come up to the sides of your fish.  Heat your oil to a medium heat and test it with a potato chip crumb.  If your crumb bubbles and sizzles, you are ready to put your fish in.  Allow your fish to cook for at least two minutes on one side and carefully flip it over.  You want your fish to be sizzling but not so much that it scorches your breading.

Perfection!  Now, thinner pieces of fish will take about 2 minutes per side.  If you have thicker pieces of fish you should lower your temperature and fry for a couple more minutes on each side.  Remember that each fillet is different and it will need to be treated just as tenderly.  Not all cod pieces are the same size or thickness!

Remove your fish once it is cooked and allow it to drain on a paper towel. Drizzle a little fresh lemon juice on your fish as it cools.




Potato Chip Crusted Fish

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yields: Serves 4

Potato Chip Crusted Fish


  • 1/2 cup of flour, or more
  • 1 or 2 eggs, beaten
  • Black pepper and paprika, to taste
  • 1 bag of wavy potato chips
  • 2 pounds of fish fillets, cut in half if they are long
  • Vegetable oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Tartar sauce or malt vinegar for serving, optional


  1. Preheat your cast iron skillet(preferred), deep pan or pot to a medium heat. Pour your oil into your pan or pot. You want to use enough oil to come up to the sides of your fish -- about halfway up the sides.
  2. Place the flour in a shallow bowl with the pepper and paprika, to taste. Beat the eggs in a separate shallow bowl and add a splash of water. Crush four or five handfuls of potato chips in a large bowl. Keep the bag of chips handy because you will probably need more.
  3. Dredge your fish in the flour, covering the fillet completely, then dip the fish in the egg wash to coat and allow the excess to run off. Place your fish into the potato chip bowl and firmly press the chip crumbs into the fish on all sides. Set aside and repeat with the other pieces of fish.
  4. Drop a potato chip crumb into your hot oil. If the potato chip is sizzling, your oil is ready. If your chip seems to be hissing and popping a lot, your oil is probably too hot and you should lower the temperature, remove the pan from the heat and allow the oil to cool for a few minutes before placing your pan back on the heat.
  5. Once your oil is ready, carefully place your fish pieces in the oil and leave them for two minutes. When they are golden brown on the bottom (remember each piece of fish will cook differently depending on the type and size), carefully flip it over and cook for another two minutes. Note: If you are using thick pieces of fish, you'll want to lower the temperature a smidgen and let the fish cook for four minutes before flipping.
  6. Once your fish fillets are a beautiful golden brown on each side, remove them with a slotted spatula and place them on a paper towel. Spritz a bit of lemon juice on each fillet as they cool for a minute or two. Serve with your choice of sauce and enjoy!

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