Crispy Fried Cod Sandwich

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The ultimate crispy fried cod sandwich! Breaded deep fried cod, tartar sauce, American cheese & lettuce served in a homemade potato bun.

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crispy fried cod sandwich

This is the ultimate fried fish sandwich!

Inside a toasted, homemade potato burger bun, there’s shredded little gem lettuce, a super crispy fried breaded cod fillet, two slices of American cheese & a generous amount of homemade tartar sauce. If you’re a fan of deep fried fish, fish fingers sandwiches or a classic fillet-o-fish, this is the recipe for you. It’s a belter!

For more sandwich recipes, take a look at our ever growing collection of lunch recipes! Or if you’re looking for another fish sandwich, check out our beer battered fish sandwich or for something meatier, try our fried chicken katsu sandwich.

Crispy Fried Cod Sandwich Components

Crispy Fried Cod

The main component in this sandwich is a crispy, breaded cod fillet. For this, we lightly salt the cod then coat in a double layer of breadcrumbs, deep fry until super crispy then season with sea salt & malt vinegar.
To pané the fish, you’ll need breadcrumbs, plain flour, eggs & milk.

Tartar Sauce

Tartar sauce & fried fish is a classic pairing & making it from scratch makes it even better! This is sauce is super easy to make! All you need to do is combine mayonnaise with finely chopped dill, diced gherkins, chopped capers & lemon. This tartar sauce can be made in advance & kept in the fridge for a couple of days.

American Cheese

The best cheese for burgers & for fried fish sandwiches! We’re being generous here & giving two slices of cheese per sandwich. Feel free to use another cheese if you’d prefer but I’d definitely recommend using American cheese slices.


We’re adding shredded little gem lettuce into our sandwich for freshness & some extra crunchiness. To give the lettuce some extra flavour, we’re dressing it in half of our homemade tartar sauce.

homemade tartar sauce

How To Make Crispy Fried Cod

The full, printable recipe card for this sandwich can be found at the bottom of this post!

  1. Salt The Fish – First, we’re lightly salting the fish then letting it sit for 10 minutes before rinsing under cold water. This firms up the fish, improving the flavour & texture and also makes it easier to pané.
  2. Pané (bread crumbing) – Once salted, it’s time to pané the cod. To do this, we toss each piece in seasoned flour then dunk in egg then roll in breadcrumbs. Then to double pané, the fish goes back into the egg then the breadcrumbs again.
  3. Frying – To cook, preheat a deep fat fryer to 180°c/356°f then once hot, fry the fish for 4-5 minutes, until crisp, golden & cooked through.
  4. To Serve – Season the fried cod with sea salt & malt vinegar then top with American cheese. Serve in toasted buns with tartar sauce & little gem lettuce.

The Best Type Of Bun For Sandwiches

For sandwich recipes that call for burger buns (like this one), I’d recommend using a really good homemade bun. For this sandwich, I’d go with our recipe for light & fluffy potato burger buns. These buns are made with mashed potato & crispy potato skin so pair fantastically with fried fish. Think the flavours of fish & chips but in sandwich form!

If you’d rather use a shop bought bun, a brioche or white bread roll will work as well.

How To Make The Crispiest Fried Fish

  • Double pané the fish – Coating the fish in a double layer of breadcrumbs is the secret to making the crispiest fried fish.
  • Use panko breadcrumbs – Panko are a type of Japanese breadcrumb that absorb less oil when fried. These are crisper & crunchier than regular breadcrumbs & are available in most supermarkets.
  • Use a deep fat fryer – Deep frying is the best way to cook breaded fish. For the crispiest coating, it’s important to make sure that the oil is preheated to the correct temperature before frying.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a deep fat fryer to make crispy cod?

For the crispiest, fried cod I’d recommend using a deep fat fryer but don’t worry if you haven’t got one! A pan of oil warmed on the stove will work (do this carefully!) or you can use an air fryer or shallow fry in a pan.

Can other fish be fried?

If can’t get any cod, other white fish will work. Haddock, pollock or hake are some other good options.

How will I know when the fish is cooked?

The best way to check that your fish is cooked is with a digital food probe (I’d recommend a Thermapen). Once cooked, the fish’s internal temperature should be at least 75°c/167°f & the outside of the fish will be crisp & golden.

Why salt fish before cooking?

Lightly salting fish before cooking it improves the flavour & gives it a firmer, meatier texture. Make sure not to over salt the fish though, leaving it for ten minutes will do the trick!

Can this sandwich be made in advance?

This sandwich is best eaten straight away, whilst the fish is still hot & crispy! The fish can be breaded in advance & kept in the fridge for a day or two. Same with the tartar sauce.

Equipment Used

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More Lunch Recipes To Try!

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Crispy Fried Cod Sandwich

The ultimate crispy fried cod sandwich! Breaded deep fried cod, tartar sauce, American cheese & lettuce served in a homemade potato bun.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Lunch
Cuisine: British
Servings: 4 Sandwiches
Author: Ben Racey


  • Deep Fat Fryer
  • Digital Food Probe
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Microplane Zester
  • Juicer
  • Frying Pan


Breaded Cod

  • 4 Thick, Skinless Cod Fillets See Notes
  • 250 g Breadcrumbs
  • 100 g Plain Flour
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 3 tbsp Milk
  • Malt Vinegar To Season

Tartar Sauce

  • 150 g Mayonnaise
  • tbsp Finely Chopped Dill
  • 2 Large Gherkins
  • 2 tsp Capers Drained
  • 3 tsp Lemon Juice
  • Zest Of ½ A Lemon

The Sandwich

  • 4 Burger Buns See Notes
  • 8 Slices American Cheese
  • 2 Little Gem Lettuces Washed


Breaded Cod

  • Pat each cod fillet dry with kitchen paper then lightly season each one with table salt, on both sides. Leave for 10 minutes then rinse under cold water & dry again.
  • Next, prepare the pané station. To do this, take 3 bowls, fill one with the breadcrumbs, one with the flour & the other with the eggs & milk. Beat the eggs with a fork then season each bowl with salt & pepper.
  • To pané, first toss a piece of cod in the flour then dip into the egg & roll in the breadcrumbs. Now, dip the fish back in the egg & then roll in the breadcrumbs again (this is a double pané). Place the breaded cod onto a plate, repeat with the remaining fish then refrigerate until ready to cook.

Tartar Sauce

  • Finely dice the gherkin & roughly chop the capers then place into a bowl along with the rest of the tartar sauce ingredients.
  • Season the sauce with salt & pepper then mix to combine. Refrigerate until needed.

Frying The Fish

  • Preheat a deep fat fryer to 180°c/356°f.
  • Once the oil is hot, fry each cod fillet until crisp, golden & cooked through. This will take 4-5 minutes & the internal temperature of the fish should be at least 75°c/167°f.
    Depending on the size of your fryer, you'll probably need to cook the fish in two batches. The first batch should be served straight away or kept warm in an oven.
  • Once the fish is cooked, transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper. Leave to drain for a minute, season with sea salt & malt vinegar then top each piece with 2 slices of American cheese.

The Sandwiches

  • Cut each little gem lettuce in half lengthways, trim the bottom off from each half then shred the lettuce finely with a sharp knife. Place into a bowl with half of the tartar sauce then mix to combine.
  • Next, cut your burger buns in half then toast in a frying pan set over a medium heat.
  • To assemble, divide the dressed little gem between each bun then top with the fried fish. Spoon extra tartar sauce over each piece of fish then top with the top halves of bun. Serve immediately.


1. Burger Buns – This sandwich works best with our potato burger buns but other burger buns will work as well. 
2. Fish – Each piece of cod should be around 100-150 grams each & should have the skin & any bones removed. Other white fish like haddock will work as well.
3. Breadcrumbs – Panko breadcrumbs make for the crispiest fried fish but regular breadcrumbs will also work.
4. Deep Fryer – If you haven’t got a deep fat fryer, a pan of veg oil warmed on the stove will work as well. Just make sure to do this carefully!

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