These panko-crusted cod nuggets will turn even the most selective eaters into fish lovers. Perfect for a tasty family dinner or summer lunch!
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Panko-Crusted Cod Nuggets
If you asked my kids what their preferred way to eat cod is, this would be it. Actually, forget just cod or even seafood, this is one of their top 3 meals in general.
And what’s not to love about these panko-crusted cod nuggets? They are tender, golden, and simply delicious.
But aren’t they fried? Yes, the cod is breaded and fried. However, this is homemade and pan-fried, not commercially prepared and deep-fried. The recipe calls for healthy high-heat cooking oils such as organic canola or avocado.
You could also increase the fiber a bit by using some or all whole wheat Panko bread crumbs. All panko crumbs are great because not only they also add a nice crunch, they also absorb less grease than traditional bread crumbs.
While I wouldn’t suggest that you eat fried food every day, every now and then is totally fine. After all, as I discuss in my intuitive eating post, healthy eating is about more than the individual foods you eat.
This meal is a great way to get kids excited about dinner time and about eating fish. While it’s not hard to make, it does take a little work to prepare and can be a little messy (at least I always manage to spill bread crumbs on the floor!)
My older son is often eager to help me make this meal–partly because he is motivated to make sure he gets it for dinner. (He knows that there is a risk I may take the easy route and throw it all on a sheet pan! Another delicious, kid-approved dinner, but clearly not quite the same as breaded fish!)
Another delicious kid-approved cod dinner is cod cakes. They can even be made mini-sized and served as apps to enjoy while watching a sports game–this will also make for a fun, low-pressure eating environment in which picky eaters may be more likely to try new foods.
Serve with lemon wedges, steamed veggies, boiled potatoes or fresh corn, and a salad or sauteed greens. Want to eat like a true Swede? Add a side of rye crispbread and a sauce made with sour cream or plain Skyr yogurt and fresh herbs!
Panko-Crusted Cod Nuggets
- nonstick skillet
- 1.5 pounds fresh cod
- 3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 large eggs
- 1.5 cups Panko breadcrumbs (use plain or a mix of whole wheat and plain)
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian herbs (usually a combo of basil, parley, etc.)
- 3 tablespoons canola or avocado oil plus more as needed
- 1 medium lemon, sliced into wedges
- Slice cod into small pieces, but a little bigger than traditional nuggets. Sprinkle each side with a little salt.
- Put out 3 shallow bowls. To the first, add flour, to the second, add eggs and whisk, and to the third, add panko bread crumbs. Add some dried Italian herbs and chopped, fresh parsley to the panko. Mix in with fingers.
- Use tongs to dip each piece of cod first into the flour, then the eggs, and finally the panko, making sure it's fully submerged into each but shaking off any excess. Place onto a plate.
- Heat about 3 tablespoons of canola or avocado oil in a nonstick skillet pan over medium-high heat. Add fish, being sure not to overcrowd the pan (you will probably need to do it in 2 batches, adding more oil for each batch and sometimes after flipping). Cook for 1-2 minutes and then reduce heat to medium or even medium-low depending on how they are browning. Cook for another couple of minutes, until golden, and then flip and cook on the other side for an additional 3 minutes or so. Serve with lemon wedges.