Fried Seafood Recipes

Seafood loves a hot oil bath

We're not in the "frying makes everything better" camp, as we know that sometimes potatoes should be roasted and chicken should be grilled—but some foods take to a hot bath of oil more than others, and one of those foods is seafood.

Whether paired with a crunchy slaw in tacos or served whole to dig into with chopsticks (or fingers), fried fish is homey but exciting, unadorned but perfect as is. And fish isn't the only seafood that shines after frying—soft shell crab, calamari, and shrimp can also benefit from a quick dip in batter and oil. Crabs, shrimp, and trout spend their lives submerged in water; to submerge them in oil is only natural. (Right?) Just serve them with something that will combat their richness, like a crispy collard slaw or a tart chile sauce, and crack open a beer—there's no better summer meal.

Jose Garces' Fish Tacos

Jose Garces' Fish Tacos

Chef Jose Garces uses a batter of rice flour and vodka to produce shatteringly crisp fish bites that he then stuffs into warm tortillas and tops with cool, crunchy slaw.Matt Taylor-Gross

Trout "Reuben"

Trout "Reuben"
Chef Steven Brown uses pumpernickel rolls for this "punk rock sandwich with a $25 cleaning bill;" but you could use any roll you like.Ariana Lindquist

Softshell Crab Sandwich with Collard Slaw

Softshell Crab Sandwich with Collard Slaw
A crisp collard slaw and tangy tartar and cocktail sauces top pan-fried softshell crabs in this classic sandwich.Matt Taylor-Gross

Beer-Battered Fish Tacos

The fish for these tacos fries up golden brown thanks to a bottle of dark beer in the batter.Penny de los Santos

Fish Tacos with Pico de Gallo, Cabbage, and Lime Crema

This recipe for fresh, light fish tacos is great for a crowd; while you fry the fish, put your dining companions to work making the cabbage, pico de gallo, lime crema, and guacamole.Courtesy of Grand Central Publishing
Chile Fried Fish (Ikan Sumbat)

Chile Fried Fish (Ikan Sumbat)

In Malaysia, this pan-fried fish dish is typically made with stingray filets, but any six to ten-inch whole fish will do.Todd Coleman

Fish Tacos with Roasted Tomato Salsa

Fish Tacos with Roasted Tomato Salsa
Charred tomatoes and chiles add a deep smoky note to the salsa for these fresh fish tacos—either flounder or halibut works well.Todd Coleman
Fried Calamari Sandwich

Fried Calamari Sandwich

Fiery sriracha sauce and fresh herbs and cucumbers balance the richness of chef Tom Colicchio's fried calamari sandwich.Todd Coleman
Malabar Fish Fry

Malabar Fish Fry

Writer VK Sreelesh’s in-laws live in the south Indian state of Kerala, along the Malabar Coast, where people's diets are heavily influenced by the area's abundant supply of seafood. One of his favorite dishes is this fried bullseye fish, seasoned with turmeric and chile powder and fried in coconut oil. While small bullseye fish or sardines are traditionally used, salmon, shrimp, or snapper, as we've used here, also work.James Oseland
Crispy Calamari with Pesto Mayonnaise

Crispy Calamari with Pesto Mayonnaise

Chef Jim Leiken of DBGB in New York City serves pesto-spiked mayonnaise as a dipping sauce for fried calamari, cauliflower, and chickpeas.Todd Coleman

Senegalese Fish Pies

A popular snack along Senegal's coast where seafood is plentiful, small fried hand pies are filled with a spicy herb and fish filling. Serve them with Sosu Kaani, a spicy Senegalese sauce of chiles and tomato.Penny De Los Santos
Creole-Style Fried Fish

Creole-Style Fried Fish

This recipe was given to us by Lonnee Hamilton, who recommends spooning some bacon grease into the frying oil to give the fish a smokier flavor.Todd Coleman
Pan-Fried Salt Cod Chips (Fritas de Bacalhau)

Pan-Fried Salt Cod Chips (Fritas de Bacalhau)

A thin batter of salt cod, garlic, and onions is shallow-fried to make fine, crisp chips.Todd Coleman
Shrimp Fritters (Tortillitas de Camarones)

Shrimp Fritters (Tortillitas de Camarones)

These crisp-edged fritters get their earthy flavor from chickpea flour. Get the recipe for Shrimp Fritters (Tortillitas de Camarones) »Todd Coleman
Fritto Misto (Fried Squid, Fish, and Shrimp)

Fritto Misto (Fried Squid, Fish, and Shrimp)

Deep-frying seafood in a good-quality extra-virgin olive oil imparts fruity, peppery flavors and creates an incredibly delicate crust.Todd Coleman

Softshell Crab Sandwiches with Rémoulade Slaw

A tangy cabbage slaw and a drizzle of remoulade accompany these luscious sandwiches.Anna Stockwell

Fried Stuffed Milkfish

Cheng Lee Chin-o makes a number of stuffings for milkfish, her favorite fish. Sometimes she smears garlic on the filets before tying them together with dried sea grass; other times, she'll stuff them with a paste made from some of the fish's innards. For this recipe, she used just the liver.Jun Takagi
Trout with Brown Butter and Almonds (Trout Meunière Amandine)

Trout with Brown Butter and Almonds (Trout Meunière Amandine)

Fried fish with a brown butter sauce and almonds is a French classic, and one of the most popular dishes at the beloved New Orleans restaurant Galatoire's.Todd Coleman

Bacalaítos Fritos con Bacalao Guisado (Salt Cod Fritters)

Salt cod does double duty in this fritter topped with piquant cod salsa.Penny de los Santos