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Light, crispy, flaky, and tasty fried fish makes for a perfect dinner. Most home chefs choose a white fish like tilapia, a cod dish, or catfish. Air fryers make fried fish a little less of a cheat day meal, though you could always use breading to oven-fry depending on your personal preference. However you choose to coat it, it’s that crispiness that you’re working toward.

Fried tilapia on a dinner table.

When you think of fried fish you would automatically want to pair the meal with finger food, or something quick and easy. For a more comforting and familiar side to serve with the meal you could opt for some French fries or onion rings. Or perhaps you’d like to try something lighter like coleslaw, or roasted cauliflower. If you want something healthy to serve with fried fish but don’t have any ideas at hand, you can make any vegetable dish you like, and it will go well.

What Goes with Fried Fish?

Good side dishes for a fried fish dinner are as diverse as the fried fish recipes you’ll find. Choose from the few listed below.

Chips/Fries:

The much famously preferred side dishes to serve with fried fish, one that is most common within the UK, is a plate heaped with a generous helping of thick, crispy, juicy chips, drenched in vinegar. You can choose to buy this with your shop purchased fried fish and have a curry sauce to dip them both in. Or if you decided to make the fried fish in an air fryer, you could choose to do the same with the chips, and serve them both together piping hot and fresh, with some vinegar to drizzle over the top of the chips, and any sauce you desire to dip the chips and fish in. If you, like many others believe that crispier chips are made from the oven, you could oven-fry both the breaded fish and the chips and serve them together.

Cilantro Lime Slaw:

If you wish to add a lighter twist to serve with fried fish, you can relish in the freshness that is brought forth from the crispy skins of cabbage and vegetables from the cilantro and lime. You can choose to layer it on top of a fried fish fillet for a bun sandwich, that’ll add a punch of deliciousness to the meal. It’s an easy quick side, that is perfect for the summer or even in the colder months, a perfect way to add some sunshine to the meal.

Roasted Cauliflower:

Whether you choose to add a lighter fried fish side to stabilise the fried phases of the meal or desire a wider choice of selection for a much larger gathering, in this instance cauliflower is an excellent choice. Cauliflower though white like fried fish, is much less intrusive of a vegetable to any child. Roasting the cauliflower gives it such a beautiful flavour that even adults who like to avoid vegetables will find their mouths watering over this roasted hearty side dish to compliment the main meal. You can attempt to season these wonderfully roasted vegetables with anything you have at hand.

10-Minute Healthy Cauliflower Rice:

Whether you have grains of cauliflower rice prepped, or you have ahead of cauliflower at home, that you could use a food processor machine to create tiny grains of rice from this multipurpose vegetable. This works as an Asian flair to the meal, both healthy and delicious, without waiting 20 minutes to half an hour to cook, this can be prepared in as little as 10 minutes, ready to eat with your main meal of freshly fried fish.

Creamy Avocado Rice:

Perhaps you’re trying to welcome healthy carbs to the diet, and brown rice makes a perfect side when it’s combined with creamy avocado. Avocados can make a piece of toast more interesting, so why can they not do the same for plain brown rice? And with avocados being so good for you, it seems like a winning dish for everyone.

Corn on the cob:

It’s tough, it’s sweet, it’s crunchy, it’s perfect with fried fish! You can boil the corn for 10 minutes before serving with fried fish, add some butter to its piping hot surface, sprinkle some pepper and let the sweet, buttery, juicy flavours explode in your mouth.

Other Options with Fried Fish

If you’re wondering what goes good with fried fish, consider some lighter options such as coleslaw or roasted cauliflower, you can’t go wrong when serving either of these with fried fish, usually, when eating something fried, you’d want to choose a lighter healthier side to compliment the meal. Choose from the tips on healthy recipe ideas below.

Healthier Fish Sides:

Steamed Broccoli

When it comes to choosing a healthier side to add to the meal, broccoli is a commonly tolerated veggie. You will like the crunch as well as the nutrients that come with it. When you roast it, you will have the stalk being nice and firm, crispy but cooked. This is also a great choice because it is nice and filling, you will need to use some oil, then add the spices of your choice.

Method:

Preheat the oven to 450°F

  1. Spread the broccoli florets out on a baking sheet, drizzle evenly with oil and toss to combine, then spread the broccoli back out in an even layer, then season everything with a heavy pinch or two of salt, black pepper and chilli flakes for that extra added spicy punch to go with the fried fish.
  2. Place the baking sheet in the oven and roast on high heat for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the edges of the florets are slightly charred and crispy. Keep a close eye on them as the florets can burn quite quickly.
  3. Give the broccoli florets a taste and see if they need any extra salt and pepper. Then dish up, serve with fried fish, and enjoy!

Classic Coleslaw

When enjoying fried fish, having a creamy, crunchy side goes good as an addition to your main meal. Just remember to keep it in the fridge, as this will allow it to remain fresh and crispy. You can prepare this a few hours before you plan to cook your fried fish. Or you can choose to buy a box of supermarket prepared coleslaw instead of preparing it yourself. However, if you prefer to create the mixture from scratch then here is what you need to do.

Method:

  1. Peel and grate a carrot and put it in a bowl. Finely slice half a red onion and add to a bowl.
  2. Remove the outer layer and core of a red or white cabbage.
  3. Shred the cabbage finely by slicing as thinly as you can and add to the bowl.
  4. Mix the vegetables together
  5. In a separate bowl mix 3 heaped tablespoons of mayonnaise with the juice of half a lemon, 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of wholegrain mustard. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Stir the mayonnaise mixture into the vegetables. This is best served cold, so that the vegetables have a fresh crispy crunch to them, so remember to put the contents of the bowl straight into the fridge.

Kachumbari

Kachumbari is a Swahili word referring to a tomato and onion salad, this is commonly used as a good side to go with fried fish or roast chicken.

Method:

  1. Chop 1 medium red onion in a small bowl, add 1 teaspoon of salt, cover with water and let it sit for 30 minutes to get rid of the onion taste.
  2. When its time to make the salad, strain the water from the onions.
  3. In a salad bowl add some chopped onions, tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, cilantro, and habanero pepper. Mix the ingredients together.
  4. In a small bowl, make the salad dressing by combining balsamic vinegar, olive oil, juice of 1 lime, honey, and salt and pepper (to taste).
  5. Add the dressing to the salad and mix thoroughly with a spoon.
  6. Refrigerate the salad for at least 15 minutes before serving.

It’s a good idea to make enough to eat as it doesn’t keep well overnight.

Southern Fish Fry Sides

In the South, catfish are easily found in southern lakes and rivers and is often dipped in a cornmeal batter and deep-fried. Southern fish fries are typically enjoyed outdoors and are incomplete without French fries, hushpuppies, and coleslaw.

  • Hush puppies
  • French fries
  • Pineapple coleslaw

Hush Puppies-

Everyone loves the southern hush puppies, round golf ball sized, beautiful golden brown on the outside, whilst creamy and delicious on the inside. They are easy to make and taste delicious combined with any sauce, along with the southern fried fish to go with the special meal.

Ingredients:

  • Oil for frying
  • ¾ cup of flour
  • ¾ cup cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 egg large
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons butter cold and cut into small cubes
  • Tarter sauce for serving

Instructions:

  1. Preheat 2 inches of oil in a large skillet to 365°. In a medium sized mixing bowl add the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and pepper. Add the egg and buttermilk and stir until combined. Stir in cubed butter.
  2. Drop the batter by rounded teaspoonfuls in the hot oil. Let cook until they are golden brown for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove with a metal strainer on a paper toweled lined plate. Serve with tartar sauce if desired.

French fries:

Amongst the variety of sides to have served with a southern fish fry, French fries are one of the most commonly appreciated. This will not only add to the deliciousness of the meal but create a satisfying filling end to the meal.  You can either choose to deep fry them or opt for a healthier way to cook the French fries, either in the oven or an air fryer.

Ingredients:

  • 1kg potatoes
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying

Method:

  1. Peel the potatoes and cut into 1cm thick batons, put into a bowl of water and leave to soak for at least 2 hours to effectively remove the starch from the potatoes – this will help them crisp when frying.
  2. Drain the potatoes well and pat dry with a paper towel. Fill a deep pan no more than a third full of oil and heat to 140C. fry the French fries in batches for 6 minutes per batch until they are golden straw-coloured cooked through and lightly crisp. Drain well on paper towel.
  3. Turn the heat up until the oil reaches 180C and fry the French fries again for 2-3 minutes until lightly golden and really crisp, drain on paper and immediately season with salt.

Pineapple Coleslaw

Pineapple coleslaw is an easy and creamy side dish to go with a southern fried catfish, its packed with flavour and can go with any main meal. It can be served instantly, but is recommended to refrigerate for a couple hours to add to the cool freshness of the ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups shredded cabbage
  • 8 ounches (1 can) pineapple, unsweetened and crushed
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

In a small bowl combine all these ingredients, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

What goes with Fish and Chips?

A national much-loved dish in the UK fish and chips can have a variety of complementary side dishes with the main meal, for everyone to enjoy. Other than the traditional mushy peas, battered sausages, onion rings, pickled onions, gherkins and eggs, gravy, ketchup, tartar curry and many many other sauces, we can choose to become more adventurous and explore many other alternatives, so prepare those taste buds!

Top 10 Fish and Chips Accompaniments.

  • Mushy Peas and Mint Sauce

Let’s begin with an old favourite – mint sauce on mushy peas. This perfectly colour filled combination can be enjoyed on its own with a spoon, as well as on a plate with battered codfish and chips.

  • Pea Fritters

Sticking to the green theme with another type of mushy peas, pea fritters are the close companion of mushy peas. Pea fritters are balls of mushy peas deep fried in batter, a perfect choice for vegetarians.

  • Pea Wet

Okay, I see that we’ve shown enough love to the peas, but this is the last of the bunch I promise! Pea wet is typically described as leftover mushy pea juice, used as a condiment and can be poured lavishly over fish, chips, or pie.

  • Baby’s head

Apart from its the daunting title, “baby’s head” is the phrase used in North West England for steak and kidney pudding. This pie contains lamb or pig kidneys combined with diced beef and gravy all enclosed in a delicious suet pastry. Baby’s head is enjoyed with mash and gravy almost as much as fish and chips. As if the name of this pudding wasn’t strange enough, the baby’s head should always be served upside down!

  • Scraps

One of the majorly popular fish and chips sides on the list, scraps are a delicacy appreciated in the North of England, particularly in Yorkshire. They are made up of stray pieces of deep-fried batter that have fallen off the fish, whilst it is being deep-fried. Commonly known as “bits” in the south, “scrumps” in Wales and “gribbles” in the West Country, this by-product was historically given out as a free treat to the children of the customers.

  • Yorkshire Fishcakes

Whilst we’re in Yorkshire it’s worth mentioning a much-loved classic. A perfectly delectable twist to the traditional fish and chips Yorkshire fishcakes consists of fish, wrapped in potato, trapped in batter then deep-fried to deliciousness. In other words, a whole fish and chips meal rolled into one perfect little parcel. It definitely cannot get better than that!

  • Battered Haggis

Heading further North let’s take a stroll down to the border, and head straight into Scotland, when you think Haggis you think Scotland. While Scotland’s national dish may lack appreciation from the majority of food lovers, few could argue with the flavours of its deep-fried physique. There’s something about the frying process that enhances the haggis’ rich flavours. Haggis is a savoury pudding made of sheep’s heart, liver and lungs – yep all the good stuff – which is minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, stock and a mix of spices.

  • Pizza Crust

I’m sure you can already tell by its name where this is headed. A slice of pizza deep fried in batter, another one of Scotland’s delicacies that have proven to be quite irresistible.

  • Rag Pudding

Rag pudding – commonly referred to as rag pie – is a mixture of minced meat, onions, gravy and suet pastry. Yet the distinctive element that separates this dish from others, is that it is cooked in a cheesecloth, hence the term “rag.” Baked in a gauze-like fabric this strange cooking method has nothing to do with taste, and everything to do with traditional.

  • Battered Black/White Pudding

White pudding is particularly popular in Ireland and Scotland, while black pudding can be found across the country, particularly up North. Black pudding is made with blood – yes blood – generally pigs blood, but can also be made with oxen, goose or duck. White pudding is made with pork and has a high meat content, the rest is made up of cereal, herbs and spices.

Side Dishes For Fish Sandwiches

Aside from the comfortable choice of French fries to enjoy as a side to your tasty meal of fish sandwich, there are many interesting, and easy recipes to accommodate your meal. You can choose from healthy, to irresistibly juicy, there is no shame in enjoyment!

  • Steamed Broccoli

Steamed broccoli is one of the best sides you can make with a fish sandwich because it is loaded with nutrients and does not have to be served piping hot, but there’s something particularly satisfying about piercing the head of a perfectly steamed broccoli with your fork and crunching into its buttered top, whilst the juicy salty flavours melt in your mouth.

  • Horsey Sauce

No, it’s not made from horses! Its main ingredient is horseradish, this root vegetable tastes similar to wasabi. Blending both mayonnaise and horseradish, adding salt and sugar for that creamy, zesty fantasy that will add a spicy spark to your fish sandwich.

  • Coleslaw

Coleslaw is a safe side to play around with. you can eat it as a side, or you can eat it in a sandwich, adding a cold, fresh, sweet and salty crunch with the carefully sliced veggies that are perfect to serve during the warmer days.

What is a Fish Fry Party?

A fish fry is a social event that occurs when a family catch more than they can eat. The fish fry transforms into a social event that normally takes place on a Saturday night or Sunday afternoon. They are a popular weekend tradition in the Midwest and the northern United States. Social interaction is equally as important as the food itself. A fish fry usually encourages participants to bring their dishes from home and share them with others in the neighbourhood. The meal can consist of battered, or breaded fried fish, hush puppies, fries and coleslaw served with a marinara sauce for dipping, and lemon slices or malt vinegar on the side. of course, desserts often follow the main course, and beer is the main drink of choice.

Fish and What?

Fish and chips, fish and coleslaw, fish and peas, fish and ‘fill in the blank,’ by now you can probably tell that the list for side dishes with fried fish does not disappoint. Whatever you fancy, whether it is comfort food you particularly crave, or a healthy crunch to compliment the meal, trust the cravings and enjoy your meal!

FAQ’s

What do you Serve with Southern Fish Fry?

The usual choices following a southern fish fry consist of hushpuppies, French fries and coleslaw.

What Side dishes go well with Fried Catfish?

It is encouraged to choose from a variety of flavourful dishes to go with fried catfish, such as mashed potatoes and gravy, fried onions, baked beans and fried green tomatoes.