Panko-Crusted Fish with Tzatziki
Crunchy fish meets creamy sauce - I like these kinds of meetings.
Serving Size: 4
Any flaky white fish would be perfect in this recipe. Go for one from Alaska if you can – they have a preponderance of mild, moist fish, perfect for this recipe such as Alaska Pollock, Halibut, Cod, and Black Cod.
The fish then gets encased in a crunchy coating, and becomes a base for the flavorful, creamy and crunchy sauce. Serve this up with some steamed or sautéed green beans to round out the plate.
Tzatziki is one of the most classic Greek sauces, served with everything from pita (as a dip) to lamb to seafood. It’s a refreshing mix of cucumber, garlic, and yogurt, and then the options broaden.
You can add any number of fresh herbs, such as dill, oregano, mint, parsley, even the fronds of fennel bulbs. You can swap out the garlic for shallots, or another member of the onion family. Olive oil is often added for a bit of richness, and there is usually some sort of acid, like lemon juice or vinegar, to give it a little kick.
I added in some chopped fennel to this version, because I love its anise-y flavor. The amount of garlic is fairly light – add more if you wish.
Different cultures have their own versions of cucumber yogurt sauce, and if you like tzatziki, it’s worth digging in deeper. And if you like tzatziki as much as I do, you may want to make extra to serve up with pita chips the next day, or perhaps dollop on a piece of grilled chicken or a chop. Leftover roasted meat thinly sliced and piled into a pita with tzatziki makes a great makeshift gyro.
Tzatziki is best eaten within a day of making, as the mixture can start to become a bit watery from the cucumbers.
And if you like this, you will definitely also like Just for the Halibut Fried Fish Sandwich with Lemon Basil Tartar Sauce. When your fish gets a crunchy bread coating there’s nothing to complain about.
Panko-Crusted Fish with Tzatziki
- 1 small cucumber
- ½ cup minced fennel
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 4 (6-ounce) fillets barramundi, tilapia, haddock, halibut, or other mild firm fleshed white fish
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1½ cups panko bread crumbs
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon finely minced garlic
- 1½ cups plain Greek yogurt
1. Peel the cucumber. Slice in half lengthwise, and scrape out the seeds with a teaspoon. Grate the cucumber using the large holes on a box grater, or the grating blade in a food processor. Toss the cucumber with the fennel and ½ teaspoon kosher salt and place in a strainer over a bowl, or in the sink.
2. Season the fish with salt and pepper. Place the egg and panko into two separate shallow bowls. Stir the parsley into the panko.
3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Dunk each fillet in the egg, so that is it well coated, then dredge each filet in the panko mixture. Place the coated fillets in the hot oil and sauté the fish for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until cooked through and golden brown. Transfer the fish to a paper towel lined plate.
4. Use your hands to squeeze the cucumber mixture to press out any extra liquid, then place in a medium bowl. Add the mint, oregano, lemon juice, garlic and yogurt. Stir well, and add pepper and any additional salt as needed (remember the cucumbers and fennel were salted at the beginning).
5. Serve the fish hot, with a spoonful of tzatziki on the side.