Fish Fry Recipe (Fried Fish Recipe)

Updated: August 9, 2022, By Swasthi

Fish fry recipe – This delicious, crispy & spicy fish fry makes for a great appetizer or a side to a meal. A simple vegetable salad or sliced onion compliment the fish fry. It can be served as a side with any variety rice like Ghee rice, cumin or Jeera rice, simple coconut rice. However it also goes great with plain rice and simple rasam or this tamarind rasam. This recipe is very easy to follow, a bachelor’s recipe and yields a tasty crispy fish.

fish fry

To make this easy fish fry, fish needs double marination. First marination for the fish to absorb all the flavors and spice. Second marination to give a crust to the fish.

This simple fish fry recipe can be used to grill or shallow fry or pan fry the fish. All methods yield crusty fish and is best served immediately.

If you do not have besan or gram flour, you can substitute with corn flour. But using besan or gram flour gives the flavor of a pakora.

Photo Guide

How to make easy Fish Fry (Stepwise Photos)

1. Mix all the ingredients under first marination i.e ginger garlic paste, lemon juice, salt,garam masala, turmeric and chilli powder. Taste the marinade and adjust salt if needed.

first marinade spice powders for fish fry

2. Marinate the fish with this marinade. Set aside for 10 to 15 mins.

smear the spice paste

3. I also powder half tsp saunf and little ajwain . Add all the second marination ingredients to a plate. Mix well and taste it. Adjust salt if needed.

second marinade for fish fry

4. Coat the fish in the dry flour mix on both the sides. Set aside in a plate.

marinated fish for frying

5. Leave it for about 15 minutes for the dry flour to become moist and cling well to the fish.

the dry flour to become moist and cling well to the fish

6. It can be tawa fried till crusty. For tawa fry add 3/4 tbsp oil to a hot pan and spread it well. Fry on both the sides, take care while you flip the fillet otherwise it may break. Fry few curry leaves along with the fish to garnish.

flip fry till crusty fish fry

7. For shallow fry, use oil as needed. I suggest using a small pan if shallow frying, the amount of oil needed will be less.

8. Fry till golden. Flip carefully otherwise the crust will come out.

tawa pan frying

Garnish and serve fish fry.

fish fry

More Fish recipes
Amritsari fish
Grilled fish
Andhra fish vepudu
fish fingers

Recipe Card

Fish Fry Recipe (Pan Fried Crispy Fish)

4.99 from 182 votes
Fish fry recipe made with basic ingredients in South Indian style. Crispy, delicious and flavorful fish fry can be served as a appetizer or as a side in a meal.
Print Recipe Pin Recipe

For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time40 minutes

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • ½ kg fish (pieces or fillets)
  • 2 tbsp Oil or as needed

First marination

  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste or grated
  • Lemon juice as needed
  • Salt as needed
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ¾ tsp garam masala or any spice powder
  • ½ tsp coriander powder (optional)
  • ½ tsp red chili powder or smoked paprika

Second marination

  • 1 ½ tbsp rice flour or all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tbsp besan or gram flour (substitute corn flour)
  • Salt as needed
  • ¼ to ½ tsp red chilli powder or paprika
  • 1 sprig curry leaves chopped finely or any herbs


Preparation for fish fry

  • Add the following ingredients to a plate. – salt, ginger garlic paste, red chilli powder, turmeric, garam masala, coriander powder and lemon juice. 
  • Mix all of these together to make a paste. Taste the marinade and adjust salt or spice as needed. 
  • Rinse the fish fillets thoroughly. If using a fish like salmon, make slits on the fillet.
  • Apply this marinade to the fish pieces. If needed add 1 tsp of water to apply the paste well. Set this aside.
  • Add flour, salt, red chili powder and curry leaves. Mix all of these. Taste this and adjust salt or spice as needed.
  • Place the fish in flour mixture. Make sure flour coats well on to the fish on both the sides. Fish looks floury at this stage. Set this aside till the dry flour turns moist. 
  • The moisture in the fish makes the flour damp and it sticks well to the fish. This takes around 10 to 15 minutes.

How to make fish fry

  • Heat a griddle, pan or tawa. Add 2 tbsp oil and spread it well.
  • Heat it on a low flame. Fry the fish fillets till crusty on both the sides.
  • Be gentle while flipping the fish otherwise the masala comes out.
  • Fish can be pan fried or shallow fried both yield almost the same result.
  • Garnish fish fry with sliced onion and grated carrot. Serve with a meal or as an appetizer.

To grill the fish

  • After the second marination, Gently brush a generous amount of oil over the fillet. heat the oven at 170 C for 15 minutes and grill for about 25 minutes. You may need to grill for more or long depending on the thickness of the fillet or the variety of fish.

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Fish Fry Recipe (Pan Fried Crispy Fish)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 201 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 83mg28%
Sodium 102mg4%
Potassium 535mg15%
Carbohydrates 6g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Protein 34g68%
Vitamin A 200IU4%
Vitamin C 0.6mg1%
Calcium 21mg2%
Iron 1.3mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SwasthisRecipes or tag #swasthisrecipes!

© Swasthi’s Recipes

About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

Follow Swasthi’s Recipes


Recipe Rating

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

5 stars
Was so tasty that my teens who normally don’t like Indian Fish, devoured it ?

Dear Swasthi, do you use kosher salt or regular salt in your recipes? Thank you

5 stars
Very delicious recipe

5 stars
After trying so many recipes, this one turned out very good, thank you

5 stars
Thanks for sharing the recipe. Worked like a Charm. Fantastic flavors and the CRUST… To die for. I used Basa Fillet’s – didn’t overcook it. Learnt how to keep it moist by just keeping it a little under cooked. Left it in the pan and the ambient heat did the rest.

Hi swasthi
I have a doubt…whenever I fry fish it turns out dry and loses its flavour…where am I going wrong…could you help me out

5 stars
100% works to a lovely fish fry. I substituted chilli powder with red byadagi chilli paste. Tastes heaven. Thanks Swasthi❤️

5 stars
It just came out perfect. Thanks a lot. I tried various recipes before but this one just did the trick for me. The magic here is adding the flour as a second layer. Earlier I used to add them with ginger-garlic paste and the masala would stick to the marinated plate and the tawa. Next time I am planning to add rava also with the flour. Thanks once again

5 stars
This is Awesome!! I simply love it.

5 stars
Made it using haddock fillets – the masala was just right, did not overpower the delicate flavour of the fish. I also added dried shredded coconut to the flour coating – it gave it a lovely crunch. Served it with daal and rice – was a big hit with the family. Thank you for this simple yet oh so tasty way to make fish fry.

5 stars
I m beginner. So I m not sure of salt measurements, tasting and adding salt. So approximately if u give measurements of salt it would be great help.

5 stars
Thanku I like ur videos. Upcoming videos please suggest salt measurements also. Because ur dishes are lovely but because of salt confusion it becomes either salty or no salt. In ur upcoming videos if u mention salt measurements it would be great help for beginners

5 stars
Amazing recipe Swati. Thank you soo much for sharing.

5 stars
Easy yummy recipe. Thank you!

5 stars
Love this fish fry recipe, have used it on chicken & it’s also delicious.
I am going to try it on cauliflower too

5 stars
Just love them.thank you sooo much …

Thank you for this recipe. I tried it today and it came out nice. Tried just 1 piece now. Kept the rest for an overnight marination. Because I guess meat dishes taste best when it’s marinated for a longer time. Am new to cooking and I refer almost anything about cooking from your site.

5 stars
thnk u so much mam for this yummy fish fry

Hi Swasthi,

Tried your boondi raita day before.
Last night, I prepared your fish fry & veg pulao.
All 3 recipes were just superbbbbbbb??..
My pulao turned a little dry cause the water seemed less. But the flavours & aroma were awesome??..
The fish fry was bang on..lip smacking, delicious, yummmmmmyyyyyyyyy etc etc??..
My husband just loved it & said, this is the best fish fry he’s eaten.

Thank you for sharing your amazing recipes?..
Please continue sharing your detailed recipes?..

All the best for all your recipes & God bless you??..

Hi Swasthi,

I cooked it in a pot i.e. aluminium handi. Had soaked the basmati for 30 mins.

Thank you so much for the tip & your prompt reply?..
Will surely try this next time & let you know.

Have a great day.

5 stars
Hey Swasthi,

I tried your boondi raita day before.
Last night, I prepared your fish fry & veg pulao.
All 3 recipes were just superbbbbbbbb??..
My pulao turned a little dry cause the water seemed less. But the flavours & aroma were awesome??..
The fish fry was bang on..lip smacking, delicious,yummmmmmyyyyyyy etc etc??..
My husband just loved it & said, this was the best fish fry he’s eaten?..

Thank you for your amazing recipes?..
Please continue sharing your detailed recipes?..

All the best for all your recipes & God bless you??..

Thank you so much Swasthi

Hi Swasthi,

In the section of ”how to make easy fish fry”, 3rd point, you’ve mentioned about adding half tsp saunf & little ajwain (these are not mentioned in the main ingredients section).

Could you please confirm, if I need to add saunf powder & ajwain powder or avoid it

Thank you so much Swasthi for your prompt replies?

Hi Swasthi,

You’ve mentioned about adding little ajwain powder to the marination..
Could you please confirm approx how much will I need to add.