The beauty of this recipe is that it works with virtually any fish, or even spot shrimp. The crunchy coating stays crispy long after frying, thanks to the panko and coconut, but we don’t think this will be put to the test since they barely last long enough to make it to the table.
1 portion fish fillets (10 to 12 ounces), such as cod, rockfish, lingcod, or keta salmon, pin bones and skin removed Available in Our Seafood Subscription Box
Salt and freshly ground pepper
⅓ cup apricot preserves
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
1 whole scallion, thinly sliced
1 to 2 teaspoons sambal oelek or sriracha, to taste
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
All-purpose flour for dusting
1 large egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Neutral oil, such as canola or grapeseed, for frying
Prepare the Fish
Pat the fish dry with paper towels and cut into 1-inch wide strips. Sprinkle the fish with salt and let sit while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
Make the Dipping Sauce
In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the apricot preserves, vinegar, ginger, and ¼ cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until slightly reduced, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the scallion and season with sambal and salt to taste. Transfer to a small bowl.
Coat the Fish
In a shallow bowl, combine the panko and coconut and season with salt and pepper. Put the flour and egg into 2 separate bowls.
Rinse the fish and dry well with paper towels. Coat the fish in the flour, tapping off any excess, then dip into the egg. Add the fish to the panko mixture, turning to coat and pressing to adhere. Transfer to a plate.
Fry and Serve
Add 1/2 inch oil to a medium skillet and place over medium-high heat. When the oil reaches 400°F, add the fish strips, in batches if necessary. Fry, turning once or twice, until golden, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle lightly with salt.
Transfer to a platter and serve right away with the sauce alongside for dipping.
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Pair it Up
Pour an off-dry white wine such as German riesling, New Zealand sauvignon blanc, or a Spanish torrontés to balance the sweetness of the coconut.
Spice It Up
Add a pinch of chipotle chile powder to the dipping sauce for a hit of smoky heat. Or finely zest a lemon or lime into the panko-coconut mixture for a citrus burst.
Lighten It Up
Place the fish fingers on a baking sheet and generously mist with cooking spray. Slide onto the center oven rack and broil until golden and crisp, turning once, about 2 minutes per side. For airfryer fish fingers, generously mist with cooking spray and airfry at 400°F for about 15 minutes.