The secret to success with this dish is a low-temperature oven (set to just 300 degrees F) that ensures that the fish cooks slowly, without drying out. Crispy, buttery, garlicky panko bread crumbs get a head start in a skillet so they’re golden brown when the fish comes out of the oven. Finally, a mayonnaise and egg yolk “glue” adds rich flavor and helps the crumb topping stay put. Even kids who don’t usually like fish will like this dish.
Crispy Baked Cod
- Vegetable oil spray
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest, plus lemon wedges
- 4 (6-ounce) skinless cod fillets, 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set a cooling rack inside the baking sheet. Spray rack with vegetable oil spray.
In a 12-inch skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add panko, garlic, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring often with rubber spatula, until lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes.
Transfer the panko mixture to a medium bowl. Stir in parsley and let cool for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, egg yolk, and lemon zest.
Use paper towels to pat fish dry. Spread mayonnaise mixture evenly over top of each fillet.
Working with 1 fillet at a time, coat the top of each fillet with panko mixture. Place fillets, crumb side up, on greased rack on baking sheet.
Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake until fish registers 145 degrees F on instant-read thermometer, 30 to 40 minutes.
Remove baking sheet from oven. Place baking sheet on a second cooling rack. Serve fish with lemon wedges.