These crispy, battered fish goujons are the perfect finger food for your next party. They're easy to make and can be served with a dipping sauce of your choice. Equally, toddlers and young kids love them. Serve with a healthy salad for lunch, or a Friday night family treat with a side of chips.
To make the homemade goujons, simply coat strips of fish fillets in a batter and coat with panko breadcrumbs. Use my 3-2-1 method for frying and you're guaranteed some golden, crunchy strips of fish that will give your local chippy a run for their money!
For a refreshing drink with your goujons, why not try a Rock shandy? For other quick dinner recipes, try these chicken rissoles, pea fritters or this 15-minutes lemon garlic pasta. For appetisers to accompany your fish goujons, also try these mini homemade pork and chorizo sausage rolls.
What's to love about this goujon recipe
- Less than 30 minutes to make
- Egg free
- Good for party appetisers or as a main meal
- Can be served with various dipping sauces
- Can be served with various sides
- Popular with kids. It's very similar to breaded fish fingers, but with whole pieces of fish. Add this to your list of regular family meals.
- Follow my 3-2-1 frying method for guaranteed crispiness
- Dairy free
Key ingredients and substitutions
Fish - You can use whichever fish you prefer. I find cod or hake works best for that traditional fish and chip shop taste. I have no affiliation with Aldi, but their 400g packs of frozen cod or hake works great for this recipe. You get 4 pieces of fish which when split lengthways, gives you perfectly sized goujons of about 17cm in length and 4cm at the widest part.
If you have a different sized fish, you can slice it into the size strips you prefer. Just be aware that the smaller the strips, the less time frying it will need. The 3-2-1 method explained in the recipe, might need to be slightly adjusted to accommodate for that.
Other fish you can use for fish goujons other than cod or hake:
Soda water - This provides for an 'airiness' to the batter. It really makes a difference. I can vouch that a good substitution for soda water is Indian tonic water, but soda water comes out tops.
Panko breadcrumbs - No kitchen should be without these wonderfully crispy crumbs. I would highly recommend using panko to normal breadcrumbs. It can usually be found in the Asian food section of most supermarkets.
How to successfully make fish goujons - Quick summary
Step 1 - Make the batter by whisking together the flour, soda water, salt and pepper. Whisk until you have a smooth, lump-free batter. The amount of salt might seem excessive here, but bear in mind, it will get diluted quite a lot in the batter and only a thin coating goes onto each piece of fish. The fish is unseasoned so it will rely on the salt in the batter to provide depth.
Step 2 - Cut the fish into strips. The standard sized cod or hake fillets you can buy in the shop provides a good sized goujon when you follow the middle line of each fillet when slicing it lengthways.
Step 3 - Spread half the panko crumbs onto a tray or plate. You can top it up with the remaining fresh crumbs when you're halfway through the coating process, if you feel it's needed.
Step 4 - Dip each piece of fish into the batter and let the excess drip down before placing it onto the crumbs. With your clean hand, cover the top of the fish with crumbs first before turning it around. It really helps to keep as much of the batter from mixing with the crumbs, which will make it harder to get a good covering on the fish.
Top up the crumbs in the tray with the other half of fresh crumbs when you're about halfway through, if you feel you need more.
Step 5 - Heat 3-4cm of oil in the pot. You need to have a good depth of oil so that when frying, some oil will also cook the top of the fish.
Test the oil by dropping a few crumbs into it. If the crumbs immediately start to sizzle, the oil is ready for use.
Step 6 - Place some fish strips into the oil. Drop the fish away from you to prevent any oil splashes coming towards you. Don't overcrowd the pot with fish, you need room between each piece.
Use the 3-2-1 method and the timer on your phone.
The 3-2-1 method: Fry the fish for three minutes, turn them around, fry for two minutes, turn around again and finally fry it for one minute more.
Remove onto a plate covered with absorbent paper, like kitchen towel, and repeat the process for the remaining fish.
Storage and reheating
For ultimate crispiness, these fish goujons should be enjoyed immediately. If you do find yourself with some leftovers, they will keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days.
The best option for reheating would be the oven. Heat them in a preheated oven of 190C/374F for about 10-15 minutes, on a baking tray, or until heated through.
What to serve with fish goujons
- As an appetiser with dips like garlic mayo, lemon mayo (add a bit of lemon juice and lemon zest to mayonnaise) aioli, dill mayonnaise, curry mayonnaise, or honey mustard
- Make a goujon fish wrap. Add a sauce, some lettuce and chopped gherkins
- Egg and chips
- Potato wedges
- With extra lemon and pepper
- Mushy peas
- Flavoured rice
- Crusty bread
- Healthy brown rice salad
- Coconut basmati rice
Tips and tricks
- Set up your workstation so you can easily move through the steps, like a conveyer belt. From left to right, you will need:
- Your cut fish strips
- Bowl with batter
- Tray/plate with panko crumbs
- The stove with your pot of oil
- On the other side of the stove, a plate with absorbent paper to place the fried fish on
2. A cast iron pot works wonderfully for deep frying. It regulates the heat of the oil really well. Use a large pot that's quite deep. This will keep any oil splatters inside the walls of the pot and also provide enough surface for frying a few goujons at once. Basically, use the biggest pot you've got.
3. Before you slice the fish into strips, dry it first with some kitchen paper. You want as little moisture on the fish as possible before dipping it into the batter.
4. It's important to keep the oil to a medium heat when frying the fish. If it's too hot the fish will cook too quickly on the outside. Regulate the heat accordingly.
5. Before turning the fish the first time, it should feel quite solid, not bendy. If it feels like the strip might break easily when turning, give it a few seconds longer.
Yes you can! They are of course at their best served hot, but they are still great cold when served with a dipping sauce
Hake or cod, simply because it's more traditional
Yes you can! Add some spice to crumbs, like cayenne pepper, chilli flakes, paprika, garlic powder etc
A goujon is a small strip of meat, usually either fish or chicken, coated in a batter and then deep fried
More fish recipes
Crispy fish goujons
Equipment you may need
- 1 Large, heavy-based pot. Ideally cast iron
For the fish goujons
- 220 grams plain flour
- 350 grams soda water - or 350ml
- 2 teaspoons salt
- few grinds of black pepper
- 400 grams fish fillets - like cod or hake
- 200 grams panko breadcrumbs
- oil for frying - the amount will depend on the size of your pot
For garlic mayo dipping sauce - optional
- 100 grams mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- zest of half a lemon
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives
How to make the fish goujons
- Start by whisking together the plain flour, soda water, salt and black pepper. Whisk until you have a smooth, lump-free batter Note: This may seem like a lot of salt to add, but it gets diluted in the batter and only a thin layer of batter sticks to each piece of unseasoned fish
- Cut the fish fillets in half lengthways. This recipe is based on 8 x cut strips of fish at about 17cm in length and 4cm at the widest partNote: You can cut your strips in the sizes you prefer. Just be aware that smaller strips will need less time frying
- Prepare the crumbing area by spreading half the panko breadcrumbs onto a tray, or a large plateThe reason for only using half the crumbs at first is so that you can top up it up with fresh crumbs when you're halfway through the coating process
- Dip each piece of fish in the batter. When lifting out, let any excess batter drip back down into the bowl
- Place the first piece of fish onto the panko breadcrumbs. Use your clean hand to cover the top of the fish with crumbs before turning it around. This helps to prevent too much of the wet batter mixing in with the crumbs. Ensure the piece is generously covered with crumbsPlace the crumbed piece of fish on a clean plate and repeat the process with all the strips. Top up the breadcrumbs with the other half of fresh crumbs when you're halfway through the process, if you feel it's needed
- Add enough oil to the pot for a depth of at least 3-4cm. Heat the oil over a medium-high heat. Drop a few crumbs into the oil. If they immediately start to sizzle, the oil is ready
- Turn the oil down to a medium heat. Carefully, working away from you, drop a few pieces of fish into the oil. Ensure you leave enough room between each piece so they don't touch each other. You may need to do a few batches
- Using my 3-2-1 method and the timer on your phone, fry the fish for 3 minutes on one side. Turn them over with tongs and reset the clock for another 2 minutes. Turn the fish around again and start the clock for 1 more minute. The fish should now be perfectly golden brown and crispy. Remove them to a plate covered with absorbent paper. Repeat the process for the remaining fish Important: If your fish strips are much smaller than the size described further up the recipe, be aware that it might need less time in the oil. Visual clues for when the fish is ready is a deep golden colour and a hollow sound when tapped
How to make the garlic mayo dipping sauce
- To a bowl, add the mayo, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest and chopped chives. Stir to combine
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