An epicurean adventure to: France
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 or flavoured rice.
To make homemade goujons, simply coat strips of fish fillets in batter and cover them with panko breadcrumbs. Follow our easy 3-2-1 frying method for guaranteed golden, crunchy fish strips that will give your local chippy a run for their money!
Where do fish goujons originate from?
Fish goujons have their origins in France, where delicate strips of fresh sole would be coated in butter or egg yolk and then generously coated with seasoned breadcrumbs. These delightful morsels are then fried to perfection in oil.
To add a French touch to your goujons, serve them alongside Dijon mustard and cornichons, those delightful small French gherkins.
Fancy a refreshing non-alcoholic 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.
Fast facts - France
|Location||France is located in Western Europe and is bordered by several countries, including Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, and Andorra. It also has coastlines along the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, and the English Channel.|
|Language||The official language of France is French.|
|Population||Circa 67 million people.|
|Trivia||The Eiffel Tower, one of the most iconic landmarks in the world, was originally intended to be a temporary structure for the 1889 Exposition Universelle (World's Fair) held in Paris. However, it was so beloved by the public that it was allowed to remain standing and has since become a symbol of France.|
What's to love about this goujon recipe
- Less than 30 minutes to get them on your plate.
- Easy to make when you follow our step-by-step guide.
- Work equally well as party appetisers or as a main meal.
- Can be served with various dipping sauces and side dishes.
- 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 our 3-2-1 frying method for guaranteed crispiness.
Key ingredients and substitutions
**Please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full list of ingredients.
Feel free to choose your favourite white fish for this recipe. We've found that cod or hake delivers that classic fish and chip shop flavour we all know and love.
We 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 different-sized fish fillets to the above, you can slice them 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:
Adding soda water to the batter gives it a light and airy texture, which makes a noticeable difference. While Indian tonic water can be a good substitute, we must admit that soda water is the best choice.
These irresistibly crispy breadcrumbs are a kitchen essential! We strongly suggest using panko instead of regular breadcrumbs. They are lighter and give a much crispier coating.
Panko can typically be found in the Asian food section of most supermarkets.
Use an oil with a high smoking point, like sunflower oil, vegetable oil, maize oil or canola oil. Olive oil will not be suitable for deep frying.
How to successfully make fish goujons - Quick summary
Make the batter by whisking together the plain flour, soda water, salt and black pepper. Whisk until you have a smooth, lump-free batter. You can use a shallow bowl for this to make dipping the fish in it easier.
Note: The amount of salt in this recipe might seem excessive, 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.
Use a small sharp knife to cut the fish into strips. For standard-sized cod or hake fillets, slicing them lengthways along the middle line will give you nicely-sized goujons.
Note: Try to make the strips roughly around 17cm long and 4cm wide at the broadest end. However, feel free to adjust the sizes to your liking. Keep in mind that smaller strips will cook faster, while larger ones will take longer in the oil.
Spread half the panko crumbs onto a plate or shallow dish. You can top it up with the remaining fresh crumbs when you're halfway through the coating process if you feel it's needed.
Note: The reason we suggest adding only half of the breadcrumbs at first is that they can become moist from the wet flour mixture, making it difficult to achieve a crispy coating. So, save the precious bone-dry breadcrumbs and add them as needed.
Dip the strips of fish fillet into the batter and let the excess drip down first before placing it onto the crumbs.
Using your clean hand, sprinkle the breadcrumbs on the top side of the fish before flipping it over. This prevents the wet batter from mixing with the crumbs too much, ensuring a better coating and preventing sogginess.
Note: Top up the crumbs in the tray with the other half of fresh crumbs when you're about halfway through coating the fish strips if you feel it's necessary.
Over medium-high heat, heat about 3-4cm of oil in a deep saucepan. The oil should be deep enough to ensure the fish is almost fully submerged.
To test the oil, drop a few crumbs into it. If the crumbs sizzle and start cooking immediately, it means the oil is hot enough and ready for use. Turn the heat down to medium.
Carefully place the fish strips into the hot oil in a single layer, making sure to drop them away from you to avoid any oil splashes.
Make sure not to put too many fish fillets in the pot at once. Leave enough space between each piece for them to cook evenly.
Use the 3-2-1 method below and the timer on your phone.
The 3-2-1 method:
1. Fry the fish for three minutes and turn them around in the oil.
2. Fry for two minutes and turn them around again.
3. Fry for one minute more.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the golden brown goujons to a plate lined with an absorbent paper towel to remove excess oil. Repeat the process with 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 if stored in an airtight container.
The best option for reheating would be the oven. Place them on a non-stick baking tray and heat them in a preheated oven at 190C/374F for about 10-15 minutes, or until heated through.
What to serve with homemade 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, tartare sauce, sweet chilli sauce, Dijon mustard or honey mustard.
- Lemon wedges.
- Make a goujon fish wrap. Add a sauce, some lettuce and chopped gherkins.
- Cornichons (small French gherkins).
- Egg and chips.
- Potato wedges.
- Sweet potato wedges.
- Mushy peas.
- Flavoured rice, like this copycat Nando's spicy rice.
- Crusty bread or Danish bread rolls.
- As a side to a cold pasta salad.
Tips and tricks
Setting up your work station
Set up your workstation so you can easily move through the steps, like a conveyor belt. From left to right, you will need:
- The fish fillets.
- The bowl with batter to dip the fish into.
- The plate with panko breadcrumbs.
- The stove with your saucepan of hot oil.
- On the other side of the stove, a plate with absorbent kitchen paper to place the fried fish on after cooking.
The best pot/saucepan to use
A heavy-based cast iron pot is ideal for deep frying as it provides excellent heat regulation, ensuring consistent frying temperature throughout the cooking process.
Choose a big and deep pot for frying to prevent oil splatters and accommodate frying several goujons at once. The larger the pot, the better!
Get rid of any excess moisture
Before slicing the fish into strips, pat it dry with kitchen paper to remove excess moisture. This helps the batter adhere better to the fish.
Cook over a medium heat
Use medium heat to fry the fish. High heat can cause the outside to cook too quickly while the inside remains undercooked. Adjust the heat as necessary.
Check the fish before turning
Make sure the fish feels firm and not too bendy before flipping it for the first time. If it still seems fragile and like it might break, let it cook a bit longer before turning.
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 in the UK market. The traditional fish to use in France is sole, an excellent choice too.
Yes, you can! Add some spice to crumbs, like cayenne pepper, chilli flakes or chilli powder, 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
- 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 - enough to fill the saucepan 3-4cm deep
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: The amount of salt in this recipe might seem excessive, 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.
- Cut the fish fillets in half lengthways. This recipe is based on 8 x strips of fish of about 17cm in length and 4cm at the widest part.Note: 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 plate.Note: The reason we suggest adding only half of the breadcrumbs at first is because they can become moist from the wet flour mixture, making it difficult to achieve a crispy coating. So, save the precious bone-dry breadcrumbs and add them as needed.
- Dip the strips of fish fillet into the batter and let the excess drip down first before placing it onto the crumbs.
- Using your clean hand, sprinkle the breadcrumbs on the top side of the fish before flipping it over. This prevents the wet batter from mixing with the crumbs too much, ensuring a better coating and preventing sogginess.Ensure the piece is generously covered with crumbs.
- Place 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.
- Over a medium-high heat, heat about 3-4cm of oil in a deep saucepan. The oil should be deep enough to ensure the fish is almost fully submerged.
- To test the oil, drop a few crumbs into it. If the crumbs sizzle and start cooking immediately, it means the oil is hot enough and ready for use. Turn the heat down to medium.
- Carefully place the fish strips into the hot oil in a single layer, making sure to drop them away from you to avoid any oil splashes.Note: Make sure not to put too many fish fillets in the pot at once. Leave enough space between each piece for them to cook evenly.You may need to do a few batches
- Using our 3-2-1 method below and the timer on your phone:1. Fry the fish for 3 minutes on one side. 2. Flip them over using tongs and reset the clock for another 2 minutes. 3. Turn the fish around again and start the clock for 1 more minute. 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
- Remove them to a plate covered with absorbent paper. Repeat the process for the remaining fish. Serve hot.
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.
**Nutritional data disclaimer**
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information provided below is calculated by a third party and we cannot guarantee the accuracy. We try our best to give you the most accurate information, but we do not take responsibility for errors that may be present. Also, the nutritional value of the recipe may change depending on the exact brands and products used. We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare professional or registered dietitian for personalised advice on your dietary needs.