Breaded and fried fish is undeniably delicious when done right, but we wanted a more nutritious path to moist, delicate fish with a crunchy coating, not to mention avoiding the hassle of deep frying. Baking instead of frying was an obvious starting point, but we also wanted to rework the coating. We replaced half the bread crumbs with ground pistachios, which offered more nutrients as well as richness and fragrance. We skipped traditional bread crumbs, which are prone to sogginess, and opted for whole-wheat panko. Toasting the two components together with aromatics brought out their flavors and ensured the topping would remain extra crisp. To help the coating adhere to the fillets, we brushed the vitamin B–rich fish with a mixture of yogurt, egg yolk, and lemon zest before pressing on the crumbs. Because our crust was so flavorful, we only needed to coat the tops of the fillets, making them easy to bake without crumbs falling off the sides or getting soggy underneath. Baking the fillets on a wire rack set in a sheet pan ensured even cooking. You can substitute haddock or halibut for the cod. Any nut will work for the topping, but we particularly liked pistachios and hazelnuts.
- Yield: 4 Servings
- ½ cup shelled pistachios
- 2 tablespoons expeller-pressed canola oil
- 1 large shallot, minced
- Salt and pepper
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or ¼ teaspoon dried
- ½ cup 100 percent whole-wheat panko bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon organic plain low-fat yogurt
- 1 large organic egg yolk
- ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest, plus lemon wedges for serving
- 4 (4- to 6-ounce) skinless cod fillets, 1 to 1½ inches thick
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Set wire rack in rimmed baking sheet and spray with canola oil spray. Process pistachios in food processor until finely chopped, 20 to 30 seconds. Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add shallot and ¼ teaspoon salt and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Reduce heat to medium-low, add pistachios, panko, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until well browned and crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer nut mixture to shallow dish and let cool for 10 minutes. Stir in parsley.
- Whisk yogurt, egg yolk, and lemon zest together in bowl. Pat cod dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Brush tops of fillets evenly with yogurt mixture. Working with 1 fillet at a time, dredge coated side in nut mixture, pressing gently to adhere.
- Transfer cod, crumb side up, to prepared rack and bake until fish flakes apart when gently prodded with paring knife and registers 140 degrees, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Serve with lemon wedges.
Serving Size 1
Nutritional Value Per Serving
Calories from Fat:
% Daily Value*
* Above mentioned %DVs (Percent Daily Values) are based on 2,000 calorie food intake.
DVs (Daily values) may be vary depending upon individuals daily calorie needs. Above nutritional values are estimates and should only be used as a guide for approximation. They are not allfoodchef.com recommendations. Calculations are based on average weight of 194 lbs. and ages of 19 to 50 years.