crispy baked fish and sweet potato chips

Posted on Feb 28, 2012 in Food

You know those dive restaurants that are so incredible and well-known that they can pretty much do whatever they want and still stay in business? They usually have crazy inconvenient hours (10am-11:30am) and ridiculous policies (cash only) but even though they are totally not customer-friendly, the food makes it 100% worth the inconvenience of it all?

Well, in a nearby town growing up, there was a seafood joint and it was one of these places. Thanks to being über landlocked, finding good seafood in Indiana is always a struggle, but this place was on its game. Freshly flown in seafood daily means you can have all kinds of crazy demands as a restaurateur. Everyone looked past their shoddy dinning room and ridiculous hours because the food was so good.

It was also all completely deep-fried. And pretty much the picture of unhealthy.

I was thinking about this place the other day and decided I needed an ode to this restaurant of my childhood. I wasn’t about to drop my heart-healthy fish into a deep frier, but this oven-baked method gives a really great crunchy texture that, in my book, tops its deep-fried cousin.

Instead of pairing it with the standard french fried potatoes, I went with a new sweet potato fry method I discovered on Pinterest. Thanks to the Art of Doing Stuff, I will forever and always have an awesome sweet potato fry recipe in my repertoire. What would I do without Pinterest?

I used a really nice wild-caught cod fillet that I found in the seafood case at my local grocery store, but any firm fish would work for this method. My parents’ have a lake stocked with catfish. You better believe that I’ll be doing this to some fresh catfish fillets this summer. Salmon would also work fine, but, as always with salmon, the flavor will be pretty fishy and pronounced. The beauty of a mild fish is that the breading doesn’t get overpowered.

Crispy Baked Fish

by Cassie Johnston

Prep Time: 15

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Makes: 4 servings


  • Cooking spray
  • 1 pound white fish fillet, cut into 2″ strips (cod recommended)
  • 1/2 cup brown rice cereal, crushed
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional, adds a cheesy flavor)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour


Preheat oven to 475°. Place a wire rack on a baking sheet and spray rack liberally with cooking spray.

In a shallow dish, combine brown rice cereal, panko, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper. In a second shallow dish, whisk together egg white, egg, and milk. In a third shallow dish, add flour.

Bread fish strips by dredging in flour, then egg mixture and then pressing into the panko mixture, coating all sides. Place on rack and then repeat with remaining strips. Spray all fish with cooking spray.

Bake in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes or until breading is crunchy and fish is opaque and flaky.

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Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries

by Cassie Johnston

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Makes: 4 servings


  • Cooking spray
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into fries
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 475°. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. In a large zip-top bag, add cornstarch and sweet potatoes. Seal bag and toss to coat. Remove sweet potatoes from bag and shake off excess. Place on baking sheet.
  3. Drizzle olive oil over potatoes, using hands, toss to coat. Spread potatoes out in one even layer on sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until potatoes are tender and crispy.
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Do you have any dive restaurants you like to go to?

About 2 minutes away from my house is a hamburger joint that has been around since the 1930s. They have crazy weird hours, are cash only, and completely out-of-the-way of our touristy downtown, but the burgers are incredible and totally worth the hassle. If they’ve been around for over 80 years, they must be doing something right.


  1. There’s this awesome Italian restaurant (run by a portugues couple!) that’s not open on weekends when I always crave their food. It’s kind of a hole in the wall but if they can do well enough in the restaurant biz to not have to work on weekends then more power to them!
    This recipe looks delish by the way!!

    • MMM! Those are the best! I’ve never been to a good hole-in-the-wall Italian place. I should really find one!

  2. Ooh – this is a good take on fish and chips! I made a healthy version of fish and chips for my husband last St. Patrick’s day, but the breading pretty much fell right off the fish. I just might have to try your recipe out. And sweet potatoes, in any form, are always a hit with me!

    • The key is to make the “glue” with the egg and flour dipping. Then it makes sure the breading sticks. :)

  3. There is a old school diner around the corner from my apartment building that still has people lining up on weekend mornings for their food. Its just standard diner fare and its run by a Greek couple who treat everyone as their own child when they enter their restaurant. Their hours are pretty normal, they take debit but their only rules are “Be nice” and “No swearing.”

    • Awww, I love the sound of that place!

  4. You should find Cloverleaf in Btown. It’s a great diner on the West side.

  5. I’ve been looking for a healthier fish and chips recipe and this looks fantastic.

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