Crunchy Fried Tilapia

This is an easy recipe for crunchy fried tilapia that can help you put dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American
Keyword: best way to fry tilapia fillets, crunchy fried tilapia, fried breaded tilapia, fried tilapia fillet recipe
Servings: 6 servings


  • 2 Sealable freezer bags (gallon)
  • 1 Medium skillet


Spicy Buttermilk (substitute):

  • ½ Tbsp Hot Sauce (Frank's, Tabasco, or any kind works)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup milk (2% or whole works best)
  • 3 large tilapia fillets (cut in half)

Breading mix:

  • ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp Flax and chia seed blend
  • 1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp organic turmeric
  • oil (for frying; neutral oils like canola, peanut, etc.)


Buttermilk Soak:

  • In a glass measuring cup, add your lemon juice, hot sauce, and milk, until it all reaches the 1-cup mark. Stir well to combine and set aside for 5 minutes.
  • Pat your fish fillets dry and add them to your sealable freezer bag, where you'll then pour carefully the buttermilk substitute (after it's thickened a bit). Carefully seal the bag, removing as much air as possible, and massage the fish in the bag.

Breading Mix:

  • In another sealable freezer bag, add all of your breading ingredients (EXCEPT the oil) and seal. Shake to mix well and get ready to fry!


  • Pour about 1 - 2" of oil into your pan and preheat to medium-high heat.
  • Remove fish one piece at a time from the buttermilk to the breading mix, coating both sides generously.
  • Shake off excess and fry in the hot oil until golden brown, about 5 - 7 minutes on each side.
  • Remove the fried fillets to a cooling rack to allow them to drain, which greatly helps retain the crispiness of the fish. Serve and Enjoy!
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