Lightly Fried Fish Fillets

I’m gonna level with you: while these are indeed lightly fried fish fillets, I could definitely have named them something else. I could’ve gone with something a little more informative, like “Herbed Panko-Crusted Basa”, which is what this is; I could even have gone one step further and somehow intimated to you that I’m serving this with oven-baked carrot fries & potatoes. That, I should think, would have been more helpful.

However, I am not helpful. At least 50% of my waking life is just me thinking about memes and trying not to laugh (which makes yoga awkward), so this is what immediately sprang to mind:

lightly fried fish fillets

This is just such a dad conversation – it fills me with unparalleled joy. This wasn’t from my dad, which you can tell because there isn’t one single emoji there, and also because I’m 26 and I haven’t lived with my dad for roughly 18 years.

Pops, I love you, but please don’t ever steal into my home at 1:15am to lightly fry fish fillets in my kitchen. There are better ways for us to hang out.

Anyway, other than my deep and unhealthy love of memes, I also love supermarket bargains. I’ve done basa recipes* on here before, and I can’t recommend it enough if you’re looking for something a little cheaper than cod, but just as substantial. In this instance I bought it smoked, because I adore smoked fish, but that’s just a personal preference; you do you, buddy. I grabbed these fillets at Morrison’s in the AM before work, since I can’t resist a good yellow sticker.

(The panko breadcrumbs were also a yellow sticker bargain from a previous Morrison’s trip. I am powerless to resist the call.)

On Friday I woke up with a headache that lasted several hours and saw me wearing sunglasses indoors, so I wanted a treat without completely drowning myself in oil. So… lightly fried fish fillets.

Say lightly fried fish fillets one more time.

Mismatched, messy plates – because sometimes you just stop caring.

Herbed Panko-Crusted Basa (Pescatarian)

Served with oven-baked carrot & potatoes (and peas – but I trust you to be able to figure those out for yourselves)

Serves 2 (5sp per fillet/10sp with fries)
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes


Frying pan (large enough to accommodate your fish); baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper; large plastic food bag, or medium mixing bowl; shallow bowl; 2 small plates; a fish slice; cutting and stirring stuff come on guys we’ve been over this.


  • 2 fillets smoked basa
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 egg
  • 40g panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 bunch fresh chives (2-3 tbsp chopped)
  • 250g potato
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt & pepper
  • Cooking spray


  1. Get your oven on at 200 and get your fries started. Give your potato and carrots a good scrub then dry them – no need to peel your veg, that’s not how we roll in this house. Fibre is important! Top and tail your carrots, then slice into thin-ish fries; halve them lengthways, then cut each half into 3-4 strips. Cut your potato into similarly-sized fries or chunks (I used new potatoes, so chunks were easier). Put them in the food bag or mixing bowl with the oil, paprika, garlic powder, and a generous amount of salt and pepper – if using the bag, tie it up then massage everything around until coated (this is my favourite way of doing it, it’s very therapeutic). Otherwise just mix in a bowl with your hands/a spoon. Get the “fries” onto your lined baking sheet in a single layer, then pop them into the middle of your oven. Leave them to bake for around 30 minutes – we’ll come back around 20 minutes in to do our fish.
  2. Toddle off for a beverage, a game of cards, or any other tomfoolery that takes 20 minutes or less. Remove mind from gutter, then proceed to step three.
  3. Give your fries a shake and put them back in the oven. Put your pan on a medium-high heat and spray liberally with cooking spray. Now to lightly fry those fish fillets! Crack your egg into a shallow bowl and whisk thoroughly. Put your flour and panko on the two small plates, then finely chop your chives and mix them in with the panko. Dust each of your fillets with a little of the flour, then drench in the egg, then coat in the breadcrumbs. Once your pan is hot, add the fillets and cook for 4-5 minutes either side, carefully flipping once the first side is golden brown (Some of your crumbs may come off, but honestly I have other concerns in my life right now**). Serve alongside the fries with a vegetable of choice (our freezer is always home to peas, even though I have historically despised them with an unnecessary fervour).

Is it pretty? No. Is it tasty? I mean, I thought it was, yes. Primarily, however, this was naught but an excuse to meme at you. Let this be a lesson to you all: friends come and go, but memes are forever.


*Roasted chickpea & basa curry, and smoky fish & lentil winter stew. Both excellent choices in these chilly climes!

**My cat is so cute but he’s 10 years old and he just doesn’t get the litter tray AT ALL. Also redecorating and furnishing your house before Christmas is expensive. Who knew?!

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