Haddock in Panko. Unfashionable when it comes to the crunch.

Haddock in breadcrumbs (1 of 1)When I go out to buy the ingredients for our meals, I tend to not have a hard and fast list for the meats and fish. I like to see what looks good and choose the best available ingredients (subject to affordability and availability). When it comes to the fish, haddock tends to get overlooked. It is not a particularly fashionable fish. Fashion plays a role in all these things. 

For example, beef short ribs have been the belle of the ball for a time now, while lamb’s liver is almost universally ignored. On the wine end of things, matters are a lot worse. It is practically impossible to buy an oaked Chardonnay in Ireland. A few years ago, it was hard to buy anything else. This recipe for Haddock in Panko Breadcrumbs is extremely easy and delicious. It’s also a good thing that it goes reasonably well with a Sauvignon Blanc. Because, our national white wine choice seems to be reduced to the above or Pinot Grigio. Damn this food fashion.

To confound the fashionistas some more, I served this on a bed of pearl couscous. This is a delicious, if not often served ingredient.

Haddock in breadcrumbs (1 of 10)

The fish is so unfashionable, I almost left it completely out of the photo.


  • Two serving sized pieces of haddock (the unfashionable white fish)
  • A teaspoon of turmeric
  • Flour for dusting the fish
  • A bowl of panko breadcrumbs
  • An egg
  • A red onion
  • A handful of coriander
  • Four or five spring onions
  • A chilli
  • A packet of pearl couscous
  • Salt and pepper to season

Add water to the dried couscous. Then chop up the various ingredients.

Haddock in breadcrumbs (3 of 10)

Contrary to fashion, use a decent amount of the green stalks.

Slice the onions into rings and then slice them small. This is purely to facilitate a nice onion slicing photo.

Haddock in breadcrumbs (4 of 10)

Red onions are so tasty. Remember, we eat with our eyes too.

Leave the chilli slicing until last. That way, you avoid most of the danger of wiping your eyes (or worse).

Haddock in breadcrumbs (5 of 10)

Safety last. Leave the chilis until the end.

Add the chopped stuff to the couscous and season to taste. Haddock in breadcrumbs (7 of 10)Next, skin the fish. You could leave the skin on. But it’s best to get it off.

Haddock in breadcrumbs (2 of 10)

I have a sharp, flexible fish filleting knife. It makes this easy.

Beat the egg on a plate.

Haddock in breadcrumbs (6 of 10)

This photo is included only for the lovely yellow egg colour. Yellow is fashionable, I hear.

Put some flour on another plate, season and sprinkle all over with turmeric. Place the panko on another plate. Heat a frying pan and add some oil. Be generous with the oil. Roll the fish fillets in the turmeric flour. Dip in the egg. Roll in the panko. Dip again in the egg and roll again in the panko. Place in the frying pan. Turn the fish when the crumbs are nice and brown underneath.

Haddock in breadcrumbs (8 of 10)

The poor unfashionable haddock. Getting as crispy as you like.

Drain the cooked fish on a newspaper (another thing going out of fashion).

Haddock in breadcrumbs (9 of 10)

I love this photo. You can just make out the turmeric glowing through the breadcrumbs.

Serve the fish on a bed of the couscous. The soft couscous gives a fantastic contrast to the crispy, crunchy, coating on the delicious white fleshed fish.

Haddock in breadcrumbs (10 of 10)

The fish gets steamed inside the breadcrumb coating. Glorious fish.

To hell with fashion. When it comes to the enjoyment of fine food, you just have to give this one a go.

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  • That looks delicious – a perfect antidote to Christmas!
    You are right – I do wish these food pushers would stop getting us addicted to things that they refuse to sell once we become hooked 😉

    • Thanks MD,
      I like your logic.
      Happy New Year,

  • Alas, everything on your menu is out of bounds for me. Haddock: not available here, panko and couscous: too gluteny, sav blanc: not recommended with my painkillers. Grizzle… I shall have to content myself with admiring your elegant slicing shots!

    • Kate, this darkens an otherwise sunny day here in Ireland. I promise to post some more Kate friendly food next week.
      Happy New Year to you,

      • That would be greatly appreciated! I always look forward to your posts as a hugely enjoyable exercise in using my gustatory imagination! I can *imagine* your crispy haddock, even if I can’t actually eat it…

        • What a positive approach Kate. I love it!

  • Lovely – we like haddock too and Him Outdoors will always have it in preference to cod. Weirdly though, our hake usually gets exported to Spain, where they appreciate it more.

    • Hi Linda,
      Hake is such a truly fine fish. If one gets to eat it fresh, it is possibly the most delicious fish on the planet. So often, we get tired, crumbly examples sold here. Not much worse. In my experience, down in Kerry, it it often the fish of choice in cafe’s and restaurants, way ahead of cod. The Spanish know what they are doing. Most of our Langoustine go there too.
      Happy New Year to you and yours,

  • Haddock is oft overlooked by home cooks, but by virtue of its popularity in restaurants, remains one of the most popular fish in the free world. Your version looks outstanding. Happy 2016!

    • Great to see your Avatar there Adam J. How are things in Texas? This is a simple enough little ditty. Well worth doing if fresh white fish is available.
      Happy New Year to you and all in the “Great State of Texas”,

  • I don’t know what it is about panko bread crumbs but I’m a huge fan of pan fried panko crusted stuff. Great post.

    • Thanks Virginia,
      Panko adds a lovely additional crunch that other breadcrumbs just don’t have to give. The crust gives a fantastic counterpoint to the fresh fish. I think that must be it about the breadcrumbs. Whatever it is, they are delicious.
      Happy New Year to you and yours,

      • It’s definitely better than the regular bread crumbs. A better bite. Happy New Year to you as well!

  • Looks incredible delicious. I`ve never used Haddock, but it is available year around here in Maine. I should give it a try! Many thanks!

    • Do give it a whirl. The white fish will be popular enough in January as we all attempt to salve the guilt of Christmas excess. A good time to give this a try.
      Happy New Year to you,

      • Yes. I will try it, since it seems to be the only fish around here at the moment, next to salmon. A Happy New Year to you too!

  • Fashionable or not, haddock is delicious! Your pics are gorgeous. I can practically hear the crunch of those panko crusted fillets. Love the idea of serving them with pearl couscous, the combination of textures is perfect. Yum!!!

    • Thanks Jean,
      My favourite shot is the simplest of them – The one with the crusted fillets draining on newspaper. The contrasting textures are pretty special. Do try this one some evening.
      Happy New Year to you,

  • Breaded fish is always a winner and won’t go out of fashion. Not with people who enjoy real food, anyway. I like the addition of turmeric and the couscous salad. Wonderful photography as always — I particularly like the fork shot!

    • Thanks Stefan,
      That was very difficult to achieve. I had to pretend to be feeding the camera. I must have looked like a lunatic.
      Happy New Year to you and Kees,

  • This looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it. But I won’t, until Kim Kardashian tweets about it.

    • When she Instagrammed me I asked her to not do it. I would hate to break the Internet. Break it with a delicious Panko crunch, that is.
      Happy New Year to you,

  • OH my Lord, that crispy lead photo of the haddock on the fork has me drooling! Of course, I would most likely substitute the poor (unfashionable) haddock with either halibut or ling cod which is widely available here. Nice job!

    • Hi Kathryn,
      I deeply envy you your halibut. We get it occasionally and it costs more than it’s weight in Bitcoin.
      Happy New Year to you,

  • A great post, Conor. Looks easy (or achievable anyway) and very tasty.


    *From:* scloonan@hub04.mail.esat.net [mailto:scloonan@hub04.mail.esat.net] *On Behalf Of *One Mans Meat *Sent:* 29 December 2015 10:02 *To:* scloonan@iol.ie *Subject:* [New post] Haddock in Panko. Unfashionable when it comes to the crunch.

    Conor Bofin posted: “When I go out to buy the ingredients for our meals, I tend to not have a hard and fast list for the meats and fish. I like to see what looks good and choose the best available ingredients (subject to affordability and availability). When it comes to the f”

    • Thanks Stephen,
      If you have the Panko, it’s a very achievable recipe. I have plenty and am happy to drop some in your letterbox.

  • I was recommended to Panko by a good friend some time ago but found that it was not available in our corner of the Vendée. A while later he sent me a packet and I did a similar thing to you…with haddock as well! Although I enjoyed it, I couldn’t get past the feeling that I had coated the fish in crushed corn flakes! Good as Panko is, I shall use fresh breadcrumbs….bread we have:)…….Happy New Year, Conor.

    • Roger, you are as crusty as a day-old baguette. Over there, the breadcrumbs do get to a pretty crunchy state in very little time. Given the additives we have shoved into our bread here, the old bread is best used to make yoghurt rather than coating anything you intend to eat.
      The thought of crushed Cron Flakes makes me feel ill.
      Happy New Year to you,

  • I’ve just had this for tea. Thank you for my introduction to panko. I like haddock. My favourite of that tribe is pollack which I hardly ever find. At least outside my original home in the south-west of England. Is it rare or just unfashionable? I think the addition of turmeric to your recipe is particularly inspired.

    • Hi Martin, The humble pollack is still very much out of favour in these parts too. It’s one of those fish that, if eaten fresh, is really delicious. I suspect the name may have something to do with the unpopularity too. There are plenty of them (inshore) off the Irish coast. The turmeric adds a nice layer of flavour.
      Thanks for visiting and for the informed comment.

  • Sticking it to the man there Conor – I love your work!
    All the very best for the new year my friend 👌😜

    • Sadly, ‘The Man’ doesn’t seem to care. I’ll keep at it.
      Happy New Year and another year of success to you,

  • If we didn’t have the fashions, what would writers write about at the end of every year? I love how the “hot trends for the coming year” column is often side by side with the “things we’re sick of” piece which often includes the very same things they were touting the prior year. Your fish looks delicious, and I like Israeli couscous, too. Happy 2016!

    • Hi Michelle,
      Speaking of fashion…. I have seen the Israeli couscous also referred to as Pearl or Algerian. I was in a restaurant recently where they referred to it as “Middle Eastern Couscous”. This got me thinking and looking it up online. I am now Ireland’s leading authority of this lovely bit of easy to prepare carb.
      Happy New Year to you and yours,

  • Now this is how to cook a good piece of fish and, of course, you’d be the one to show us the way, Conor. I know it looks great, am sure that it tastes even better, and bet that the crunch is about as perfect as can be. I hope 2016 brings you many such dishes, Conor.

    • Thanks John,
      I appreciate the kind words. It was a pretty crunchy piece of fish, for sure.
      Happy 2016 to you and yours.

  • That looks delicious.. I especially love the oh-so-fashionable composition of the ‘battered fish on newspaper’ photo!

    • You mean the “I’m too tight a person to waste hard earned cash on kitchen roll so I used newspaper” photo?

      • Nope, not at all – I thought it was a very clever throwback to fish and chips in newspaper cones… So maybe go with that logic instead? ;D

        • Yes, let’s. In truth, the newspaper has reasonable soakage. But it does look great. That shot is my favourite in the post.

          • Mine too; that golden crispy panko coating is almost tangible.

          • I have a chicken Kiev post written and ready to go. I shuffled the dates so it didn’t look like I had gone completely pinko crazy (which I have).

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