When it comes to a fish fry, the star of the show is obviously the fish. But what about the sides? While they may play more of a supporting role, choosing the right side dishes can really elevate your meal and make for a truly delicious feast.
Luckily, there are plenty of options when it comes to pairing sides with your fish fry. Some classic choices include coleslaw, hush puppies, and french fries. These all provide a nice contrast in texture to the crispy fried fish, while also offering a balance of flavors that complement the mild taste of the seafood.
“Good food is always best shared with good friends.” -Unknown
If you’re looking for something a little different, consider adding some vegetables to your plate. Roasted or grilled veggies like asparagus, zucchini, or carrots can add a pop of color and freshness to your meal. Or, if you’re feeling indulgent, why not try some mac and cheese or cornbread alongside your fish?
In this article, we’ll explore some of the best sides to serve up at your next fish fry. From traditional favorites to new and innovative ideas, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your cravings and impress your guests.
Coleslaw is a classic side dish that pairs perfectly with a variety of main courses. It’s especially popular to have alongside seafood dishes like fish fry! Here, we’ll discuss some of the reasons why coleslaw is such an ideal pairing for fried fish.
One of the major benefits of serving coleslaw as a side dish is that it requires minimal ingredients and preparation time – perfect for when you’re trying to whip up a quick meal. Traditional coleslaw usually consists of shredded cabbage, carrots, onion, and mayonnaise-based dressing. To add some flavor or texture variation, you can also include other veggies like bell peppers, broccoli stems, or celery. All in all, combining these few ingredients results in a refreshing and satisfying side that will complement any fried fish perfectly!
If you’re cooking at home, chances are you don’t want your sides to be too complicated or time-consuming.. Luckily, coleslaw is incredibly simple to make! Just mix together the chopped vegetables and dressing until everything is evenly coated. There are plenty of variations on traditional coleslaw recipes depending on what flavors you prefer. For example, if you like a bit more tanginess, try adding vinegar or lemon juice to the dressing. Or for something sweeter, add some honey or sugar. In just a matter of minutes, you’ll have a delicious side to go along with any fish dish!
Coleslaw is a classic side dish that has stood the test of time. Its combination of creamy dressing, crunchy vegetables, and slightly sweet and tangy taste is often what people think of when they picture a quintessential summer BBQ spread. While there are certainly many ways to mix up the traditional recipe, there’s something to be said for sticking with those classic flavors that we all know and love. After all, if it ain’t broke, why fix it?
“Coleslaw is a great summer side since it can be made in advance and pairs well with so many different dishes.” -Sally Swift
Coleslaw is a perfect side dish for any fish fry meal. Its simple preparation, classic flavors, and crunchy texture make it an excellent complement to fried seafood.
Creamy Mac and Cheese
Macaroni and cheese is a classic comfort food that goes well with many dishes, including fish fry. Creamy mac and cheese is not only delicious but also very easy and quick to make. You can prepare it from scratch or use boxed mac and cheese.
Smooth Cheese Sauce
To make creamy mac and cheese at home, start by boiling the pasta for about 8-10 minutes until al dente. Drain the pasta and add it back to the pot. Meanwhile, in another saucepan, melt some butter and whisk together flour to form a roux. Slowly pour in milk while whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Add shredded cheddar cheese and stir until melted. Pour the cheese sauce over the cooked pasta and mix well. Season with salt, pepper, and other desired spices like paprika, nutmeg, or cayenne if you like some heat. To make it extra indulgent, add heavy cream instead of milk or top it off with breadcrumbs before baking.
If you prefer baked mac and cheese, transfer the mixture to an ovenproof dish and sprinkle bread crumbs and more cheese on top. Bake for 15-20 minutes in the preheated oven at 350°F until golden brown and bubbly. Let it cool for a few minutes before serving hot alongside your favorite fish fry. This combination is sure to please both kids and adults alike.
- Tip: You can experiment with different types of cheeses such as gouda, mozzarella, or Parmesan for a unique twist.
- Vegan option: If you’re looking for a dairy-free version, simply substitute cheese with nutritional yeast flakes, plant-based milk, and vegan butter or oil.
- Leftovers: Creamy mac and cheese can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Reheat it in the microwave or oven until hot.
“Macaroni and cheese is very good when you’re feeling bad.” -Orson Welles
Creamy mac and cheese is a versatile, comforting side dish that pairs well with fish fry. The smooth cheese sauce and crunchy baked topping add texture to this classic recipe. You can make it simple or fancy, depending on your preference and ingredients available. Don’t forget to try some of these variations next time you host a fish fry party or crave something cheesy and satisfying.
Crispy French Fries
When it comes to sides for a delicious fish fry, crispy french fries are always a top pick. Not only do they offer a different texture to the fried fish, but they also help to balance out the meal with some starchy goodness. But what makes the perfect batch of french fries? Let’s explore:
The key to any good french fry is proper seasoning. While many people may think that salt is simply sprinkled on at the end, true perfection lies in soaking the potatoes in a saltwater solution before frying them up. This helps ensure that every bite is evenly seasoned and adds just the right amount of flavor without being overwhelming.
“The ideal french fry should be crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, with the perfect level of seasoning to complement the main dish” -Chef Gordon Ramsay
No one wants limp or soggy french fries, so achieving that coveted golden brown color is crucial. To get there, start by choosing the right type of potato (such as russet) and slicing it into even pieces. Then, blanch the fries in hot oil until they’re slightly softened before finishing them off in hotter oil to crisp up.
“The secret to making great french fries is almost like making bread – you have to let the mashed potatoes chill overnight.” -Alton Brown
While the outer layer of the fry is important, texture throughout is equally vital. That means perfectly cooked and fluffy on the inside while being crispy on the outside. Cornstarch can often be used to give the edge an extra crunch if desired.
Great for Sharing
Another bonus of serving french fries with your fish fry is the shareability factor. Offer them up in a basket for everyone to dig into between bites of crispy fish or wrap them up in paper cones for a fun presentation that’s perfect for outdoor parties and gatherings.
So, whether you prefer shoestring or steak fries, remember these tips to make sure your next batch of crispy french fries is nothing short of perfection.
Tangy Tartar Sauce
When it comes to seafood dishes, one side that can never go wrong is tartar sauce. This tangy sauce adds a burst of flavor to any type of fish with its creamy texture and zesty taste.
The secret to making the perfect tartar sauce lies in striking the right balance between the ingredients. Typically made with mayonnaise, chopped pickles, onions, mustard, lemon juice, and capers, each ingredient lends a unique flavor to the sauce. However, to make the sauce even zestier, you can add some fresh herbs like dill or parsley which will give it a bright and refreshing taste.
Enhances Seafood Dishes
Tartar sauce is so versatile that it complements all kinds of fish dishes from deep-fried battered fish to grilled salmon filets. Its tangy taste and creamy texture work wonders as a dipping sauce for fish fingers or as an accompaniment to a hearty fish stew. The acidity in the sauce cuts through the oiliness of fried fish and balances the flavors beautifully.
If you’re looking to experiment with flavors, have fun playing around with the quantities or types of ingredients you include in your tartar sauce. Some people enjoy adding horseradish to pack a big punch while others prefer swapping out traditional pickles for dill relish. You can also adjust the proportions of ingredients according to your preferences – more mustard if you want more spiciness, less pickle if you’re not a fan of the sourness.
Easy to Whip Up
Making tartar sauce at home is incredibly easy and takes just minutes to prepare. Apart from stirring together the ingredients, there’s very little you need to do. You can even customize the thickness of your tartar sauce by adding more or less mayonnaise, depending on what kind of consistency you prefer.
“A good tartar sauce complements seafood without overpowering it.” – Ina Garten
So next time you plan to make a fish fry at home, don’t forget the tangy tartar sauce! Its zesty flavor enhances any type of seafood dish and is sure to become a crowd-pleaser at your dining table.
What Sides Goes With A Fish Fry?
Refreshing Cucumber Salad
If you are looking for a healthy and refreshing side dish to go with your fish fry, try making a cucumber salad. It is an easy-to-prepare recipe that can be made ahead of time, allowing you more time to enjoy the company of your guests.
To make this salad, simply combine sliced cucumbers, red onion, and cherry tomatoes in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together apple cider vinegar, olive oil, sugar, salt, and pepper. Pour the dressing over the veggies, then toss everything together. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
“Cucumbers may not be everybody’s favorite vegetable, but they certainly have some nutritional benefits that should not be ignored.” -Dr. Axe
Healthy and Light
If you want to keep things light and healthy, steamed or roasted vegetables are always a good choice. They are rich in nutrition and complement the flavors in your fish without overpowering them.
A simple combination of broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and zucchini would work great as a side dish. Season your veggies with salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and a drizzle of olive oil before roasting them in the oven for about 20 minutes. Don’t forget to give them a gentle stir halfway through the cooking process.
“Eating vegetables provides health benefits – people who eat more vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases.” -CDC
If you like crunchy textures, coleslaw could be an excellent addition to your fish fry spread. The crispy cabbage combined with the tangy dressing makes for a great contrast to the soft texture of fish.
You can use either green or purple cabbage as the base, then add shredded carrots and sliced red onion. To make the dressing, whisk together mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, honey, celery seed, salt, and pepper. Pour the dressing over your veggies, then toss everything well. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.
“Coleslaw is one of those foods that people love, hate or can’t quite work out what it is.” -James Martin
A fruit salad with a mix of citrus and berries could be just the thing you need to brighten up your fish fry meal on a hot summer day. The combination of sweet and tangy flavors creates a refreshing sensation in your mouth.
To prepare the fruit salad, cut up oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries into bite-sized pieces. Add in some fresh mint leaves for extra flavor and aroma. Serve chilled.
“Fruit has tremendous health benefits – it’s packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and water. Eating fruits regularly helps boost well-being and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.” -Dr. Weil
If you don’t have much time to spend in the kitchen, baked beans from a can are a quick and tasty side dish option that pairs well with fish fries. They are packed with protein and fiber, making them an excellent choice for a balanced meal.
To prepare the baked beans, open a can of your favorite brand and pour the contents into an oven-safe dish. Add diced onions, BBQ sauce, brown sugar, and mustard to the beans. Stir to combine all ingredients well. Bake in the oven at 350°F for about 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.
“Beans are nutrient powerhouses – they are high in essential minerals like iron, calcium, and magnesium, as well as folate, vitamin B6, and fiber.” -Mayo Clinic
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some traditional sides served with a fish fry?
Some traditional sides served with a fish fry are coleslaw, hushpuppies, french fries, and baked beans. Other popular options include macaroni and cheese, cornbread, potato salad, and collard greens. These sides are often served alongside the fried fish to balance out the flavors and textures of the meal. Additionally, some people also like to add a side of tartar sauce or lemon wedges to their plates to enhance the taste of the fish.
How can I create a healthy and balanced meal with sides for a fish fry?
To create a healthy and balanced meal with sides for a fish fry, try incorporating some fresh vegetables into your meal. Roasted or grilled vegetables such as asparagus, zucchini, or bell peppers can add a burst of flavor to your meal without adding too many calories. You could also opt for a side of quinoa or brown rice to add some fiber and protein to your meal. Additionally, consider using whole wheat flour in your hushpuppies or cornbread to make them a bit healthier.
What vegetarian or vegan side dishes pair well with a fish fry?
For vegetarian or vegan side dishes that pair well with a fish fry, consider serving a side of roasted or grilled vegetables such as eggplant, zucchini, or bell peppers. You could also serve a side of black beans or lentils for some added protein. Another option is to make a salad with fresh greens, tomatoes, and cucumbers, and dress it with a vinaigrette. Additionally, you could make a side of roasted sweet potatoes or corn on the cob for a delicious and filling meal.
What are some unique and unconventional side dishes to serve with a fish fry?
If you’re looking for some unique and unconventional side dishes to serve with a fish fry, consider making a side of plantain chips or fried okra. You could also make a side of grits or polenta to add some texture to your meal. Another option is to serve a side of grilled pineapple or mango for a sweet and tangy contrast to the fried fish. Additionally, you could make a side of garlic bread or cheesy biscuits for a delicious and indulgent treat.
What desserts complement a fish fry meal?
For desserts that complement a fish fry meal, consider serving something light and refreshing such as a fruit salad or sorbet. You could also make a classic southern dessert like peach cobbler or banana pudding for a sweet and satisfying end to your meal. Another option is to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies or brownies for a classic and comforting dessert. Whatever you choose, be sure to keep it light and refreshing to balance out the heaviness of the fried fish.