Today we’re changing the classic chicken nuggets for a 15 Minute Fish Nuggets recipe or, as I like to say, how to prepare fish at home that everyone loves! These monkfish nuggets have a very flavourful but simple crust, they are fried until crispy and served with your favourite sauce. My preference? Homemade tomato sauce. These make an easy kid-friendly dinner, as well as a fabulous appetiser that is sure to be loved by all.
Today’s blog post is going to be shorter than usual because this 15 Minute Fish Nuggets recipe couldn’t be simpler, although as always it’s delicious. If you follow me on Instagram, you probably have seen it on stories a few times. A couple of weeks ago I shared it again and a lot of people asked for it (from a survey to confirm if you really wanted the recipe, out of 300 people who participated, only 3 voted no, and I couldn’t really believe it considering it was fish, so here I am today).
Since I returned from England, we make it quite often at home – over there I could rarely find monkfish – cause it’s so simple, crispy and my partner loves it without being a fish lover! The fact that monkfish is very meaty plus the breadcrumbs crust which acts as a protective layer during frying make these nuggets super juicy. This means that it’s not necessary to mix the fish meat with anything extra (neither bread, nor milk, nor…), as chicken nuggets might instead require. Moreover, besides the fact that monkfish doesn’t have a strong fish flavour per se, as the crust involves some spices, the fish flavour is even more disguised, which makes it perfect to introduce fish to kids.
Some Notes on These Fish Nuggets Ingredientes
Flour and Breadcrumbs
You’ll see that in this monkfish nuggets recipe I use a mixture of flour and breadcrumbs. This is because I find that the flour adheres better to the egg, creating the protective coating I was talking about earlier, while the breadcrumbs are what provide that special crunch. If only using flour, you’d get a thin golden layer after frying, but it wouldn’t be really crispy. On the other hand, if only using breadcrumbs, there’re always some speckles on the fish without the crust.
The flour that I recommend using today is a special one for frying (in Spain it can be found in all the big supermarkets). If you can’t find it or don’t have it on hand, plain flour will also work. The special one for frying simply helps with getting an extra crispy result.
Today I am suggesting a seasoning mixture that I often use at home for both chicken and fish breaded recipes. The flavours in it are very typically Spanish: garlic, onion, parsley and paprika. As I always say, if you don’t have any of these spices or herbs at home, you can omit them, or you can substitute them with others that you like better. A classic option as well is to simply use black pepper.
As we have already seen, I have used monkfish, but you can use other white fish varieties that are meaty and can be cut thickly. A couple of examples would be hake and cod. However, I think there’s nothing like the meatiness of monkfish.
The Key to Get Super Crispy Fish Nuggets in 15 Minutes
The key is simply the temperature of the oil. It has to be at about 180ºC, but if you don’t have a thermometer, what you can do is heat the oil and test it by adding just one nugget for starters. If you see the oil bubbling, then continue adding the rest. If the oil does not bubble when you add the first nugget, then heat it a little more. It’s very important though not to go over that temperature since we don’t want to reach the oil smoke point. This would make the oil lose its properties and it would no longer be healthy.
Can I Cook These Fish Nuggets in The Oven or Air Fryer?
You can, in fact, I very often cook breaded recipes in the oven. But with this particular recipe, I am going with frying for 2 main reasons: it’s not as if we fry that often at home, so once in a while doesn’t hurt. And secondly, frying really makes this recipe sooooo quick (if baking them, just the preheating time makes it already longer).
If you prefer to bake the fish, place the nuggets on a tray with a bit of space between them, drizzle a little olive oil over each piece and bake them at 220ºC no fan (or 200ºC with fan) for about 10-15 minutes. The nuggets should be golden and the monkfish cooked.
To this day, as you know, I don’t have an air fryer, so I personally haven’t been able to test this option. My friends who own one have told me that in the instructions that come with it there’s a table of equivalences regarding oven temperatures, so you can use these as a reference. The process explained above for baking these fish nuggets would also apply if wanting to make them in the air fryer.
More Fish Recipes for The Whole Family
If you make this 15 Minute Fish Nuggets recipe, be sure to leave a comment and rate it. Hearing from you is everything! Oh, and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram, I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking!
15 Minute Fish Nuggets
- 550 g monkfish - cut into nugget-sized pieces (ask the fishmonger to remove the skin and bone. You can freeze the bone to make broth).
- 65 g breadcrumbs
- 15 g flour - preferably special flour for frying, otherwise plain or all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 egg
- Oil - sunflower, avocado, virgin or refined olive oil (EVOO has a smoke point of about 160ºC, so it is not suitable for frying)
- Tomato sauce - optional, for serving
- Season the monkfish with salt and set aside.
- In a bowl mix the breadcrumbs, flour and spices (garlic powder, onion powder, dried parsley and paprika) and set aside. In another bowl, beat the egg and set aside.
- Add the monkfish pieces to the bowl with the beaten egg and stir well so that it gets well coated on all sides. In parallel, in a shallow frying pan, deep fryer or saucepan, put enough oil so that the fish will be covered by it and heat it over medium heat until it reaches 180ºC (see notes).
- Take a piece of monkfish and coat it with the mixture of breadcrumbs and flour, pressing lightly so that it adheres well. Repeat with the rest.
- Fry the nuggets in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan at any time, they need about 3-5 minutes. If the oil doesn’t cover them completely, flip them and cook them until they’re golden brown and crisp on both sides. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and place on a plate with paper towels.
- Serve immediately with tomato sauce as a dip if desired. Enjoy!
- If you don’t have a thermometer, what you can do is heat the oil and test it by adding just one nugget for starters. If you see the oil bubbling, then continue adding the rest. If the oil does not bubble when you add the first nugget, then heat it a little more. It’s very important though not to go over that temperature since we don’t want to reach the oil smoke point. This would make the oil lose its properties and it would no longer be healthy.
- If you prefer to bake the fish, place the nuggets on a tray with a bit of space between them, drizzle a little olive oil over each piece and bake them at 220ºC no fan (or 200ºC with fan) for about 10-15 minutes. The nuggets should be golden and the monkfish cooked. It could also be cooked in an air fryer.
Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and tag @paulasapron on Instagram and hashtag it #paulasapron.