Coconut Crusted Cod: Grownup Fish Sticks

Rick and I scored some awesome Pacific cod at the Farmer’s Market last week.  We got into a discussion of the fish sticks we used to eat as children.  They were considered a treat in both our homes.  As a young married woman and later a single mother, I relied on fish sticks to feed my family.  I cringe now at the “orange meal” of fish sticks, corn and mac ‘n cheese or fries.

Right then and there, I remembered a pin on my Recipes to Try Pinterest Board for coconut chicken and decided to try coconut crusted cod.  A grownup fish stick, so to speak.



coconut crusted cod - grownup fish sticks

Rick wasn’t very enthusiastic. If you’ve ever fried fish indoors you’ll understand why.  As a compromise, I agreed to try frying them on the grill.  It worked out pretty well, but we were running low on gas so I don’t think the oil got as hot as it could have.

frying coconut crusted cod on the grill

I used gluten free ingredients, but there’s no reason you couldn’t use regular flour and include bread crumbs if you prefer.


  • 1 pound cod or other firm fleshed white fish, cut into portions a little larger than thumb sized
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (optional)
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • oil for frying

breading station for coconut crusted cod


  1. Set up a breading station.  Coconut milk, rice flour, beaten egg, coconut. (In retrospect I could have beaten the coconut milk with the eggs or omitted it altogether)
  2. Season the rice flour with salt and pepper.
  3. Dip each fish portion in coconut milk, then rice flour, then beaten egg.  Finally roll in coconut and set aside.
  4. Prepare your pan for frying by adding enough oil to come about halfway up the sides of the fish. (If using the grill, make sure your skillet can take the heat.  I’m using a paella pan in the photo.  Cast iron would be a great choice, too).
  5. When the oil is hot, add the fish sticks, taking care not to crowd the pan.  Work in batches if needed.
  6. Cook for a couple minutes on each side.  You can tell when to turn the pieces as the coconut will turn a nice brown and you’ll see the fish turning opaque as the flesh cooks.

I served mine with a peach salsa (diced peaches, jalapeno, cilantro and lime juice) but my son used siracha on his pieces.

Next time I make these, I’m going to try baking them.  If I recall from the store bought fish stick days, it should be 450° for 15 – 20 minutes.

Do you like fish?  What are your favorite kinds?


  1. says

    Lydia, the coconut crusted cod sounds wonderful. I make a potato encrusted cod but adding coconut would give it a great sweet crunchiness! And what a great idea to cook them on the grill and leave the fish smell out of the house. Definitely going to try this! Thank you for sharing on the BBQ Block Party.

    • LydiaF says

      I’m glad I found the BBQ Block Party. Now that you’ve suggested it, I’m hungry for potato encrusted cod :)

  2. says

    I love the title, Grown up Fish Sticks, that’s funny. When I cook my coconut breaded fish, one I use Mahi Mahi because that’s our local fish, I use plain flour, I am going to try the rice flour it sounds like it might bring lightness to the recipe. Thank you for sharing it on our BBQ Block Party.

    • LydiaF says

      I’ve never cooked mahi mahi, although I’ve eaten it. I’ll have to give it a try. I enjoyed the BBQ Block Party and checking out all the different blogs. Thanks for hosting!

  3. says

    Hopped over here from the Random Recipe Roundup. This is a great idea. I am always looking for new ways to prepare fish, and cod is one of our favorites! Luckily my husband really likes fish. The kids, well, not so much, but the more I serve it, the more they seem to be warming up to it! Pinning this!
    Kristin @ Dizzy Busy and Hungry! recently posted…Mozzarella PortabellasMy Profile

    • LydiaF says

      Fingers crossed that your kids will like this :) Thanks for dropping by and pinning. Have a great week!

  4. says

    Love this! When I fry seafood I use an electric frying pan outside (I roll my grill near an outlet and use it as a work station) but I’m anxious to try these baked in the oven. These scream to me summer with some ritas.

    <3 u!

    • LydiaF says

      What a great idea! I finally got rid of the electric pan I had (it was at least 20 years old) but that would be so much easier than dealing with the grill.

      Let me know how you like them baked (with some ritas)…

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