What To Serve With Fried Fish (25 Best Side Dishes)

There is nothing quite like fried fish – and if you don’t know exactly what to serve with fried fish, this article is for you. Even though it is a staple food over the water in Britain, it does not have as much of a fan base here in the States.

Over there, they have specific restaurants that specialize in fried fish, serving them alongside some of the most delicious side dishes. These are called ‘fish and chip shops’, but are also lovingly referred to as ‘chippies’ or ‘fishies’.

“Who eats fish with chips?’ we hear you ask! Worry not, my pals, because, in Britain, chips are not the same thing. They call fries chips, and they also call chips crisps. Confusing, right? 

That said, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some die-hard fans of fried fish here in the States, and certainly, I am all about getting other people as obsessed with it as I am. As such, I want to use this article to let you know some of the tastiest side dishes for fried fish. 

What To Serve With Fried Fish

I will be exploring some of the more traditional British side dishes, since it is British cuisine, and some other tried and tested favorites that I enjoy with my fried fish.

I will also be delving a little deeper into the sort of fish that can be used to make delicious fried fish. So if you are a fan of fried fish, or want to try it out, and are wondering what to serve with fried fish, continue reading!

1. Salad

A nice crisp salad can be a delicious accompaniment to your fried fish, especially when also served with a juicy wedge of lemon on the side.

Choose crunchy greens such as lettuce, some ripe tomatoes, cucumber, pickles, and even some red onion to really compliment the delicate, crispy batter of your fried fish. 

You can make up a huge salad to serve as the only side dish, or make a smaller salad to serve alongside some of the other delicious side dishes we have below. Experiment with different flavors and textures.

Your mouth will be thankful for something refreshing, especially since fried fish can be salty and greasy.

See Also: Side Dishes to Serve with Salmon

2. Fries (or chips as they are called in Britain)

Fried potatoes that have been cut into a rectangular baton are known as chips in Britain. Here in the United States, we call them fries.

However, there is another key difference that can be spotted, and this is something that is very important to the British people. Fries are typically very thin pieces of potato. 

Chips on the other hand are much thicker. If you order ‘fish and chips’ in Britain, you will not be served fries. As such, if you want a true, authentic British meal, make some homemade ‘chips’ by cutting some large peeled potatoes into thick rectangular pieces and frying them. 

Serve them immediately with your freshly fried fish, doused in salt and vinegar for an even more authentic taste.

Of course, if thin French fries are all you have, you can go ahead and use those. But just know that British people will be frowning and shaking their heads…. 

3. Tartare sauce 

Of course, it is hard to imagine fish of any kind without a lovely dollop of tartar sauce, and fried fish is no different. Fried fish can sometimes be a little on the dry side, and so a sauce like this is ideal to help your meal along. 

The creaminess of the sauce (you can thank the mayonnaise for that), paired with the pickles and capers brings a different flavor element to your fried fish.

The dill and tarragon give an explosion of flavor, and the vinegar taste of the pickles and capers means that you will not need to add extra vinegar to your fish unless you want to of course.  

It also tastes beautiful with the side dish we explored above, chips (or french fries as we call them). You can use store bought or homemade, whatever you prefer, and just use as much or as little as you like. 

4. Bread and butter 

Well, you are gonna need something to mop up any tasty morsels of oil leftover from your fried fish! Actually, buttered bread, or dinner rolls, whatever you prefer, are an ideal addition to your fried fish. 

Bread and butter, as it is called in Britain, is yet another staple side dish that everyone orders or makes when they have a fried fish dinner. You can use whatever bread you like, and whisky salted butter is tastiest, you can use what you have. 

Make little sandwiches out of small pieces of fish placed into a folded slice of buttered bread, or use the buttered bread slice to mop up leftover crumbs, oil, and salt or vinegar from the fish after it has been eaten. 

In Britain, they have something called ‘chip butties’ or ‘fish and chip barns’ where they place potatoes (french fries, to us Americans) in the buttered bread and add in some fish to make a delicious sandwich. We highly recommend that you do the same! 

5. Mushy (or mashed) peas

OK, trust us on this one, they aren’t as crazy or gross as they sound. In Britain, mushy peas are a staple of a fish supper, typically derived alongside fried fish, chips, and a sauce of choice (curry or gravy, usually). 

Mushy peas are basically marrowfat peas that have been mashed and usually have some seasoning added (salt and pepper). They are then cooked and served warm.

We get it…they look and sound gross but I cannot stress enough how delicious they are and how tasty they are when served alongside fish in particular.

Try some for yourself today. If that is still too much to bear, you can cook up some garden peas or petit pois to serve with your fried fish. 

6. Mashed potatoes  

I mean, not that there is ever an excuse needed for some delicious, nostalgic mashed potatoes, but they just so happen to pair perfectly well with fried fish.

The creaminess of the potatoes works well against the crispy, golden fried fish, especially when paired with a good dollop of salted butter. 

You can even go the extra mile by serving up some tartare sauce and mushy (or mashed) peas alongside the meal for a real slap-up fish supper.

Sure, this is less of an authentic side dish, but we Americans loved our mashed taters, and when something pairs this well, we just can’t say no!

See Also: Best Chickpea Recipes

What Kinds Of Vegetables Work With Fried Fish?

Fish is usually low in calories and a pretty healthy choice of white meat. For that reason, you may prefer to keep your sides healthy!

Usually, the best thing to do to make your fried fish meal healthy is to use vegetables. There are ways to make your veggies really stand out in the dish. For instance, some veggie sides that you can use include zucchini, carrots, asparagus, tartar sauce and mixed salad. 

Best Sides For Fried Fish (Healthy Options)

7. Steamed Broccoli

You probably hated broccoli as a kid, but your taste buds usually change as you get older! A couple of broccoli florets make the perfect companion to your fried fish, creating a balanced and nutritious meal.

These tiny tree-like vegetables are healthy, tasty and super simple to make, especially if you’re limited on time.

Here’s what you may not know. If you’re trying to increase your protein intake, eating broccoli is a good way to do this. That’s right – broccoli contains heaps of great plant based protein. It’s rich in vitamin C too! 

When you steam broccoli, it becomes a colorful green. When it’s overcooked, broccoli has a dull green color. If you want a vibrant plate, steamed broccoli is certainly the way to go.

8. Tomato and Corn Salad

Salad doesn’t have to be boring! Toss up a salad containing herbs, tomatoes and corn, and you’ll have yourself a delectable summer salad that’s rife with nutritional goodness. This vibrant side dish is full of character and flavor, without any nasty unhealthy ingredients.

If you want to make it especially tasty, include some extra garlic and onion. These will really bring out the flavor of the vegetables.

See Also: Best Cake Recipes

9. Fruit Salsa

Who would have thought that you could combine fruit and fish and still have a spectacular meal? Certainly not us!

As it turns out though, creating a delicious fruit salsa consisting of a mix between strawberries, mango, pineapple and kiwi is a great way to add some flavor to your fish dish.

You could theoretically add any kind of fruit, but it’s best to ensure that pineapple is in there as it makes it taste very exotic.

It will work great with cinnamon tortilla chips too. If you’re looking to create a dish for a large group of people, this side is sure to turn some heads. 

10. Roasted Cauliflower

If broccoli isn’t quite your style, then why not try some roasted cauliflower? Get a roasting tray ready and find a great recipe online, and you’re sure to enjoy some delicious, buttery cauliflower alongside some smoking fried fish.

Add some cumin and lemon to the cauliflower for a little bit of extra pizazz, and rotate the pan as you cook to ensure that you cook everything evenly.

11. Coleslaw

It’s a classic – some people love it, some people hate it. One thing is for sure – it goes very well with fried fish. This American staple side order has an interesting linguistic history.

The name comes from a Dutch word, koolsla. This actually means cabbage salad, which is a fitting name. You can serve this tasty side up in around 10 minutes and it will feed large groups too. Result! 

12. Hush Puppies

Hush puppies are the best of both worlds. They’re nice and crispy on the exterior with a juicy, soft center. They’re easy to make, and you can give them a little bit of extra spice by adding cajun seasoning to the mix.

For even more spicy goodness, invest in some chives, gouda and jalapenos. It will certainly make your mouth water! 

13. Mint with Green Peas

Here are some easy peas that you can add to your fish dish! Peas are so simple to cook – you can just boil them, and you can get them fresh or frozen.

For extra flavor, you can add things like olive or sunflower oil, onions and mint. Need more of a kick? Grab some lemon juice! It’ll complement the fish well.

14. Micro Mash

They did the mash! Yes, they did the micro mash! And it was not, in fact, a graveyard smash. Oh no – if you want some creamy, potato goodness on your plate in a jiffy, you can use microwave mashed potatoes.

They can be done in around 15 minutes so long as you choose good starchy potatoes and cut them into little cubes. Then, put them in the microwave for 10 minutes, and stir in some milk and butter.

Why spend hours manually making mash when you can simplify it with such fantastic results?

15. Baked Beans

Sweet beans – the ideal choice for even a vegetarian looking for a nice side dish for their fish. It’s good for when you are on a diet, too!

Drizzle your beans with a little bit of sour cream and tabasco sauce for flavor, and you have got a tasty meal on your hands. If you want to then you can even add some cheese on top. It really does melt in your mouth! 

16. Mac N Cheese

Cheesy and delicious, there’s no comfort food quite like mac and cheese. Grab some pasta and some delicious cheesy dressing, and you have a side that’s both delicious and easy to make.

It works really well with salmon cakes too, as all you need to do is wipe up a little bit of the extra cheese sauce with the salmon cake. If you want a stronger cheese taste though, you should try to use a strong cheddar.

What To Serve With Fried Catfish

17. Potato Wedges

If you want a potato based side that isn’t French fries, some crispy potato wedges may be a good choice for you.

Grab some russet potatoes from your nearest supermarkets, and you’ll get some potatoes that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Add plenty of seasoning to suit your tastes, and you’re ready to go! 

18. Frozen French Fries Cooked in an Air Fryer

What goes well with fish? Chips! There’s a catch, however. If you don’t want to eat a lot of calories when eating your fish, you can cook your French fries in an air fryer instead.

With this, you’ll have fries that are crispy on the outside and fluffy inside. Once you get an air fryer, it’s hard to even think about cooking your food any differently. 

19. Salt and Vinegar Flavored Potato Chips

Who needs to buy a pack of lays when you can make your own potato chips that taste even better? These salt and vinegar potato chips are a great choice for a side for fried catfish. You will need to slice some potatoes thinly – they shouldn’t be too thick or too thin.

They’re not exactly chips if you cut them too thick! You can have them fried or baked too, depending on what you prefer. For seasoning, you’ll mainly need vinegar powder which is simple to acquire.

20. Onion Rings

Everyone loves onion rings from Burger King, so why not get a taste of fast food at home? You can have some onion rings with your fried fish, and it will taste pretty amazing! Get some large onions and fry them using a simple oil.

Before you fry them, put them into some cold water. You can add in an onion ring sauce to make them taste even better.

Veggie Sides That Go With Breaded Fish

21. Asparagus in the Air Fryer

You may want to try something else for the kiddos if they’re fussy, but asparagus roasted in the air fryer is a great choice for the adults!

You can even use it alongside the mac and cheese that we mentioned earlier on to add some flavor to the vegetable. These veggies are crispy and delicious if you give them a chance. It’s certainly a more obscure choice, but it works very well with breaded fish.

22. Sous Vide Zucchini

With plenty of flavor and a tender texture, you can’t go wrong with sous vide zucchini. This dish is nutritious and low in carbs, so it’s a good choice if you’re on a low carb diet or trying to lose weight. It tastes fantastic, and it’s easy to make.

23. Green Beans in a Skillet

If you have a skillet, you can cook some green beans in it for an easy side dish. You don’t need many ingredients, either – just spice, a pot, string beans, olive oil and garlic! 

Sauces That Go With Fried Fish

24. Tartar Sauce

Tartar sauce was simply made for fish! It’s easy to make and adds a creamy flavor to your fish dish. It’s also crunchy and zesty if you add some lemon.

25. Bloves Seafood Sauce

This sauce will be great with your fried fish, and it works very well as a dip! Just watch your tongue – it has a lot of kick to it!

See Also: Pasta with Spinach Sauce

What is The Best Fish to Fry? 

There are a number of different types of fish that work well fried. In Britain, white-fleshed fish are commonly used, and you can expect to find cod, haddock, and hake as standard in most fish and chip restaurants.

Here in the States, you may find tilapia, cod, catfish, halibut, trout, and perch are the most common fish to use for frying. However, you should choose the fish that you like best!