Kolkata Fish Fry Recipe

This Bengali Fish Fry is popular street food from Kolkata, that hardly needs an introduction. Beautifully carved Bhetki (Barramundi or Seabass) fish fillet, marinated in onion, ginger, garlic & chilli juice before dipped in an egg wash & breaded for frying them to perfection.

This fish fry recipe stands out because the outer shell has to be thin and crunchy while the fish inside is beautifully cooked. Served with the super pungent ‘Kasundi‘, Bengali mustard sauce and sliced Onions.

The recipe for fish fry remains ubiquitously simple yet it needs to master the perfect balance between the flavours and texture. And that can only be achieved when every step is followed perfectly. Let’s unfurl the science behind the crunchiest and most delicious bhetki macher Bengali fish fry recipe.

What makes a Fish Fry the Best?

The secret lies in the marination process and breading of the fish fillet. Once you master these two, there’s no stopping you from making the crunchiest and most delicious ‘kolkata cabin style‘ fish fry.

For marination of the fish fillets, it is very important to use only the juice of the ingredients. I have used my MagicBullet to grind them together and mix some salt into it, so that it releases moisture. Then this juice is used for marination.

I have seen many food joints using the ground paste instead, but that’s their trick to make the fillets fatten up for thicker fries. One bite and you will realise that there’s only a thin layer of fish blanketed by thick layers of marinating paste and breadcrumbs. And that’s a big turn off, isn’t it?

Leave the fish fillets soaking in the flavorful juice for at least 4 hours, before you start coating them in breadcrumbs. We want the fillets to become as flavorful as they can be.

Next comes another very important step in this Bengali fish fry recipe, and that is breading. Over the past couple of years and after several trials, I have come to a conclusion that homemade breadcrumbs are best for this.

Bengali Fish Fry recipe

How to make homemade Breadcrumbs?

I will share a detailed recipe post for this shortly, however, for the sake of this recipe, here’s a quick version of it.

  • Take a couple of slices of bread. I used normal white bread. Leave the sides. a couple of brown spots in the crumbs won’t effect here.
  • Place them side by side on a borosilicate baking dish and microwave them for 1 min.
  • Now turn them over and repeat.
  • They should have hardened up completely. Allow them to cool down completely.
  • Now, break them into pieces and grind them into smooth powder. Remember, the finer they are, the thinner layer of crumbs you will get for this recipe for Bengali fish fry

Looking for Kolkata Street Food Bhetki Macher Fish Fry recipe video? Here’s one.

Another very important aspect of this recipe of Fish Fry is that we use Bhetki or Barramundi or Seabass for this. It is a freshwater fish variety which has a sweeter taste and is practically bone-free.

Another fish variety which is very popular for recipes for fish fry is Aar Maach or Catfish. However, we are going to stick to the originals here.

How to freeze these Fish Fry fillets for later?

So, you are having a party and you want to serve some delicious Fish Fry. You cannot start prepping them on the D-Day. Instead make them ahead, and freeze them. Just before serving, you can fry them up and serve.

No need to thaw! Just follow these easy steps and you are sorted.

  • Follow the recipe as I have given below in the recipe card. Go till breading them in breadcrumbs with alternate egg-wash.
  • Now, take an air-tight container. Cover the bottom with a parchment paper. Place the prepared fillets side by side.
  • If you need to stack, then take another parchment paper and place on the first layer of fish fillets. Place the second layer of fillets on this sheet. Repeat as necessary.
  • Once you have all the fillets lined up on your container, cover it with another sheet of parchment paper. And place the lid.
  • You can freeze this for a week to ten days.

When you are ready to fry, take out the fish fillets and immediately fry. Don’t thaw or the breadcrumbs will get soggy.

If you find them soggy already, repeat the egg wash and breading step once.

Few more popular Kolkata Street Food recipes from my blog

Have you tried this recipe? I would love to hear about it.
Tag me on Instagram @priyankabhattacharya.sa or Facebook @hashdiaries and I will share it further.

Kolkata Fish Fry Recipe
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
4 hrs
Total Time
4 hrs 40 mins

This Bengali Fish Fry is popular street food from Kolkata, that hardly needs an introduction. Beautifully carved Bhetki (Barramundi or Seabass) fish fillet, marinated in onion, ginger, garlic & chilli juice before dipped in an egg wash & breaded for frying them to perfection.

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Bengali
Keyword: Bengali Fish Recipes, Fish Recipes, Street Food
Servings: 8 pieces
Calories: 0.247 kcal
Author: Priyanka
  • 500 gms Bhetki or Barramundi or Seabass Fillets 7-8 pieces
  • 1 Onion
  • 4-5 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1 inch Ginger
  • 1 Green Chili
  • 1 tsp White Vinegar
  • Salt
  • 1 Egg
  • cup Breadcrumbs
  • Refined Sunflower Oil to fry
  1. Combine onion, ginger, garlic and green chili and grind it into paste.

  2. Take it out ina bowl and add salt to it. Mix everything together. It will soon release a lot of liquid.

  3. Place the fish fillets on a plate and pour the liquid over them. Pour the vinegar and massage the fillets.

  4. Place these fish fillets with all of its liquid in an air-tight container and let this marinate for 4 hours. Keep it in fridge if required.

  5. Before frying, prepare your breading station. Take two plates. Whisk an egg with some salt and pour it on one plate. Pour breadcrumbs in another.

  6. Now, take a fish fillet and place it in the egg wash. Let the egg cover both sides.

  7. Now place the fillet in the breadcrumbs. Press gently so that the bottom surface gets covered with it. Turn it over and do the same.

  8. Now repeat the egg wash and coating with breadcrumbs further twice.

  9. Keep shaping the fillets into a neat square or rectangle as the fish is quite delicate and with repeated pressing, it may start looing its shape.

  10. Repeat this step with rest of the fish fillets.

  11. You may fry them immediately or freeze them for later in an air-tight container. Read blogpost for details on freezing fish fries.

  12. Heat refined sunflower oil in a frying pan. Ideally these are deep fried, but we are going to shallow fry them.

  13. Once the oil is warm, place the prepared fish fillet in the oil. Slowly fry each of them on medium-low heat. We don't want to burn the outer layer while the inside remains uncooked.

  14. After 2 mins, turn it over gently. Repeat this till both sides are nicely browned and the fillet has been cooking for around 7-8 mins.

  15. Serve them hot.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

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One response to “Kolkata Fish Fry Recipe”

  1. […] This Bengali fish fry recipe by Speaking Aloud is a popular street food experience. In every bite, you’ll taste the vibrant flavors of Kolkata with this classic. First, marinate barramundi or seabass in a blend of spices, like ginger, onion, garlic, and chili juice. Then, dip it in an egg wash and coat it in a flavorful batter before frying. […]

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Indian Food Blogger Priyanka Bhattacharya

Hi! I’m Priyanka!

A passionate home cook and food lover who loves nothing more than sharing my favourite recipes with the world.


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