What are Good Side Dishes for Fried Fish?

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Have you ever wondered what side dishes for fried fish can take your culinary experience to a whole new level? Fried fish is a delightful and flavorful dish that can be enjoyed independently, but pairing it with the right sides can.

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Whether you prefer classic accompaniments or want to try something different, numerous side dishes perfectly complement fried fish’s crispy texture and delicate taste. However, finding the perfect balance between flavors and textures can sometimes be a challenge.

An image of fried fish and fries in a cast iron pan. Parts of vegetables and herbs are also seen in the borders of the image.

In this post, we will explore a variety of options to help you discover the best side dishes for fried fish.

From traditional choices like coleslaw and french fries to more adventurous options such as grilled vegetables and zesty peach salsa, we will provide you with an array of ideas that cater to different tastes and preferences.

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What’s the Best Side Dish for Fried Fish?

One classic and timeless side dish choice for fried fish is French fries. Their crispy exterior and soft interior provide a satisfying contrast to the crunchy texture of the fish. You can opt for traditional thick-cut fries or a twist by trying sweet potato fries for a hint of sweetness.

The origin of French fries is quite fascinating. Despite their name, they did not originate in France! It is believed that street vendors in Belgium first introduced them in the late 17th century. The story goes that when the river in their town would freeze over during winter, the villagers used to fry small fish to survive. However, when the river remained unfrozen for a year, they had to find an alternative food source – enter potatoes!

Here’s a list of the best sides for fried fish:

Hush Puppies

Hush puppies are delectable little morsels that are typically made from a simple batter consisting of cornmeal, flour, eggs, buttermilk, and seasonings. The batter is then formed into small balls or oblong shapes and deep-fried until golden brown. The result is a crispy exterior with a soft and fluffy interior.


Coleslaw is a salad made primarily of shredded cabbage mixed with a mayonnaise-based dressing. It can also include other vegetables like carrots and onions for added flavor and crunch. This versatile dish can be served as a side with barbecue, sandwiches, and even fried fish!

Cheese Grits

If you’ve never ventured into the world of Southern cuisine, you may be wondering: what on earth are cheese grits? Well, let’s start from the beginning. Grits are a staple in Southern cooking and have been enjoyed for centuries. They are made from ground corn kernels that have been soaked in an alkaline solution to remove the hull and germ. The resulting mixture is then cooked until it becomes creamy and smooth.

Red Cabbage Slaw

Red cabbage slaw is a colorful side dish that is perfect for adding a burst of flavor to any meal. This slaw is often mixed with other vegetables like carrots, bell peppers, and onions to create a tasty and nutritious blend made from thinly sliced red cabbage. With its vibrant purple color and crunchy texture, red cabbage slaw adds visual appeal to your plate and provides numerous health benefits.

Collard Greens

Collard greens are leafy vegetables that belong to the same family as cabbage and kale. They are known for their large, dark green leaves with thick stems running through the center. Collard greens have a slightly bitter taste, which is often mellowed out when cooked properly. This versatile vegetable is widely used in Southern cuisine and has gained popularity recently due to its numerous health benefits.

Roasted Cauliflower

Put, roasted cauliflower is the process of cooking cauliflower in an oven at high temperatures until it becomes tender and slightly browned. This simple cooking method brings out the natural sweetness of the cauliflower while creating a crispy texture that adds an irresistible touch to this versatile vegetable.

Steamed Broccoli

Steamed broccoli is a simple and nutritious side dish that involves using steam to cook fresh broccoli until it becomes tender and vibrant green. This technique helps retain the natural flavors and nutrients of the vegetable, making it an excellent choice for those looking for healthy options.

Peach Salsa

If you’re a fan of fruity flavors and a hint of spice, then peach salsa might be your new favorite side for your fried fish. But what exactly is peach salsa? Well, it’s a delicious combination of ripe peaches, tangy tomatoes, zesty onions, and spicy jalapenos. This flavorful concoction creates a refreshing, versatile dip that complements various dishes.

Corn and Tomato Salad

Corn and tomato salad is a delightful mix of fresh corn kernels and ripe tomatoes. The corn’s sweetness perfectly complements the tomatoes’ tanginess, creating a harmonious balance in each bite. 

Mac and Cheese

Mac and cheese, short for macaroni and cheese, is a classic comfort food that has won the hearts of many around the world. This beloved dish consists of cooked elbow macaroni pasta smothered in a cheesy sauce.

The sauce is typically made by combining melted butter, flour, milk, and various types of shredded cheese like cheddar or mozzarella. The mixture is then baked until golden and bubbly or served straight from the stovetop.

Easy Green Peas with Mint

Easy Green Peas with Mint is an exciting recipe that combines the vibrant flavors of green peas with the aromatic freshness of mint leaves, creating a dish that is both tasty and nutritious. Whether you’re a beginner in the kitchen or an experienced cook, this recipe is sure to become a favorite.

Microwave Mashed Potatoes

Microwave mashed potatoes are exactly what they sound like – mashed potatoes that are cooked using a microwave instead of traditional stovetop methods. This method eliminates the need for boiling water and constantly monitoring the pot. Instead, all you need is a microwave-safe dish and some peeled and diced potatoes.

You place your potato chunks in the dish with some water or milk, cover it with plastic wrap or a lid with venting holes, and pop it in the microwave for several minutes until the potatoes are tender.

Baked Beans

Baked beans are a popular and delicious dish that consists of navy beans, also known as haricot beans, that have been slow-cooked in a rich and flavorful sauce. This sauce typically includes ingredients such as tomatoes, molasses, brown sugar, onions, and spices like mustard powder or Worcestershire sauce. Baked beans can be served as a side dish or even as a main course on their own.

French Fries

Originating in France in the late 17th century, French fries quickly gained popularity and became a staple in fast food restaurants. Despite their name, it is believed that French fries have Belgian origins.

It is said that American soldiers stationed in Belgium during World War I were introduced to these delicious fried potatoes and started calling them French because they spoke French as their second language.

Blooming Onion

What is Blooming Onion? This mouthwatering dish is a deep-fried onion, carefully cut to resemble a blooming flower. It’s crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, making it a perfect treat for anyone craving a savory snack.

The Blooming Onion quickly became an iconic dish associated with casual dining. Its unique presentation makes it visually appealing and fun to eat.

Grilled Asparagus

Grilled asparagus is a nutritious vegetable dish that is prepared by cooking fresh asparagus spears on a grill. Asparagus is a green, spear-shaped vegetable belonging to the lily family. It has a delicate flavor with earthy undertones and a slightly sweet taste.

Grilled asparagus not only tastes amazing but also offers numerous health benefits.

Coconut Rice

Coconut rice is an easy-to-make dish that originates from various countries in Southeast Asia, such as Thailand and India.

This simple recipe combines the perfect balance of fluffy grains of rice with the rich and creamy flavor of coconut milk. If you’re new to cooking or simply looking for a quick meal option to pair with your fried fish, this beginner-friendly coconut rice recipe is worth a try!

Simple Rasam

Rasam is a traditional South Indian dish that is often enjoyed as soup or served with rice and fried fish. It has a tangy and spicy flavor profile, refreshing and comforting. The base of rasam typically consists of tamarind juice or tomato puree, along with a blend of aromatic spices such as cumin, black pepper, mustard seeds, and curry leaves.

These ingredients are simmered together to create a flavorful broth that forms the heart of this dish. The addition of lentils or dal not only adds protein but also gives the rasam its signature texture.

Tamarind Rasam

Tamarind Rasam is a soup-like dish from Tamil Nadu, a state in southern India. It is made using tamarind pulp as its main ingredient, which gives it a tangy and slightly sour flavor. The tamarind pulp is mixed with water and boiled along with a blend of aromatic spices such as cumin seeds, black pepper, garlic, and curry leaves. This concoction creates a rich broth that has both sweet and sour undertones.

Sauteed Mushrooms and Onions

Sauteed mushrooms and onions are a delicious and simple dish that can elevate any meal. This sautéing technique involves cooking sliced mushrooms and onions in a pan with some oil or butter until they become tender, golden brown, and full of flavor.

It’s a versatile side dish that pairs well with various main courses such as steak, chicken, pasta, fried fish, or even as a topping for burgers.

Red Wine Roasted Vegetables

Red wine roasted vegetables offer a unique twist to traditional roasted vegetables by infusing them with the rich flavors of red wine. The alcohol in the wine helps to break down the tough fibers in the vegetables, resulting in a softer texture and enhanced taste. As the vegetables roast, they absorb all the delicious flavors from the marinade, creating a mouthwatering combination of sweet and savory notes. Additionally, red wine contains antioxidants that can provide health benefits when consumed in moderation.

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Numerous delicious side dishes pair well with fried fish. Whether you prefer traditional options like coleslaw or grilled asparagus, or you want to experiment with more unique choices like coconut rice or tamarind rasam, there is something for everyone. 

Don’t be afraid to get creative and try different combinations to find your perfect match. Remember to consider the flavors and textures that will complement fried fish’s crispy and savory nature. 

So why not elevate your next fried fish meal with a delectable side dish? Explore the possibilities and elevate your dining experience today.

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