Julia's Crunchy Crumbed Fish With Cos Salad + Yoghurt Tartare

Fish for dinner in summer is a no-brainer, really. It’s one of our favourite go-to meals when the weather is hot.

And whilst the deep-fried variety can be immensely satisfying after a day at the beach, Julia Busuttil Nishimura’s crumbled flathead with cos salad and yoghurt tartare is the perfect home-cooked alternative for those looking for something a little less greasy.

Find the recipe below!

Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Julia’s delicious crumbed flathead with cos salad and yoghurt tartare! Editorial styling – Annie Portelli. Photo – Eve Wilson.

Julia prefers Flatheads for their size and shape and recommends using panko crumbs for extra crunch. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli. Photo – Eve Wilson.

The cos salad is fresh and zingy – the ideal accompaniment to crunchy fish. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli. Photo – Eve Wilson.

Julia Busuttil Nishimura
30th of January 2023

This recipe is one the best things to make in the summertime. It’s not only a crowd favourite, but also rather quick to put together and incredibly satisfying to eat. It has the ability to make you feel like you’re still on summer holidays, even if you’re already back at the office!

I love using flathead as the fillets are long and slender, meaning more surface area and therefore maximum crunch. They also happen to be a fish that I know my kids will definitely eat, so it’s a winner on two fronts. I use Panko – Japanese breadcrumbs – for crumbing, which yield a crunchier result. They’re available at most supermarkets.

If you need another reason to make this recipe, the yoghurt tartare is a real winner – tangy, herby and creamy – and the perfect accompaniment to the fish and salad. This one is on high rotation in my kitchen all summer long!

Serve with a wedge of lemon, always. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli. Photo – Eve Wilson.

It’s the perfect summer dinner! Editorial styling – Annie Portelli. Photo – Eve Wilson.

Crumbed flathead with cos salad + yoghurt tartare

(Serves 4)

400g Flathead fillets
2 eggs
1 tbsp full cream milk
Plain flour, for dusting
Panko, for crumbing
Salt and pepper
Neutral vegetable oil, for frying

Yoghurt tartare

200g natural full fat yoghurt
50g Japanese mayonnaise
1 French shallot (eschalot), finely chopped
10 cornichons, roughly chopped
2 tbsp salted capers, rinsed
Handful each of dill fronds and chives, finely chopped
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and pepper, to taste

Cos salad

1 baby cos lettuce, leaves separated
2 Lebanese cucumbers, finely sliced
1 French shallot (eschalot), halved and thinly sliced
1 avocado, halved and roughly chopped
Small handful of dill fronds and chives, roughly chopped
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
Salt, to taste

Lemon wedges, to serve


First, prepare the yoghurt tartare by combining all of the ingredients in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and keep refrigerated until ready to use.

For the salad, arrange the lettuce, cucumbers, shallot, avocado, dill and chives in a large bowl. Set aside.

Whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice in a small bowl and season to taste. Set aside.

For the fish, season the fillets with salt and pepper and set aside. Whisk together the eggs with the milk in a small bowl. Transfer to a shallow dish or tray. Line another shallow dish or tray with some plain flour, and do the same with the panko. You should now have the fish, plus three trays ready for crumbing. Working with one fillet at a time, dust the fish in flour, shaking off excess, followed by the egg mix and finishing with the panko, patting the fish to ensure the breadcrumbs stick to the fish. Transfer to a plate and continue with the remaining fillets.

Heat ½ – 1 cm of oil in a large fry pan over a medium heat. Fry the fish until golden and cooked through, around 2 minutes on each side. Drain on a wire rack and season with salt.

Dress the salad with the dressing and serve the fish with the salad, yoghurt tartare and lemon wedges.

What else I’m cooking:

I’m making use of stone fruit while it’s still around – in salads, grilled and served with mascarpone or baked into a cake – my most recent one being a pistachio cake with apricots and blackberries. Tis’ the season!

What else I’m eating:

Everything at Florian. Until recently I’d only been there for breakfast, and had my go-to – the perfectly cooked omelette. But their lunches are simply amazing – think stuffed vegetables with rice and herbs, grilled octopus with white beans and salad of nectarines, feta, cucumber and lettuce. The type of food I love to eat!

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