Fried Porgies


Porgy, also referred to as scup or bream, is a medium-fatty, firm-fleshed white fish with a mild flavor and edible skin. It takes very well to battering and frying, as in this recipe. If you can't find porgy, any medium-size, firm-fleshed white fish will work in this delicious recipe (skinned if desired). Buttermilk helps the cornmeal coating stick to the fish and keeps the fish moist, while seafood seasoning adds a nice kick. Ask your fishmonger to clean the fish and remove the heads and fins.

Prep Time:
5 mins
Additional Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
6 servings
Nutrition Profile:


  • 12 medium porgies, cleaned and heads and fins removed

  • ¼ cup lemon juice

  • Canola oil for frying

  • 2 tablespoons seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay

  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour

  • ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste

  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper, or to taste

  • 1 cup buttermilk


  1. Place fish in a large nonreactive bowl; sprinkle with lemon juice. Cover and let stand while you heat the oil and prepare the coating.

  2. Pour oil to a depth of about 1 inch in a deep cast-iron skillet and clip on a candy thermometer; heat the oil over medium-high heat to 350 degrees F. While the oil is heating, pulverize seafood seasoning to a fine powder in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. Transfer to a brown paper bag (see Tip). Add cornmeal, flour, salt and pepper; shake to combine.

  3. Place buttermilk in a shallow dish. Working with a few fish at a time, add them to the bag with the cornmeal mixture; shake well to coat evenly. Next, dip the fish in the buttermilk to coat them all over, gently shaking off any excess. Return the fish to the bag; shake well to coat evenly again. Slide the coated fish into the hot oil, being careful not to crowd them in the pan. Fry, turning once, until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain, then place on a warmed platter. Repeat the coating and frying process until all the fish are cooked. Serve immediately.


Tip: The traditional method of coating the fish by shaking it in a paper bag can get a little messy. Alternatively, you can combine the coating ingredients in a shallow dish; coat the fish by dredging it in the mixture, then in the buttermilk, then in the cornmeal mixture again, patting to help it adhere.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

218 Calories
5g Fat
15g Carbs
27g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Serving Size 2 fish
Calories 218
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 27g 54%
Total Fat 5g 7%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 71mg 24%
Vitamin A 206IU 4%
Vitamin C 4mg 4%
Folate 41mcg 10%
Sodium 614mg 27%
Calcium 101mg 8%
Iron 1mg 7%
Magnesium 49mg 12%
Potassium 470mg 10%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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