Panko and Parmesan-Crusted Swai

by Amy

Panko Swai-11 I’m a little embarrassed to admit it, but I don’t really like fish.  I know it’s healthy and relatively easy to prepare, but it’s just not my thing.  I love to go fishing, but I’m more of a catch-and-release kind of gal. 😉 My husband can’t understand it, but I’ve just never been one to keep what I caught.  So, whenever I ask him what he wants for dinner and he says fish, I cringe.  That is until now.

The idea for this breading came from a chicken recipe I made recently that combined breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese.  It was so tasty, I decided to try my own version on our fish.  And boy, am I glad I did! This recipe turned out so crunchy and juicy that I actually enjoyed it! And another bonus…it goes together really quickly!

I chose Swai for two reasons. One, it was on sale at the supermarket, and two, it’s a VERY mild tasting fish.  A necessity for me if I’m going to be able to stomach fish. 🙂 Tilapia would also work nicely here, as it too, has a very mild flavor.  The hubster commented that it would work well on any fish…that’s how  much he liked it. 😉

This would also be a nice recipe to try if you’re observing Lent and looking for a new fish recipe.  And something else we discovered, this fish and breading heats up quite well in the oven.  We obviously had leftovers and I just warmed them in the oven.  Not the exact crunchy texture from the night before, but they still had some crunch and lots of flavor.

I served ours with a nice pineapple salsa.  It added a bit of sweetness and flavor that paired really well with this dish.  That recipe coming soon. 😉

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Panko and Parmesan-Crusted Swai

March 19th, 2013


3 Swai fillets
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 cup flour
1 1/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan (This must be freshly grated.)
1 large egg
1/4 cup milk
3-4 tbsp vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste


Start by washing and drying your Swai fillets. Next, prepare your breading. Combine your Panko bread crumbs, flour, and freshly grated Parmesan in a bowl or large plastic bag. *I highly recommend using fresh Parmesan. I don't think pre-grated cheese would melt as nicely.

Mix together your egg and milk until well-combined. Pour this into a shallow baking dish.

Cut your Swai fillets into more manageable pieces and set up an assembly line for the dredging.

Coat your Swai pieces in the egg and milk mixture.
Then the Panko, Parmesan, and flour.

Set coated fish on a plate or baking sheet until all pieces are coated.

Next, heat 3-4 tablespoons of oil in a large, non-stick skillet. Add the Swai fillets and cook on medium to medium high heat for 6-7 minutes or until golden brown. (I only cooked part of my fillets at a time. I didn't want to crowd them in the pan.)

Flip fillets and continue to cook for an additional 4-5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan. If cooking the rest of your fillets, additional oil may be needed.

Serve with fresh vegetables or a pineapple salsa. Enjoy!

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Chefs Resources March 23, 2013 at 10:53 pm

Beautiful golden sear on your swai fillets! Adding Parmesan is a perfect way to make fish more approachable if you’re not a fan of fish. Good call on the “freshly grated” Parmesan as the pre-shredded stuff doesn’t work very well for this type of application (which you obviously knew).


Beth June 11, 2013 at 1:29 pm

Ingredients…what does 1 panko mean? (box, cup)


Amy June 12, 2013 at 7:23 am

One cup. Sorry, it’s now fixed in the recipe. Thanks!


Claudia September 1, 2013 at 3:29 pm

could you please send me the recipe as it is not showing up on your posting. Thanks, Claudia


Amy September 1, 2013 at 4:23 pm

Hi Claudia…I just emailed you the recipe. Thanks for stopping by!


Amy July 23, 2013 at 6:01 pm

I made this tonight with tilapia… Delicious! It was crispy and flavorful. I will definitely use this recipe for my fried tilapia from now on and will have to try this breading on other things as well! Thank You. 🙂

P.S. I did not have fresh parmesan on hand so I used pre-grated parm and it still turned out delicious. Next time I will use definitely use fresh parm.


Amy July 23, 2013 at 10:14 pm

Glad to hear the pre-grated parmesan still worked, but I bet you’ll love the fresh on there next time. 🙂 Thanks for trying the recipe! It’s one of our favorites!


Anna July 28, 2013 at 10:50 am

Thanks for the great idea! I had never even heard of swai fish until I went out to dinner at a fancy French restaurant last year- they prepared it in a Moroccan sauce and it was so good and tender. I am going to make your recipe for a friend who turns her nose up at any fish except tilapia because, you’re right, swai has a super mild flavor. I’m excited to try this out!

Thanks again from a fellow country-dweller 🙂


Amy July 30, 2013 at 9:40 pm

You bet! Hope she likes it! I think my hubby would eat it every day, if I would let him. 🙂


jess August 3, 2013 at 12:57 am

I made this tonight but instead of Panko I used homemade bread crumbs by toasting Sara Lee bread and then putting it in the food processor. they came out awesome without the shredded cheese type of look that the panko bread crumbs resulted in. awesome recipe and thank you for posting it!


Weejackie November 14, 2013 at 5:13 pm

Fantastic! Melt in your mouth fish with a delicous crunch. I used frozen swai from SAMs club that I defrosted. Served with pan fried hash browns and sauteed zucchini slices. Quick, easy and totally yummy dinner. Thank you! Now on to searching yr blog for my next recipe!


Hassanah November 19, 2013 at 10:53 pm

Looks like I’m a little late to the party, but I just bought 3 pounds of Swai to try as I’d never heard of it before. I didn’t honestly know what to do with it, and when I stumbled upon your recipe, it was an instantaneous decision to make it! I was in quite a pinch tonight, exhausted from working 2 jobs and hungry beyond all belief and in no mood to make a trip to the store, so I used what I had on hand: Italian style bread crumbs and regular old packaged grated Parmesan. I have to say, I’m eating this right now and it tastes absolutely wonderful! I wasn’t in the mood for much else so I just whipped up some mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli, and I’m in heaven! Dinner in 20 minutes, and a wonderful new blog to browse. Thanks so much for the recipe! It’ll definitely be making another appearance in my kitchen. 🙂


Cheri November 27, 2013 at 2:57 am

I made this recipe tonight but didnt have any panko so I substituted the panko with instant mashed potato flakes (in a box) it turned out delicious & crunchy try using sometime w/ chicken thighs bake in oven on 400 degress for 20 min. Each side a total of forty minutes, turns out like deep fried crunchy chicken its great too & easy.


Amy January 25, 2014 at 9:41 pm

Oh, that sounds great! Oven-fried chicken has always been a favorite around here. 🙂


Daniel December 2, 2013 at 6:03 pm

Hi Amy,

Thanks for the recipe. My swai are laying on some wax-paper nicely coated and waiting to be cooked.

Just want to point out that your recipe calls for 3 1/4 cups of the coating. I used 3 swai and am now left with a lot of waste (at least 3-5 more swai worth). Just want to call this to your attention so bread crumb, cheese, and flour waste can be minimized.

Thank you!


Amy January 25, 2014 at 9:40 pm

Hi Dan,
I’m sorry you had so much waste! I will have to revisit the recipe to see if I can make some changes. I know I am always left with some breading at the end, but I don’t recall it being that much. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I hope you enjoy the recipe!


Daniel L Thompson January 3, 2014 at 4:44 pm

You can also substitute the parmesan for almonds or walnuts grinded up in a food processor, then mix with the panko, flour mixture.


Amy January 25, 2014 at 9:35 pm

Great substitute! I’ll have to try that…the hubby is needing a fish fix soon. 🙂


Shauna G January 14, 2014 at 1:26 pm

Just made this, & my husband and eldest daughter loved it! Can’t wait to get my 3 younger kids to try it.


Amy January 25, 2014 at 9:33 pm

Great! So glad you liked it!


cooking.eating.carousing. February 14, 2014 at 7:50 pm

Great cheesy flavour! Hubby loves the parmesan in this.


Margie March 5, 2014 at 1:01 pm

Today is Ash Wednesday and I am going to try this tonight. My husband is definitely not a fish liker, much less a fish lover. I will see how it goes with a man whose idea of fish dinner is deep fried fish and chips! I will tell you how it goes after dinner.


Patty March 12, 2014 at 11:41 pm

Great recipe! Tried swai fish for the first time tonight using this recipe and we loved it. Swai is definitely better than tilapia. Swai is also a cheaper alternative to cod. It wasn’t specified to put salt and pepper in either mixture, but I put the seasonings in the egg mixture along with some garlic powder and cayenne pepper. Next time I will put the spices in the flour mixture and more of the pepper spices for an extra kick. Looking at fish taco recipes to use more of swai. 🙂


Kim April 5, 2014 at 10:29 pm

Fantastic tasting fish and super easy to make. I did not have panko crumbs but I did have seasoned croutons so I just crushed them up and WOW…love this recipe and I make it 2-3 times a month. Highly recommend and everyone I make it for loves it and is now making themselves. Thank you!!


Lisa A April 28, 2014 at 5:43 pm

I found this recipe this afternoon and decided to make it for dinner. Omg delish! My kids loved it. To please a 1 ,2 and 7 year old is hard but this did it. My 7 year old ate 3 pieces!! My 1 year old kept saying yumm yumm yumm and could not get it in her mouth fast enough. My husband was also very happy. Thank you so much


Amy June 15, 2014 at 3:33 pm

Awesome! I love that the kiddos love it too! 🙂


Kim May 22, 2014 at 2:32 pm

Absolutely LOVE this recipe and so does everyone I make it for.
I did not have panko so I substituted crushed seasoned croutons and it was fantastic!
Thank you for sharing!


Amy June 15, 2014 at 3:29 pm

Thanks Kim! So glad it’s been a hit…it’s a go-to recipe around here. 🙂


Marilyn June 30, 2014 at 2:51 pm

My husband is the fish eater, although I do like catfish since it doesn’t taste like fish. So, thought I would try this and I really enjoyed it. Another fish that doesn’t tast like fish!


Amy July 20, 2014 at 2:57 pm

I know! That’s why I enjoy it so much! 😉


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