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How Much Fish Per Person For A Fish Fry? A Handy Guide

Food Guide

Fish fries are a fun, casual way to feed a crowd. The star of a fish fry is obviously the fried fish, so you’ll want to make sure you have plenty. But how much fish should you plan per person? This handy guide will walk you through exactly how much fish to buy and cook for a successful fish fry.

Why Have A Fish Fry?

A fish fry is a more laidback alternative to a formal sit-down dinner. It brings people together for tasty food and good company. Fish fries are popular:

  • For large groups and community events
  • As informal gatherings with friends and family
  • As fundraisers
  • For summer parties, birthdays, reunions

Fried fish is the highlight of a fish fry. It’s usually served buffet-style so people can help themselves. Sides like french fries, coleslaw, and hushpuppies round out the meal.

Fish fries have a fun, casual vibe. They’re all about gathering together over delicious comfort food.

How Much Fish For A Fish Fry?

The star of your fish fry is obviously the fried fish. You want to make sure you have plenty so your guests can enjoy as much as they want. But how much should you plan and cook per person?

Here are some tips for buying and preparing the right fish fry fish amount:

Choose Mild White Fish

Traditional fish fry fish include:

  • Catfish – The most popular choice. It’s mild in flavor and holds up well to frying.

  • Cod – With its flaky white meat, cod fries up nicely.

  • Flounder – A delicate white fish that fries deliciously.

  • Tilapia – Affordable with a mild taste. Great for fish tacos too.

Buy 8-12 Ounces Of Fish Per Person

As a general rule of thumb:

  • For lighter appetites, allow 8 oz of fish per person

  • For heartier appetites, allow 10-12 oz of fish per person

Buying 8-12 oz raw fish per person will yield 6-9 oz cooked fish after accounting for moisture loss during frying.

Fry 2-3 Pieces Of Fish Per Person

  • For smaller 3-4 oz fillets, fry 2-3 pieces per person
  • For larger 6-8 oz fillets or steaks, fry 2 pieces per person

Frying multiple smaller fillets rather than 1 large piece allows more crispy coating and frying surface area.

For Large Groups, Estimate 1 Pound Fish Per Person

For big gatherings and all-you-can-eat fish fries:

  • Estimate buying 1 pound of fish per person
  • That allows for plenty of extras and hungry appetites

Handy Fish Fry Fish Amounts

Use these handy estimates of how much fish to buy and fry for different group sizes:

Fish Fry For 2 People

  • 12-16 oz raw fish
  • Fry into 2-3 fillets per person

Fish Fry For 8 People

  • 2 pounds raw fish
  • Fry 16-24 fillets total

Fish Fry For 20 People

  • 5 pounds raw fish
  • Fry 40-60 fillets total

Fish Fry For 50 People

  • 12 pounds raw fish
  • Fry 100-150 fillets total

Fish Fry For 100 People

  • 25 pounds raw fish
  • Fry 200-300 fillets total

Tips For Delicious Fried Fish

Frying fish isn’t difficult, but there are some handy tips to get the best results:

  • Dry fish well before coating to help coating stick
  • Use thermometer to monitor oil temperature
  • Fry at 350-375°F for optimal crispness
  • Don’t overcrowd the fryer
  • Fry fish in batches for even cooking
  • Let oil reheat between batches
  • Fry fish 2-5 minutes per side depending on thickness
  • Check internal temperature, remove at 145°F
  • Let rest 5 minutes before serving, internal temperature will rise to 160°F

Perfect Sides For A Fish Fry

A fish fry isn’t complete without classic sides like:

  • Crispy french fries – The perfect fish pairing!
  • Cole slaw – Crunchy, creamy, and delicious.
  • Hushpuppies – Who can resist these fried cornmeal delights?
  • Tartar sauce – A must for dipping the fish.
  • Lemon wedges – Squeeze over fish for a bright pop of flavor.
  • Corn on the cob – In season, it’s a great backyard fish fry side.
  • Potato salad – Cool and creamy, it balances the fried fish.
  • Baked beans – Savory and satisfying.

With ample crispy fried fish and favorite fixings, you’re guaranteed a fantastic fish fry! Use this handy guide to plan just the right fish amount. Then get ready to enjoy fun times and full bellies with family and friends.


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