Crispy Cod with Sage Butter

Ok. Ok. Ok. I know I posted a butter recipe just the other day and today I am already sharing another one. But I really just couldn’t help myself. You see, earlier this week I was reminded that just about a year ago Ryan and I were eating our way across Italy for the 2nd time in as many years. This time we had unbelievably fresh seafood Milan, perfectly medium rare steaks in Siena and fried zucchini flowers in Rome. And while personally, I think the food was the best in Siena, there was one meal, in Bellagio, that I still think about to this day. And today, I share it with you.

When we sat down and scanned the menu at Trattoria San Giacomo on that breezy evening, it didn’t take long for my eyes (and stomach) to lock into the idea of the pan fried perch with sage butter sauce. And when it arrived, believe me when I tell you that first bite was pure heaven. It was crunchy, tender, buttery and the sage gave it a nice earthy flavor. I don’t know what the etiquette is in Italy so I had to resist the urge to lick my plate clean, but I may have ran my finger along the edge just to get the last bit of butter sauce.

Note: I couldn’t find perch here so I went with cod. You could use any other firm white fish you like. Halibut would be good and I also happen to like tilapia like this.

Crispy Cod with Sage Butter Recipe

Serves 2 Prep Time: Cook Time:


  • 1 pound cod fillets
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 8 sage leaves



Rinse and pat dry the cod fillets. Slice them into 3 inch pieces. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.


Set up an assembly line. Place the flour in one bowl. Beat the eggs in another bowl and place the bread crumbs in the third bowl.


Dredge a piece of fish into the flour then the egg and then press into the bread crumbs. Repeat until all fish are coated.


Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Drop a piece of panko bread crumbs into the oil and if it sizzles the oil is hot enough. Cook fish 5 - 7 minutes or until golden brown on each side.


While fish is cooking, melt butter over low heat. Once butter is melted add sage leaves. Continue to cook until sage leaves brown slightly. Low heat is the key here, you want to be careful not to burn the butter.


Once fish is cooked through, transfer to a plate and spoon sage butter over the top. Serve.



Leave a Comment

  • Reply
    April 22, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    I had Cod in the fridge, amazingly I also had fresh sage. Thought would give it a go, winner! Will be revisiting

  • Reply
    October 2, 2010 at 6:47 am

    You’re welcome Cindy! I’m happy to hear your family enjoyed it :)

  • Reply
    September 30, 2010 at 10:49 am

    I made this for dinner on Tuesday of this week. My family enjoyed it. Very YUMMY!! Thanks for the post.

  • Reply
    Jenn's Food Journey
    September 25, 2010 at 6:47 am

    How could this not be good? Crispy, buttery…..sounds perfect!

  • Reply
    Susan Marie
    September 24, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    Italy is all about the love of food, after all! One of the greatest memories of our trip 2 years ago was the farmhouse we rented in Tuscany, away from the major tourist attractions. Every day we would go into the village to shop, and I would cook our main meal. The villa had herbs and some vegetables growing in the garden, so I took advantage of it all! Anyway, I have since planted sage at home, and it has taken off like a weed – I wasn’t expecting that to happen here in Texas! I haven’t had it with fried fish, but I will be trying this recipe soon. Thanks!

  • Reply
    September 24, 2010 at 11:12 am

    This looks delicious! My fiance and I are planning on eating our way through Italy for our honeymoon so I may look to you for some advice!

  • Reply
    September 24, 2010 at 9:42 am

    I love crispy fish. I love sage. Thank you for bringing Italy to us via your recipe.

  • Reply
    September 24, 2010 at 8:57 am

    This looks fabulous! Fresh cod is featured at my favorite supermarket this week; I’m bookmarking this! Thanks for sharing it.

  • A little bit about me...

    Hi! I am Des! Welcome to Life’s Ambrosia where Dinner is served and memories are made. Here you will find over 1000 tried and true recipes for every possible occasion. In the last 10 years, this blog has helped millions of families put dinner on the table and create food memories. Let me help you too. Read more »

    Have new recipes emailed to you.