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Baked haddock goujons with herby tzatziki

Fri, 13 August, 2021

Breaded haddock goujons, much healthier when baked in the oven and double-healthy served with Greek tzatziki instead of tartar sauce.

oven baked haddock goujons

Why would you want to cut a nice, big fillet of fish into small pieces, instead of cooking it whole, or at the most individually portioned? What’s wrong with fish and chips? And why call it by a poncey name: ‘goujons’? What even are they?

What are goujons? Why goujons?

I’ll start from the end: goujons are small pieces of meat or fish coated in breadcrumbs and fried or baked. Which is why scampi is scampi instead of prawn goujons – it’s whole prawns breaded and fried.

And also, that’s why fish fingers are not goujons: the ‘poncey term’ does not apply to mashed up, minced and generally reconstituted fish or meat, however delicious they might be.

Next question: nothing wrong with fish and chips, NOTHING whatsoever. I’d be deep in trouble if I even suggested criticism of this national treasure: The Weather Man is a dedicated fish and chips enthusiast.

And lastly, cutting fish into chunks makes perfect sense if a/ you don’t want to set up the whole deep-frying shop, b/ you want to make it a reasonably healthy dish and skip frying altogether or/and c/ it’s to be served to the younger generation.

healthy haddock or cod goujons

Children like mini foods

Kids get easily intimidated by large items of food on their plates, hence the popularity of meatballs and fish fingers amongst them.

Following my credo that kids should not be ghettoed into children’s option in restaurants (which usually features blatantly less healthy dishes than grown-up choices), tasting menus with their tiny portions would be ideal for them.

And I’m actually totally serious: adding to that the fun of lots of different things rolling up one after the other, including multiple desserts, I think I’m onto something here.

So whatever your motivation, a, b or c above, making goujons is completely sensible.

haddock goujons baked in oven

How to make healthy haddock goujons

Things in breadcrumbs when oven baked are very virtuous and undeniably healthier than their fried counterparts, but they usually emerge from the oven unappetisingly pale.

Crisp coating tastes immediately less crisp if it’s not deep golden and glistening with a little oil. And so, here’s the trick: toast the breadcrumbs deep golden and toss them with a little oil for the glisten before using them.

Except for the above trick, the rest of the process is boringly familiar: dredge through flour, dunk in egg wash and roll around in the doctored breadcrumbs.

Whether baked on a greased rack set over a tray or directly on the tray, they will be equally good and cook equally quickly: 15 minutes maximum.

oven baked haddock goujons with tzatziki

What other fish for goujons?

Obviously, haddock is not the only choice of fish for the dish. Cod will taste just as nice, and don't spurn the less popular but more sustainable pollock, coley or hake which are white firm fish just like haddock and cod.

You can also use lemon sole and plaice, except the goujons will be less chunky as those fillets are thinner.

What sauce is best with breaded fish?

Fish is best served with tartar sauce – right? Wrong. At least if the tartar sauce is the gloopy mayonnaise with a few reluctant shreds of gherkin swimming in it.

If you should make tartar sauce at home from scratch, it would certainly be lovely but for whatever reason nobody does.

And tzatziki, Greek herby yoghurt sauce, is not only healthier but easy to put together. And it goes so well with breaded fish I’m amazed it isn’t served in chippies all the time.

healthy baked fish goujons in panko breadcrumbs

More healthy fish recipes

Salmon and potato bake, one pan dinner, will also appeal to kids. And it’s very quick and easy to prepare.

Or go the whole hog and make a fish pie. My version is with sliced, rather than mashed potatoes.

Fish balls are like meatballs, only spelled as two words. Joking aside, these fish balls with Parmesan and capers are excellent, and can be made from a pie mix or fish offcuts collected over time in a freezer bag.

And let’s not forget sprats! You may know them as whitebait; it’s the only fish I’m happy to eat whole: head, bones and all.

baked haddock goujons with herby tzatziki

Servings: 2 generouslyTime: 1 hour 20 minutes


  • 400g (1 pound) haddock fillet, skinned
  • salt
  • 100g (½ cup) panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil plus more for the baking tray
  • plain flour, for dredging
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • For the tzatziki:
  • 2 small cucumbers
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • a large handful of mixed herbs: dill, parsley, mint
  • 4 tbsp. Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ lemon, juice only


1. Sprinkle the fish with salt liberally and leave it in the fridge for 15-30 minutes, to firm up.

2. Peel and finely dice the cucumbers for the tzatziki and toss them with ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp sugar in a small bowl or in a sieve set over a bowl.

3. Toast the panko breadcrumbs in a dry frying pan, tossing frequently, for about 10 minutes or until they are uniformly golden. Stir in ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp black pepper, mustard powder and olive oil. Leave to cool in the pan.

toasted panko breadcrumbs

4. Remove the fish from the fridge, rinse off the salt and pat the fillets dry with kitchen towels. Cut it into finger-sized chunks.

5. Prepare the flour in a shallow dish and beat the egg with the mustard in another. Leave the breadcrumbs in the frying pan to save on the washing up.

6. Dredge the haddock pieces through the flour shaking off excess. Dip each one all over in the egg, then coat thoroughly in the breadcrumbs. Place all the goujons on a tray lined with paper towels and chill in the fridge for 15-30 minutes.

how to make fish goujons

7. Preheat the oven to 220C/450F/gas 7. Brush a grilling rack set over a baking tray with oil (or the tray itself if you have no suitable rack).

8. Prepare the tzatziki: finely chop the herbs. Stir together the yoghurt, mayo and mustard in a serving bowl. Scoop the cucumbers from the bowl or the sieve and squeeze out moisture. Add them to the sauce with the herbs. Season to taste with black pepper and lemon juice, chill until serving.

how to make tzatziki

9. Arrange the goujons on the prepared baking tray or rack and bake for 15 minutes in the upper half of the oven. Remove from the tray and serve immediately with the tzatziki, green salad and/or fries.

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Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


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