Prep Work:Pre heat oven at 350 degree Fahrenheit.
Make the wet crumb by mixing in a bowl egg, mayonnaise, flour, paprika, garlic powder, pepper and salt. Whisk well into lump free mix. Keep aside.
In a plate spread panko breadcrumbs and keep aside.
Note – if you want to even golden brown panko crust on the fish fillet, you can roast panko bread crumbs first in a baking tray at 350 Fahrenheit for about 3 minutes. Roasting will turn white crumbs into golden brown crumbs, resulting in evenly browned baked fillets.
Crumb Coating:Cut cod fillet into square fillet of size slightly bigger than your buns. Remember fillets will shrink after cooking.
Dip a fillet in wet crumb first on both sides to ensure it coats the fillets evenly. Remove it from the bowl using tongs and gently shake off the excess crumb coating.
Place the coated fillet on panko bread crumbs. Using your fingers, pick up dry breadcrumbs from the sides of the plate and sprinkle it on the top of fillet first to avoid sticky/cakey fingers. Then gently press the breadcrumbs on the fillets of both sides.
Remove and place it on baking tray lined with parchment paper.
Repeat the above step for all the remaining fillets.
Bake Fillets:Arrange fillets with 1 inch gap between them.
Spray oil generously on all the fillets.
Bake in pre heated oven at 350 degree Fahrenheit for 12 to 14 minutes or until fish is cooked and crumb begins to brown.Important Note – Since I did not toast panko breadcrumbs before baking the crumb coating will not be golden brown on all sides. To get golden brown crumb crust, toast the panko bread crumbs in oven before applying it on fish fillet. Just before removing fish from the oven, place ½ a slice of cheese on top of each fillet and let it remain in oven for a minute or two until cheese slice begins to melt.Note- I did not add cheese at this stage. Cheese went in only during assembling the burger, because my kids love it that way.
Remove the tray from oven and let it cool down slightly before you remove the fish from the tray.