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Calling all seafood lovers! Whether or not you observe Lent, you’ll want to try these delicious fried fish recipes from around the world, from British fish and chips to Thai and Indian variations.
If you’re a good Catholic (or just married to a…or, not even a good Catholic, but you go to mass on all major holidays), chances are Friday fish fry dinners will be entirely on your radar now that Lent is just around the corner. No matter how delicious your favorite recipe is, if you’re observing Lent, you’ll probably be sick of the same old fish fry fillets every week by the time April rolls around. But you don’t have to scour cookbooks for the much-needed inspiration to spice up your fish fry dinner.
Instead, we’ve combed through fish frying traditions from other countries and discovered all sorts of different techniques, foods, and flavors to kick your red snapper or tilapia up a notch. Many techniques also work for anything golden and crispy, from onion rings to chicken, so you’ll have plenty of meals to add to your weekly dinner menu once Easter finally rolls around.
Pescado Frito Mediterranean
Pescado frito, which means “fried fish” in Spanish, is usually prepared with a white fish such as cod, sea bass or red snapper. It is dredged in flour, fried in olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper. In countries like Spain or Greece, it’s common to fry the fish whole, even if it’s homemade, but fillets also work if you’re cooking for more fussy eaters who can’t handle eyeballs. . With just four simple ingredients, pescado frito is especially popular on the Mediterranean coast in places like Spain and Greece, as well as Latin American countries like the Dominican Republic, Colombia, and Peru, which each have their own favors, types of fish and side dishes. Simple frying using flour and oil is also used for fried anchovies. See also: Italian fritto misto.
Related Reading: Best Places to Buy Seafood Online in 2020
Southern Fried Catfish
A typical southern dish, southern fried fish is prized for its distinctive cornmeal batter, which gives the fish a light, crispy bite. Southern-style fish usually always involves catfish, an overlooked type of fish that actually has a mild flavor and is the perfect springboard for frying. The cornmeal-to-flour ratio varies depending on who you ask, but most pastas call for an extra boost of paprika and cayenne pepper as well. And don’t forget the hot sauce and lemon when serving.
British beer batter
Often said to be inspired by the pescado frito, there’s no denying that fish ‘n chips has become a central part of British food culture. Unlike the barely present flour breading used in pescado frito, beer-battered fish leans into the crispy golden coat (see beer-battered haddock). The most common batter includes flour, baking powder (which gives the coating a light fluffiness, almost like a funnel cake) and pale lager or beer. Some recipes also call for spices like garlic powder or paprika, and others play around with the type of beer. The best part about beer batter is that it works for all kinds of different foods other than fish. It’s foolproof for everything from onion rings and vegetables to sweet apple fritters.
New England Style
OK, quick disclaimer – there really isn’t a strict formula for a New England fried fish, but arguably the most commonly used batter is a simple mixture of flour, milk, eggs and baking powder. . Basically, it’s beer batter without the beer. The most commonly used fish are haddock and cod, as these are local catches, but any type of firm fish will also work. While beer batter forms a kind of shiny and smooth outer layer, this batter is thicker and flaky. The debate over which method is best has been raging for some time, so we suggest doing both and hosting an impromptu taste test.
Tempura is probably the best-known Japanese frying method outside of Japan, but a frying technique called tatsuta-age is more often used for fish. The fillets are first marinated in soy sauce or mirin before being coated. Unlike tempura, which uses a batter made from eggs and flour, tatsuta-age only requires a light dusting of potato starch or cornstarch, resulting in a thinner, chewier crust ( we use rice flour). The marinade also brings out the sweetness of the fish and will definitely take away any fried fish discomfort you may be feeling.
There are loads of different fried fish recipes from India, but we are focusing on one particular dish called “meen porichathu”. The exact ingredients vary depending on who you talk to, but the basic formula is pretty simple: just a marinade of bright, flavorful spices and (sometimes) a little rice flour. The base is almost always made up of garlic, ginger, and chili peppers, which are then mixed with spices like turmeric and chili powder. From there, just coat the fish and fry it. The flexibility of the recipe means you can easily adapt it to your heat tolerance and use whatever is in your pantry.
If you like schnitzel, you’ll love Fish Milanese. They share the same egg and breadcrumb coating, which gives the fish a hearty, golden exterior that makes it perfect comfort food for rainy spring days. Although regular white breadcrumbs are most commonly used, some recipes suggest using panko for a lighter, crispier crust. Think of it in terms of a schnitzel and look for larger, thinner fish fillets, such as plaice or tilapia. Serve it with a drizzle of fresh lemon juice and a side of arugula to balance out the heaviness.
Caribbean Fried Fish
Spice is the name of the game in Caribbean fried fish, which is generously added to both batter and fish. The process begins with a quick rinse with something acidic, like lemon or lime juice (a common practice meant to kill bacteria and remove odors). Then comes a generous marinade. As with Indian-style fried fish, the exact components vary by palette and region, but it’s usually garlic paste and pepper sauce. The fish is then coated in a flour-based batter, mixed with spices like cumin or curry powder, and fried. The result is a fish rich in flavor, with each layer of acidity and spice playing on the last.
Pla Tod Kamin
Unlike many other recipes on this list, Thai Turmeric Fish doesn’t use flour or batter. The fish, most often red snapper, is simply marinated in a mixture of turmeric and garlic, then fried. Because of this, the taste of the fish really shines through, so be sure to look for high-quality seafood. Now is also the time to use that fresh turmeric root you bought on impulse after hearing about all its health benefits. The best part about this recipe is that it makes its own filling. Simply fry the seasonings (some people also add herbs like lemongrass) and pour over the fish.