In homage to Lent and the next fishing season, let’s talk about fried fish. A popular Friday night special on many restaurant menus, it’s obvious people love it. Crispy on the outside and flaky on the inside, the fried fish is amazing.
Growing up, our fried fish was dredged in seasoned flour and pan-fried in shallow oil until browned on all sides. This simple method allowed the flavor of the fish to shine.
It wasn’t until I was alone that I first tasted beer-battered fish. The crunchiness and flavor of the airy tempura-style coating is a favorite of many and the preferred method of British fish and chip shops. Use a deep fryer or heavy skillet with plenty of oil when frying breaded fish so that all sides are crispy at once.
For those who don’t like the splash of pan-frying, there is an oven-fried version coated with butter-seasoned cracker crumbs that cooks alongside sliced potatoes until both are crisp and golden brown. . This fish fry couldn’t be easier or less messy.
The only thing that can improve the frying of fish is a dollop of homemade tartar sauce. Simply mix a few tablespoons of mayonnaise with the desired amount of pickle relish. It’s sweet, tangy and delicious.
Mom’s Skillet Fish
1 pound of soft fish fillets (haddock, tilapia or orange roughy)
Vegetable oil for frying
1/2 cup of flour
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp. paprika or seafood seasoning
Directions: In a heavy skillet, pour the oil 1 inch deep. Heat the oil to 375 degrees F.
Combine flour, salt, pepper and paprika in a shallow pie pan. Dip the fish fillets in the flour mixture, turning them to coat both sides; shake off excess.
Gently place the fillets in the hot oil and fry them for about 5 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels. Serve with tartar sauce, if desired. For 3 to 4.
Oven Fried Fish and Chips
1 pound of soft fish fillets
1/3 cup butter or margarine
2 cups sliced potatoes, with or without skin
3/4 cup crushed butter crackers
1 C. paprika
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C. dried parsley
Directions: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In 13 × 9 inch baking dish, melt butter in oven. Add the sliced potato rings and toss to coat them in the butter. Cover pan with foil and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until tender.
Meanwhile, in a shallow dish, combine cracker crumbs and seasonings.
When the potatoes are tender, remove the pan from the oven and place the potatoes on one end of the baking dish. Tilt the pan so that the butter flows to the empty end of the pan. Dip the fish fillets in the butter in which the potatoes were cooked, then coat them with the breadcrumb mixture. Tilt the pan again to distribute the butter at both ends of the pan. Place the fillets on the other side of the baking dish, opposite the potatoes. Sprinkle the fish and potatoes with the remaining breadcrumb mixture. Bake, uncovered, for 20 to 30 minutes or until the fish flakes with a fork. For 4.
Fish in Beer
1 1/2 pounds of sweet fish
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1/4 tsp. Cayenne pepper
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 bottle of beer (12 ounces)
Vegetable or canola oil for frying
Directions: In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cayenne pepper, salt and beer. Refrigerate the dough for about an hour.
Pour the oil into a heavy-bottomed skillet or electric skillet to a depth of 3/4 inch. Heat to 375 degrees.
Take the dough out of the refrigerator and whisk. Dip the fish in the batter, then gently place it in the hot oil. Fry the fish for 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown and cooked through (should crumble with a fork). The cooking time will depend on the thickness of the fish. Drain on paper towels. For 4.