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Pro Tips for the Best Fried Fish

Fried fish is a delicious comfort food any time of the year. Making it at home can be intimidating if you aren’t used to working with hot oil in your kitchen. Once you try it, you’ll realize how simple it is to make restaurant-quality fried fish at home. Follow these instructions to make perfectly crisp and golden pan-fried or deep-fried fish.

How to Pan-Fry Fish

Pan-frying is the best technique to start with if you aren’t used to frying foods. You only need a thin layer of oil in the pan to fry it. Since you use less oil for this method, it is healthier, cleaner, and easier.

Step 1: Select the fish

fried fishMild-flavored whitefish are the most popular option, but you can also pan-fry shellfish like scallops and shrimp. You will need about 1 pound of skinless fish fillets or shellfish to serve 4 people. If you are planning to cook fish, the fillets should be between ½ inch to ¾ inch thick.

Step 2: Prepare the Fish

Under cold water, rinse off the seafood and then pat dry with a paper towel. If you are cooking fish, use a sharp knife to cut each fillet into four pieces.

Step 3: Make the Coating

To give the fish a crispy crust, you’ll need to make a coating for it.

Beat one egg and 2 tablespoons of milk or water together in a shallow dish.

Mix together 2/3 cup dry breadcrumbs or cornmeal with a dash of pepper and ½ teaspoon salt in another shallow dish. You could also use crushed crackers or potato chips instead without the salt.

Step 4: Coat the Seafood

Before you get started, preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Then, add ¼ inch of shortening or vegetable oil to a large, heavy skillet. Place it on the stove and turn the burner up to medium-high.

Dip each piece of seafood into the egg mixture. Make sure each side is coated. After that, place each piece one-by-one into the second dish. Press gently so that the dry coating sticks. Coat both sides making sure that every centimeter of the seafood is coated with the dry mixture.

Step 5: Fry the Fish

Gently lay pieces of seafood in the pan with enough space in between so that none touch. You will most likely have to cook them in batches. The oil should sizzle when you lay them down. Cook each piece for 3 to 4 minutes or until you notice that the seafood looks golden along the bottom, then flip it over and cook it until that side is golden.

Both sides should be golden brown when you remove it from the heat. The meat should easily flake apart when you test one piece with a fork. Place it on a plate covered with paper towels to soak up the oil. Then put it on a baking dish in the oven to keep it warm until every piece is cooked.

Step 6: Serve the Pan-Fried Seafood

Serve with tartar sauce or slices of lemon.

How to Deep-Fry Fish

Step 1: Select & Prepare the fish

fried chicken Mild-flavored whitefish and shellfish are also great to deep fry. The fish fillets should be ½ inch thick and then cut into 3×2-inch pieces.

When you are ready to prepare the seafood, run it under cold water to rinse it off. Then pat dry with a paper towel.

Step 2: Heat up the Oil

Pour vegetable oil into a deep-fat fryer or heavy saucepan. It should be 2 inches deep. Heat it to 375 degrees F over medium-high. Also, preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Step 3: Make the Batter

For a rich, crispy crust, you need to make a batter. Panko breadcrumbs make the best batter for deep-fried fish.

Beat one egg and 1/2 cup of dark beer or milk together in a shallow dish.

Mix 1/3 cup flour and 1 teaspoon seasoning salt together in another shallow dish.

Pour 1 cup panko breadcrumbs into a sealable plastic bag.

Step 4: Coat the Seafood

Dip each piece of seafood into the flour mixture and then the egg mixture. Make sure each side is coated and no egg mixture is dripping. After that, place each piece, one-by-one, into the bag with panko. Seal the bag and shake until each piece is fully coated then remove.

Step 5: Fry the Fish

Fry the seafood in batches of four. Cook it for 3 to 4 minutes or until the seafood is golden. The meat should easily flake apart when you test one piece with a fork.

Place each fried piece on a plate covered with paper towels to soak up the oil. Then place on a baking dish in the oven to keep them warm until every piece of seafood is cooked.

Step 6: Serve the DeepFried Seafood

Serve with tartar sauce or slices of lemon.

We hope these instructions help you fry fish like a pro! Swing by City Fish Market for the best selection of fresh seafood in New England!