My brother-in-law Rich has fried a lot of fish in his day. He said he tried all kinds of techniques until he finally got smart and asked his mother. This recipe is my take on their family favorite, complete with tips and tricks to keep your fingers clear of batter and the kitchen free of spatter.
Why do I use avocado oil? Because it is low in PUFAs (polyunsaturated fat acids), whereas canola oil is loaded with them. PUFAs break down into toxic compounds under heat, and who wants that served with their fish? We would rather have tartar sauce!
Fried Fish Recipe
|WHAT YOU NEED||WHAT TO DO||WHY|
||In a 3-quart bowl, soak fish in milk for 15-20 minutes.||The casein protein in milk binds to the trimethylamine in the fish flesh, reducing the “fishy” smell.|
||Flour bowl: In a 3-quart bowl, whisk together. Set aside.||Flour helps the other coatings bind to fish.|
||Egg bowl: In a small bowl, whisk until loose and frothy. Set aside.||Whisking eliminates egg clumps.|
||Cornmeal bowl: In a 3-quart bowl, whisk together. Set aside.||Cornmeal produces a crispy, textured crust when fried.|
|Drain fish through a mesh strainer, giving vigorous shakes to cast of excess milk; transfer to the flour mixture. With a silicone spatula, toss to evenly coat. Working with once piece at a time, use a spoon to dredge (plunge and turn) fish pieces in the egg mixture, adding to the cornmeal mixture as you go. When all are added to the corn mixture, use the silicone spatula to toss to evenly coat. Set fish aside on a plate.||Using spoons avoids doughy club fingers. Each layer (milk, flour, egg) helps the next layer adhere.|
||Set the wire rack over a plate; position near the stove. In a 3-quart tri-ply saucepan, add 2-3 inches oil and insert a candy thermometer. The tip should not touch the pan base. Over high heat, bring to 375°F (~5 minutes). With long tongs, load fish clockwise, leaving shoulder space (plan on frying in 4-5 batches). Monitor the load and adjust the heat to ensure oil stays between 350-375°F. Turn when amber (~2 minutes), starting with the first piece added to the oil and again working clockwise. Fry the second side (~2 minutes); transfer to rack to allow excess oil to drain away.||A deep-sided pot reduces spattering. Avocado oil has a neutral flavor and sports a high smoke point (520°F). Hot oil creates a quick seal, minimizing fat absorption.|