Friday, 26 February 2010
How to fry fish properly and why
The case for home-fried fish
Fried fish is like soup. It has to be home-made to be yummy. No matter how premium the brand, it never tastes delicious. Because I am essentially lazy, I have tried many brands but they all taste eh even sluiced down with ketchup. I don’t like to eat anything that isn’t yum yum delicious. Is that terrible to admit?
Admittedly, it makes your house smell of fish. So open the windows for twenty minutes and get over yourself. And you have to actually make a trip to the fish shop to buy the fresh fish and talk to strange men about what you want but it is so worth it, I promise. Also I think if we eat less fish, but we do it proud when we do eat it, it’s better for the environment.
How to fry fish properly
My mom showed me how to do this. She also showed me how to get what you want in a fish shop, (which is basically don’t be shy, ask for what you want and tip them afterwards).
Frying fish properly starts with a trip to the fish-mongers. In London, I ask for haddock or cod fillets, whatever looks fresher. There’s lots of pointing at this stage.
I ask the lovely Roy (or any of the scoundrels at Stoller’s) to cut up the fish into portions, to take the skin off and to debone it. I also ask them to cut off the flap (but keep it, obviously). The flap is the thin bit on the side of the fillet. So that when I fry it, each piece is all the same thickness.
So far, so normal. Now the secrets. After you’ve washed each piece, dry it thoroughly with paper towel . Heat up about two sideways finger widths of sunflower oil in a frying pan. The oil has to get very hot. Make a bowl of beaten egg and a bowl of flour. Dip the fish into the flour first and then into the egg and then into the frying pan.
Cook each side depending on thickness of the fish piece. I cook each side until it is golden brown which is about ten minutes a side. So basically, very hot oil, enough oil and dry fish before it goes in the flour. (Also flour before egg). Sprinkle with salt. Put on kitchen towel after frying. Serve with cut up lemon.