Fried fish has always been one of thosefastest and simplest street foods before now; if you are familiar with any fish stand in Nigeria, you will for sure recall how some fried fish are usually spread out on news peppers with fried plantain chips or potato chipsby some road side sellers,especially during the evening hours. Fried fish generally can be eaten withany kind of food; you can even deep the fried fish in tomatostew or ketchup and enjoy it as lunch or dinner or serve it as a side dish with salad or jollof rice. There are so many fried fish recipes that you can choose from, one of which is the Nigerian okra soup which I have some times ago. Other ways to enjoy fried fish is to use it to prepare tomato stew. See how to make tomato fish stew. Also,you can prepare your fish and thenserve itwith chips if you prefer.
However, Im not only going to explain the many recipes forfried fish, but will rather explainmore on how you can pan fry yourfishwithout it sticking to the pan orscattering into the oil. This has been one of the major problemsfaced by many people and here in this article, I will list out the best ways you can fry fish in a pan without them breaking apart. Vegetable oil, olive oil, and butter are best oils for frying fish, you can use a simple frying pan, pot or non-stick pan to achieve a crispy fried fish, all you need to do is to deep fry your fish in the oil using any of thesepots.
Even if you want fry a whole fish, you will still need to follow the same procedure; a non-stick pan is best for frying any kind of fish, it will preventthe fish from sticking to the pan but it may not get the skin too brown as well. However, both whole fish andfish cutlets do not need to be fried for too long on heat, at least 8 minutes should be enough to fryboth sides depending on the size of the fish. You can prepare your fish batter using beer, breadcrumbs, cornmeal or plain flour, such are the few simple ingredients in which you can use. If you want to fry your fish without flour, simply mix your own ingredients as for me I like to use ground pepper, garlic, ginger, nutmeg and salt to seasonmy fish if I dont want to make this with flour, butthat depends on what you want to use to season your fried fish.
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Tips/Best way to fry fish without it sticking to the pan or breaking into pieces
- Always defrost or thaw your fish ahead of time and try to dry out excess water from the fish using paper towel before adding it to the oil. Leave the fish to sit outside the fridge for about 12 hours or in the refrigerator for a whole day.
- Cut your fish into four or five pieces once the ice has reduce and leave them to drain completely; excess water in the fish will also result to oil spatter during the process therefor, it is very important you thaw and dry your fish first before frying it to prevent oil spatter.
- Fish should not be seasoned while its still frozen, excess water in the fish will definitely reduce the temperature of the oil such that it wont be as hot as its supposed to be. This means that the fish will end up sitting in the oil for some times without sufficient temperature to hold it together, hence it will get soaked in the oil and further fall apart while in the pan.
- Do not use runny marinade to season your fish, a runny marinade will end up sticking or settling to the bottom of the pan such that when you fry the 2nd and the 3rd batch, it makes it difficult to lift the fish as it has glued to the sticky marinade at the bottom of the pan.
- Be sure you use a non-stick pan for your fish frying, and do not fry your fish over a low heat, but fry it over medium high heat.
- If you really want to get a crispy fried fish, use flour or mixture of flour garlic, ginger and pepper to coat your fish to achieve that just like the above picture.
- Always fry your fish a few pieces at a time so as not to over crowd the pan; once the first batch is well fried, remove from the oil and add another batch.
- Make sure you deep fry your fish and add sufficient oil to the pan; the quantity of vegetable oil you add to the pan should depend on the quantity of fish you have. If you dont use enough oil for your fish, it means the fish will just sit at the bottom of the pan and possibly stick to the pan making it hard to flip over to the next side without it falling apart.
- You can combine equal part of butter and oil to fry fish if you want; combining the two prevents the butter from burning.
- You can make your own fish batter without having to wet the batter. To make fish batter (seasoning for fried fish)-all you need to do is to combine all your dry ingredients into one bowl and whisk until they combine and then dredge the fish in it to coat, then shake off excess and fry it in the oil.
Ingredients for frying of fish
- 1 whole large fish cut into pieces (I used mackerel)
- 5 table spoons of plain flour, cornmeal or bread crumbs
- -teaspoon of garlic paste
- -teaspoon of ginger paste
- 1 teaspoon of grated onions (optional
- teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon of ground chilli pepper
- 35cl of vegetable oil
- 1 Seasoning cube shared into two parts
- Salt to taste
How to fry fish in a pan without it sticking
- In a deep bowl, combine 4 tablespoons of flow with ground pepper, salt 1 seasoning cube, ginger and garlic paste.
- Add 3 tablespoons of water and mix until the flour turns to a paste and combines with the other ingredients.
- Dip and dredge the fish cutlets one at time until they are properly coated with the flour mixture.
- Add 35cl of vegetable oil into a non-stick pan and place over a medium high heat.
- Add in the flour coated fish into the oil and fry each side for 3 minutes.
- Once one side is golden, flip over to the other side using a large metal spatula and fry also until it turns golden and flaky when tested with a fork.
- Use a frying spoon to transfer each cooked fish to paper towels or into a colander to drain. Flip the fish to drain both sides.
- Repeat the same process with the remaining fish until you are done with all the cutlets.
- Enjoy your fried fish with stew, salad, instantnoodles or simply eat it the way it is.
Steps on how to fry fish in a pan without it sticking or falling apart with pictures
1. In a deep bowl, combine 4 tablespoons of flourwith ground pepper, salt 1 seasoning cube, ginger and garlic paste.
2. Add about 3 tablespoons of water into the flour and mix to combines with the other ingredients and then turns into a thick paste.
3. Dip and dredge the fish cutlets in the flour mixture one at time until they are properly coated with the flour mixture.
4. Add 35cl of vegetable oil into a non-stick pan and place over a medium high heat. The quantity of oil depends on your size of fish
5. Add in the flour coated fish into the oil and fry each side for 3 minutes.
6. Once one side is golden, flip over to the second side using a large metal spatula and fry also until it turns golden and flaky when tested with a fork.
7. Use a spatula to transfer each cooked fish to paper towels or into a colander to drain. Flip the fish to drain both sides.
8. Repeat the same process with the remaining fish until you are done with all the cutlets.
9. Enjoy your fried fish with stew, salad, noodles or simply eat it the way it is.
Dr. Brown is the founder of Jotscroll, he is a Medical Doctor, Entrepreneur, and author. Dr. Razi Brown holds a medical degree from the University of San Diego. He has invested in many startups and is currently working on his fifth book to be published in the upcoming year.