Crispy Deep-Fried Fish Recipe

Deep-fried fish, pan-fried fish, and other homemade crispy seafood recipes can seem intimidating. However, if you follow our instructions on how to make the best crispy deep-fried fish, you will have your neighbours jealous and wanting an invite. We’re here to walk you through every step of the process of how-to deep fry fish so you get the crispiest, most delicious results.

Choosing your fish

For four servings, choose 450g of skinless fish fillets, about 1.5 – 2cm thick. Most fillets will work, yet try to choose sustainable and seasonal fish. This will help to ensure the fish is at its best. Popular choices are cod, haddock, or pollock, although salmon works well too. If frozen, thaw the fillets in the refrigerator. A 450g package will thaw in 1 to 2 days.

How to get it crispy

Here’s how to achieve wonderfully crisp and flaky fried fish:

  • Dry and season – Before being coated in the batter, each piece of fish should first be dried off with paper towels and then seasoned with salt and pepper, or your chosen seasoning.
  • The correct oil temperature – If your oil isn’t hot enough, you could get a mushy, unappealing coating from being oversaturated in the oil. If your oil is too hot, you’ll wind up scorching the fish coating’s exterior and not allowing the inside of the fried fish enough time to cook and stay raw. Invest in a cooking thermometer if your fryer doesn’t keep track of the temperature for you to ensure that your oil is always between 175 – 190 °C
  • Less is more – If you put too many pieces of fish in the fryer at once, the temperature of the oil will soon decrease, which is bad practice. Begin with just a few fish pieces, this will give them enough time to cook and get nicely crispy.
  • Use a Cooling Rack – By placing the fish on paper towels or newspapers to drain, you risk losing the crispy coating you worked so hard to get on the fish. Your fried fish will rapidly lose its crisp coating as a result of this process because steam will build between the fish and the coating. To keep that coating nice and crisp, use a cooling rack.

How to make crispy deep-fried fish

You have probably deep-fried fish at least once if you prefer eating fresh fish. Fish that has been deep-fried has an amazing flavour and a superb crispiness. Here’s how to prepare this classic meal.

This recipe serves approximately 2-4 people as a full portion meal, and takes about 20-25 minutes to complete, 10 minutes for prep and 10 – 15 minutes to cook.

Dredge mix:

  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon white rice flour.
  • ¼ cup tapioca flour.
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt.
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper.

Batter mix:

  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons white rice flour.
  • ½ cup tapioca flour.
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons onion powder.
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons garlic powder.
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper.
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon ground turmeric.
  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper.
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt.
  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar.
  • 1 cup cold club soda.

Additional ingredients:

  • 8 cups palm oil.
  • 450g fillets of skinless mahi-mahi or flounder, or skin-on brown trout.
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided.
  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper, divided.
  • Potato chips and tartar sauce, for serving.

Making the dredge portion:

  • Add rice flour to a mixing bowl.
  • Whisk in, the tapioca flour, salt, and black pepper until well combined.
  • Set aside for later.

Making the batter

  • In another large bowl, whisk together the rice flour, tapioca flour, onion powder, garlic powder, red pepper, baking powder, turmeric, black pepper, salt, and sugar until well combined. 
  • Just before frying the fish, it is advised that you also whisk in the club soda until well combined.

Frying the fish:

  • Pour your 8 cups of palm oil into another deep pot. 
  • Preferably a 10-inch straight-sided skillet or Dutch oven. Preheat the oil between 175-190°C. 
  • Season the fillets evenly with 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ a teaspoon of black pepper.
  • Place 2 of the fillets in the dredge mixture from earlier, pressing the dry mixture onto the fillets, do this on both sides and gently shake off the excess. 
  • Dip the fillets into the batter, allowing any excess batter to drip off. 
  • Place the battered fillets into the hot oil, and cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through, this should only take 3 to 4 minutes. 
  • Transfer the cooked fillets to a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet to drip dry.
  • Season with a 1/4 teaspoon of salt and a 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper. 
  • Repeat the frying process with remaining fillets, salt, and pepper until complete.
  • Serve and enjoy.

Serving suggestion: 2 lemons cut into quarters with crispy potato chips, a small bowl of tartar sauce, a small bowl of tomato sauce, and some fresh parsley does wonders.

Approximate nutritional Info per serving.

  • Calories: 262kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 20g
  • Protein: 34g 
  • Fat: 4g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Cholesterol: 103mg 
  • Sodium: 1256mg
  • Potassium: 546mg
  • Fibre: 1g 
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Vitamin A: 614IU
  • Calcium: 27mg
  • Iron: 2mg

The best oil for deep frying

Are you looking for sustainable, premium grade frying oil? Choose Frymax! Our sustainably sourced palm oil is relied on by chippies and restaurants across the country to serve up high-quality fried foods. If you’d like to learn more, get in contact with Frymax. 

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18 October 2022