I used to be afraid of fish. No, I don’t mean fish phobia. I mean I was afraid to cook it. I’m not sure what fostered this fear, but many home cooks have it. The best I could manage for a long time was pre-breaded fish sticks. Luckily, fantastic fish is only minutes away and you can end up with perfectly cooked and delicious fish each time, as I discovered a no-fail fish cooking technique that has become my stand by. It works on most any fish filet from catfish to red snapper to salmon.
We had this last night with some Dover sole and Test Subject Bill pronounced it the best fish in some time. In fact, he told me that I should always make fish this way from now on. I’m not going to take that as a negative reflection on my previous fish dishes.
I don’t quite remember the provenance of this technique/recipe, but I’m pretty sure Alton Brown had something to do with it.
KKF No-Fail Fish Basic Recipe
6 T AP flour
1 T Old Bay Seasoning
¼ cup butter
½ pound fish filets (grouper, salmon, sole, catfish, use your imagination)
Sift together flour and Old Bay. Melt butter in a frying pan. Dredge filets in the flour mix. The filets should be moist enough for a thin layer of the flour mixture to stick. When the butter is nice and hot (make sure it’s hot!) add the fish to the pan, “top” side down first. (This makes presentation look nicer as the first side to fry is more even and clean.) Fry 10 minutes per inch of thickness at it’s thickest point, turning over half way through the cooking time. (I find that a good fish flipper is the best tool for this job.)
I like to use the remaining butter in the pan as a brown butter sauce over the fish or on whatever vegetable I’m serving with it. YUMMY.
If you’re making a full pound increase the volume of ingredients by about 50%. (That’s 9 T flour, 1.5 T seasoning and 6 T butter for those math challenged.) How much you have leftover will vary based on how much surface area your fish has, but ALWAYS TOSS THE LEFTOVER FLOUR. Right? Right.
Feel free to tinker with this. Use curry powder or lemon pepper instead of Old Bay (or taco seasoning and use them for fish tacos). If you’re gluten free or paleo try coconut flour, arrowroot powder or almond flour instead of AP flour. In other words, go wild!
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