Deep-frying is perhaps the most popular method of preparing fish in North America. While fried fish may not be the most subtle or refined preparation, it can be of very high quality if the fish is fresh and not overcooked, the frying fat is of good quality, and the item is served without delay after cooking.
Lean fish—either small whole fish or small portions such as fillets or sticks—and shellfish such as shrimp, clams, oysters, and scallops are best for deep-frying.
Fish to be fried is breaded or battered to protect it from the frying fat and to protect the frying fat from it. Also, the breading or batter provides a crisp, flavorful, and attractive coating.
Frozen breaded fish portions are widely used.They should be fried without thawing.
Fried fish is usually served with lemon and/or a cold sauce such as tartar, re-moulade,or cocktail sauce on the side.
Frying and breading procedures are discussed in detail in Chapter 7. There is no need to repeat them here, but you should review those sections if necessary. Also, the batter recipes on page 576 are suitable for fish as well as for vegetables.
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