Friday, January 7, 2011

225. Crispy Fish, Pan-fried

Whether it is from a lake or the sea...what matters most is that fish for the table has to be fresh or fresh frozen. Most of us who do not live next to a real  fish market, are lucky to be able to buy fish that is flash-frozen and vacuum sealed...two procedures that usually eliminate freezer burn and off-flavors.

Although I like baked, deep friend and grilled fish, my favorite fish is coated and pan-fried. I love the crispy outside texture and seasonings that many restaurant chefs serve. At home I always wanted to recreate that same wonderful, crisp crust. For years though, all the recipes I tried turned out substandard crust... it was never crisp or light enough. Then, I discovered a recipe that makes perfect, crispy fish every time.

This easy coating procedure involves four quick steps and includes Panko crumbs. Panko are an oriental-style crumb and are extremely crisp and light. With the addition of a few other ingredients, the simple coating procedure turns even an ordinary piece of fish into something heavenly.

Crispy Fish

4 fish fillets
Egg, beaten
Panko bread crumbs
Salt and Pepper (or desired seasoning)

Heat a large pan on med-high heat and add oil to lightly coat the pan bottom. Meanwhile, prepare 4 bowls in the following order: milk, flour, beaten egg, Panko crumbs. Rinse fish and pat dry. Dip each fish piece in the milk, dredge both sides in flour; dip into the egg and finish by coating both sides with the Panko crumbs. Set fish aside to complete process with other pieces. Place fish pieces in hot oil. As fish cooks, turn the pieces to brown evenly. Salt and pepper each side to taste. Add 1-2 tablespoons of margarine to pan as fish cooks to add flavor and to keep the fish pieces from burning. When fish is flaky and cooked through, remove from heat. Serve immediately.

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