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Old 05-04-2006, 10:30 AM   #1
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Question Breading and Frying Fish

hello all,
I suppose I should introduce myself since this is my first post. I am young lad (22) who's recently begun to develop a fiery passion for the flaming oven. The only problem is that I really don't know anything about cooking! So, that's why I'm here.

Last night I tried to do something new {i.e. not just making frozen pizza! }: I tried to bread and fry fish.
Now, I've seen my mom do this every once in a while, so I didn't think it would prove that difficult. gosh, was I wrong.
I'll leave out the embarrassing parts and just leave it at this:
I couldn't get the fish pieces (flounder) to stay whole, I couldn't get it to hold a normal layer of breading, and the frying... I won't even go there.

regarding the frying, I had an additional question: I'm trying to lose wieght and eat healthier in general. now, when my mom made this type of fish, it was always drenched in oil. I was wondering if there was another way to make this that didn't involve oil, or basically, I'm looking for a healthy way to prepare this dish.

Thank you all in advance for your help.
-BoyWithSpoon

p.s. is fish healthy? looking at the nutritional information, I see that its loaded with cholesterol (though my roommate thinks it might be "healthy" cholesterol.)~
p.p.s. any recommended spices to apply to this dish?

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Old 05-04-2006, 10:44 AM   #2
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BwS:

Welcome aboard!

Fish is a relatively healthy food to eat. All animal products contain cholesterol. You need to look at it relative to other sources.

To fry fish, you should follow a multi-step process:
  1. the fish pieces or filets should be patted dry.
  2. set up a three containers - one with seasoned flour, one with seasoned egg wash (eggs and a little water beat together) and one with bread crumbs
  3. Coat a piece of fish on flour and shake off the excess
  4. dip it into the egg wash and let the excess drip off
  5. coat with bread crumbs
To fry successfully, the oil must be hot. If it's not hot enough, the food will absorb the oil and make it greasy.

When it's hot, place the breaded fish into the pan. Cook until the bottom is GBD (golden brown and delicious) and turn once. When the second side is GBD, remove to a paper towel to catch the remains of the hot oil. Serve with a slice of lemon.

You can also bake breaded fish and skip the oil altogether. The taste is different. Both can be good.
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Old 05-04-2006, 10:49 AM   #3
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What fish is full of cholesterol? Salmon has fat that is Omega3=good for you. Most fish are VERY low fat, particularly flounder.
Try tilapia for a firmer fish and quite good. Do Andy's thing. Panko or instant potato flakes (not buds) are also excellent for coating fish.
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Old 05-04-2006, 10:52 AM   #4
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Thank you both so much!

At the risk of revealing how much of a newbie I am, I'll hazard the inquiry: "what precisely do you mean by 'pat dry'?"

thanks again,
BoyWithSpoon
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Old 05-04-2006, 10:53 AM   #5
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Just like you would dry your hands--but you don't rub--just pat so you don't hurt the fish. It makes it possible for the breading to stick.
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Old 05-04-2006, 10:57 AM   #6
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thank you again!

and does anybody have any recommended seasoning ideas (I like the lemon one), or any other ideas to make this dish nicer?

thank you all again!
BoyWithSpoon (aka, the newbie)
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Old 05-04-2006, 10:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gretchen
Just like you would dry your hands--but you don't rub--just pat so you don't hurt the fish. It makes it possible for the breading to stick.
Let me add that you pat it dry with paper towels.

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Old 05-04-2006, 10:59 AM   #8
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For comparison purposes:

100 grams Flounder - raw Cholesterol 48 grams
100 grams Chicken Breast - raw Cholesterol 58 grams
100 grams Filet Mignon - raw Cholesterol 70 grams

The American Heart Association recommends a diet which contains no more than 300 grams of cholesterol a day. If you already have heart problems, they recommend a max of 200 grams. So choose your foods carefully.
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Old 05-04-2006, 11:02 AM   #9
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Seasonings - wow! There are so many!
There's a nice one that is called Lemon & Herb that's a no-salt one, probably made by a common company like Lawry's, also Lemon-Garlic is a nice seasoning blend.
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Old 05-04-2006, 11:03 AM   #10
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thank you!
so, I pat it dry on paper towels (don't rub), then stick it in some flour (which will stick, even though its dry~?), then the eggs, and then the crumbs. right?

and I can fry it or also bake it (how would I bake it? temp and time?).
oh, and is there a healthy alternative to frying with oil? (or a preferable oil?)

thanks again!
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Old 05-04-2006, 11:08 AM   #11
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Yep you got the technique down.

Baking is healthier than frying all things being equal. As far as temp and time that is a hard thing to say. Temp I would probably do 350ish. Time will be different for every piece of fish and for each oven. You basically will just need to check the fish. I would start at 350 for about 10-15 minutes. To check, take a fork and pull at the fish a little. It should be solid white and flaky. If it does not flake easily or is still a little translucent then let it cook a little longer.
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Old 05-04-2006, 11:09 AM   #12
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Welcome BWS!! Very glad that you have joined us, and that you have decided to explore the wonderful world of cooking!! Everyone has to start somewhere (I too, didn't know anything about cooking until I was almost grown up!!), we all have been there and understand, so don't be afraid to ask ANY questions!! You have already received great advices for frying fish. If I may throw in my 2 cents, if you don't have a thermometer and would like to know how to determine the proper oil temperature, this is a good way to eye ball it... throw in a tiny pinch of the batter into the oil, if it comes right up to the surface bubbling, it is ready. If it sinks and remain at the bottom for a while, the oil is not hot enough.
There are always many, many delicious fish recipes without deep frying, either grilled, seared or oven baked. Surf around our fish and seafood section, you will find oodles of ideas!!
For the seasoning for the fish, squeezing the lemon juice over the piping hot fish is always delicious, also dill and caper can be nice with many type of fish.
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Old 05-04-2006, 11:15 AM   #13
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THANKS!
The warm reception and help is greatly appreciated. I'm looking forward to trying some new recipes and getting advise from the wonderful people here. Thanks again,
BoyWithSpoon
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Old 05-04-2006, 11:16 AM   #14
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For frying, I suggest oils low in saturated fats such as canola or safflower oils. Olive oil also works well and is one of the healthier oils. However, it has less of a tolerance for higher heats. It will start smoking at a lower temp.

I usually bake fish at 400 F. A thick piece such as a salmon filet can take longer than a thinner piece. The 'rule of thumb' is 10 minutes per inch of thickness. Most fish is less than an inch thick. You have to decide on the time based on how well done you want the fish to be.
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Old 05-04-2006, 11:21 AM   #15
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Getting the grease hot enough is the trick to keepy your fish from being too greasy. Also, don't overcrowd the pan, as that lowers the temperature of the grease.
We've used all sorts of methods for breading the fish, but our favorite way is to use Zatarain's Fish Fry Coating. You just wash the fish off, dredge it in the coating and pop into the pan. It's a lighter coating than the 3 step type, which we like because you can still taste the fish.
Also remember not to overcook your fish. Fry until just golden.

Something we also enjoy are pan-seared fish fillets. We put a small amount of oil in a non-stick skillet, season the fish with S&P and a dash of Cajun seasoning, if you wish, then sear on both sides on med/high heat. If your fillets are thin, you can roll them up and secure with a toothpick to make a thicker piece of fish, or even stack one piece on top of another and treat as one piece. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice over the top when they are done. Again, don't over-cook your fish. It only takes a few minutes on each side.

You can also season the fish as above, rubbing with a small amount of olive oil first, and cook on the grill. When we do that, I like to place a thin slice of lemon on top of each fish.

I have yet to find a recipe for oven baked fish that I like, so I'm no help there.

Yes, fish has cholesterol, but it's the good kind. Fish are healthy for you! Eat'em up!
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Old 05-04-2006, 11:33 AM   #16
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the most obvious seasonings and ones often forgotten are salt and pepper

you can add several dashes of hot sauce (your favorite brand) to the beaten egg mixture; you can add grated parmesan cheese to the final bread crumb mix.

use crushed corn flakes instead of bread crumbs...awesome...also really good with the parmesan cheese.

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Old 05-04-2006, 11:42 AM   #17
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lol,
thanks again everyone!
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Old 05-04-2006, 11:48 AM   #18
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Which type of oil would be better? Would peanut oil be better than vegetable or EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil), or would it just be like...umm, say personal preference? I know oils are varied as to which is best with what type of food you're frying up, and just wanted to know which would be better with fish. I'm still a newbie when it comes to cooking myself, I've mostly gone the fast food or restaurant route, but am wanting to eat better for health reasons. Thanks.
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Old 05-04-2006, 11:50 AM   #19
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also may I add to make sure you get your oil hot before placing the fish in, I also use zantrains lemmon pepper breading, not really realvent just thought I would throw that in :)
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Old 05-04-2006, 11:51 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foodfiend
Which type of oil would be better? Would peanut oil be better than vegetable or EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil), or would it just be like...umm, say personal preference? I know oils are varied as to which is best with what type of food you're frying up, and just wanted to know which would be better with fish. I'm still a newbie when it comes to cooking myself, I've mostly gone the fast food or restaurant route, but am wanting to eat better for health reasons. Thanks.

peanut oil tends to get hotter than veg. oil,thats all I could figure would be different...
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