Serves 2 to 3 people | Cook Time: 6 minutes
It’s Fish Friday! I love frying fish, and how people handle themselves on a fry station is a sign of how well they cook. Do they work clean, without getting egg and batter everywhere? Do they get the fish just right, not burning or overcooking it? It’s worth the time and practice to get good at it.
Serve this meal topped with cabbage slaw, a wedge of lime and/or avocado.
1 pound Halibut or other white fish fillets, such as grouper, cod or Pollock, cut into “fingers” a little thicker than your thumb and a bit longer than your index finger.
For the egg wash*:
1 large egg
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon salt
*Always use equal parts egg and liquid in washes. Although a good rule of thumb is that a large egg is about 3 tablespoons in volume. However, all eggs vary slightly, so adjust the amount of liquid as needed.
For the almond flour coating:
2 cups fine almond flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup olive oil plus one more as needed*
Several butter lettuce leaves, for serving
Several lime wedges, for serving
*You can also use coconut oil or duck fat in place of the olive oil. I like to use olive oil when frying fish because it smokes when the oil is getting too hot. It’s best to cook fish at a temperature that isn’t too hot, so this visual cue comes in handy.
Pat the fish completely dry with paper towels.
Pour the olive oil (or fat of your choice) into a heavy sauté pan until it comes approximately ½ inch up the sides of the pan (you want an amount that will reach halfway up the sides of the fish). Slowly heat the oil over medium heat.
While the oil is heating, prepare the wash and dry coating. In a shallow bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the egg wash. In another shallow bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the almond flour coating.
Next, set up your assembly line. First comes your well-dried fish. Next is the egg wash, then the almond flour coating, followed by the pan with the hot oil, and finally a plate or sheet pan lined with a paper towel, for the fried fish.
When the oil reaches 300 degrees F, it’s ready. If you do not have a deep-fat thermometer, check if the oil has a shimmer and a wave to it; if it does, it’s ready to use. If it begins to smoke, it’s too hot. You can test the heat by dropping a pinch of almond flour in it: if it sizzles it is hot enough.
It’s best to work in batches of two or three fish pieces. Any more than this and things tend to get messy: plus, it lets you et back to the first piece of fish in the pan in time to flip it. It is important to have one wet hand and one dry hand when completing the batter process. To keep the process tidy, I typically wash my hands between batches.
Using your wet hand, place the fish into the egg wash, then, with the same hand, drop the fish into the f lour.
Use your dry hand to turn and coat the fish in the flour mixture, and then carefully place it in the oil.
In 3 minutes the flour coating will start to turn golden brown. Flip the fish and start coating the next round. Once flipped, the fish should cook another 2 to 3 minutes. It will turn one shade darker once you remove it from the oil, so pull it from the oil before you think it is done. I am serious about this: When you are sure in every fiber of your being that it needs more time, that’s when it’s time to take it out. Set the fish on the paper towel-lined plate or sheet pan to drain.
Serve in a butter lettuce leaf, topped with cabbage slaw and a wedge of lime.
This recipe comes from “Paleo by Season: A Chef’s Approach To Paleo Cooking” by Peter Servold, which is available now on Amazon.