Petitchef

Fish and Chips Style Fried Catfish

Fish and Chips Style Fried CatfishFish and Chips Style Fried Catfish

Fish and chips became a popular carry out staple for the working classes in Great Britain, originating sometime around 1858 to 1863. The first ?Fish and Chip? shop opened in Britain, in Oldham, Greater Manchester and is commemorated with a plaque stating:


?Fish And Chips Tommyfield, home of the first British fried chip. The first chips were fried in Oldham around 1860 from which the origins of Fish and Chip shops and the ?Fast Food? industries can be traced.?


Typically fish and chips utilize cod, pollock, or haddock as the main ingredient, which are firm fleshed white flaky fish, in my preparation I am using catfish, the popular southern fried staple. 

The batter is typically made with a simple water and flour mixture with baking soda adding some body; some recipes call for vinegar to add lightness, and some use beer or soda water to add airy lightness to the fried crust. In this recipe I am using sparkling water, but any carbonated liquid would do, just know that the flavor will change depending on the liquid added to the batter, especially if a dark beer is utilized.

The fish and chip fried catfish morsels are light, airy, tender and flavorful fruits of the sea. Each fish strip when dipped into the batter then gently coddled into the deep fat swells into a puff up of delicate floating islands, almost like a fresh fish caught on the line and awaiting its ultimate culinary fate.

The golden brown islands of buoyant seafood goodness screams out like the whistle of the fishing ship announcing its arrival, drawing tight and slipping into the dock, tying up and delivering the goods. Your plate is the home port, and the fresh fried fish has arrived!

The Step-By-Step

In a medium bowl combine the beaten egg with the milk to form an egg wash. In a second medium bowl add two cups of the all-purpose flour.

Egg wash with catfish stripsEgg wash with catfish strips

Dip the fish pieces a few at a time into the egg wash to moisten, and then dredge them evenly but lightly into the flour. Dust off any excess flour and allow the coated fish strips to air dry on a wax paper lined sheet pan for at least 5 minutes.

Floured catfish strips resting on wax paper at least 5 minutesFloured catfish strips resting on wax paper lined sheet pan at least 5 minutes

In a third medium bowl combine the remaining 1 ½ cups flour with the sugar, baking powder, salt, and onion powder. Then using a wire whisk, add the sparkling water until the consistency of a thin pourable batter, not too thin, and not too thick.

Batter mixed and ready to goBatter mixed and ready to go

The batter and fry set upThe batter and fry station set up. Oil almost at temperature.

Dip the floured fish strips 3 or 4 at a time into the batter, then gently slide them into the hot oil and fry on all sides for about 5 to 6 minutes, or until golden brown and floating. Be sure to fry evenly on all sides.

Frying the battered catfish stripsFrying the battered catfish strips (click image for larger view)

Catfish in the deep fry oilFour or five pieces of catfish in the deep fry oil

Catfish frying on all sides, just about golden brownCatfish frying on all sides, just about golden brown

The Recipe



Ingredients


1 ½
Lbs
Catfish filets, cut into 1-inch strips


1
Quart
Canola or peanut oil for frying (quantity may vary)*


1
Lg
Egg, beaten


½
Cup
Milk


3 ½
Cups
All-purpose flour, divided


3
Tbsp
Sugar


1 ½
Tsp
Baking powder


½
Tbsp
Salt


½
Tbsp
Onion powder


1 ½
Cups
Sparkling water


 
 
 




Procedure Steps:


1.
Have the catfish strips cut and ready. Heat the oil in a deep fryer or high sided sauce pot to between 350° F and 375° F. Be very careful and use a deep fry thermometer to monitor the oil, or a deep fryer with thermostat settings to maintain the safe temperature. *Depending on the size of your deep fryer you may need more or less oil; the requirement is to be sure there is at least 2 inches of oil in the fryer. Next, pre-heat your oven to a warm holding temperature of 180° F.


2.
In a medium bowl combine the beaten egg with the milk to form an egg wash.


3.
In a second medium bowl add two cups of the all-purpose flour.


4.
Dip the fish pieces a few at a time into the egg wash to moisten, and then dredge them evenly but lightly into the flour. Dust off any excess flour and allow the coated fish strips to air dry on a wax paper lined sheet pan for at least 5 minutes.


5.
In a third medium bowl combine the remaining 1 ½ cups flour with the sugar, baking powder, salt, and onion powder. Then using a wire whisk, add the sparkling water until the consistency of a thin pourable batter, not too thin, and not too thick.


6.
Dip the floured fish strips 3 or 4 at a time into the batter, then gently slide them into the hot oil and fry on all sides for about 5 to 6 minutes, or until golden brown and floating. Be sure to fry evenly on all sides.


7.
As you fry in batches transfer the fried fish strips to a paper towel lined sheet pan and keep warm in the 180° F holding oven.


To Serve: Have salt and malt vinegar ready at the table.

Fish and Chips Malt VinegaFish and Chips Malt Vinegar

Yield: four 6-ounce portions

Bon appetite!

CCR

=:~)

©2011 CCR








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