I am rather unsure why I am issuing this post. I just find that i need to keep a record of this simple fish frying techniques that I know so that one day, possibly my kids will need this.. Lol.
Well, with the availability of non stick pan, this recipe may not be that relevant but I found that the traditional method of beautifully pan frying fish is still worth the respect. Most of the time when I posted my fried fish in Facebook, members will ask me how to pan fry fishes such that the skins are intact and beautifully brown.
Frankly speaking, I have a way of pan frying fish but I did research on what is written in the internet. Prior to issuing this post, I asked my mother in law to share what she knew about pan frying fish. To my surprise, what she said is almost 80% similar to those captured in Chinese recipes.
Pan frying fish is a very common childhood fish. Fishes that are expensive are usually steamed but most of the humble fishes like ikan selar, ikan kembong, ikan kuning, ikan tenggiri, black pomfret, small white pomfret etc. are being pan fried until the external are crispy. For my family, we have only one dip for these type of simple pan frying fishes which I will also share here.
For all what I knew, to have a presentable and beautiful pan fried fish served in the plate, my humble conclusions are:
- The fish must be fresh (meaning, when you touches the fish, the flesh will bound back)
- The fish must be very dry without any water before pan frying. Therefore, it is always advisable to pat dry the fish with kitchen towel and let it in room temperature or fridge without cover for half hour
- It will be a good idea to coat the fish with some rice flour before pan frying to further reduce the moisture content
- The pan must be clean and free of dirt or other food debris
- You must heat up the pan until very hot before adding the oil
- Once you add the oil and oil become very hot, you should reduce the heat to medium
- Once you put your fish, never touch the fish until one side is golden brown, once it is golden brown, the skin will detach from the pan
- Turn the fish and pan frying the other side until golden brown.
- Some suggested to put a teaspoon of sugar to the oil, it will help to flavour the fish, make the skin intact and colour the fish faster (Note: I have never used this method and may try possibly in my next attempt)
- Can also consider to brush some vinegar on the fish skin before pan frying. Some have advised to lightly brush the dry fish with some egg yolk before pan frying.
WHAT IS REQUIRED
- Some fishes of your choice (ikan kembong in this illustration)
- Some rice flour
- 1 chilli or chilli padi
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 tablespoon of dark soya sauce or light soya sauce
- 4-5 calamansi or 2 tablespoons of vinegar
STEPS OF PREPARATION
- Wash the fish, DRAINED and let it “air dry” in the fridge or at room temperature until the skin is dry. It is also advisable to pat dry the fish using a kitchen towel.
- Coat the dry fish with some rice flour . Corn flour can be used too.
- Heat up the frying pan until very hot, add 1-2 tablespoons of oil (depending on your fish volume but you do not really need a lot) and heat up the oil until almost smoky.
- Add the fish and pan fry for about 1 minute (depending on size), REDUCE THE HEAT TO MEDIUM, continue to pan fry the fish until the aroma of cooked fish start to emit or golden brown. Do not touch the fish during pan frying and you can only flip the fish when one side is ready. Turn the fish over carefully, INCREASE THE HEAT TO HOT FOR ONE MINUTE before reducing the heat to medium again. Continue to pan fry until the other side is cooked. Once both side is done, drain the fish.
- Chopped shallots and chilli, add the squeezed calamasi juices or vinegar, add the dark or light soya sauce and stir until well mixed.
I presumed everybody also know how to pan fry fish and I hope this post will benefit those who wanted to better their fish pan frying skills. If you have any other points to add, you can just let me know.
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