Redfish Fried 3 Ways

By Jesse Griffiths
Author, "Afield: A Chef's Guide to Preparing and Cooking Wild Game and Fish"

Beer Batter

Obviously, the beer will influence the outcome of the batter. Experiment with different beers — dark beers can be excellent in this application.

Serves 4

  • Oil or lard for frying
  • 1 ½ pounds medium or small fish fillets
  • 1 cold beer
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • Salt to taste

Heat the oil in a fryer or large pot to 375 degrees. Season the fillets with salt. Mix the beer and flour until just blended, then refrigerate until cold. When the oil is hot, dip the fish in the batter, let the excess drip off and carefully lower the fish into the oil. Cook until golden, about 3-5 minutes depending on the size of the fillet. Carefully remove the fish with a skimmer or by raising the fry basket and gently rest the fillets on paper towels, a rack or a brown paper bag. Season immediately with salt. Serve with malt vinegar, tartare sauce, aioli or high-quality ketchup or cocktail sauce.


Mustard Batter

This is the hybrid – a thin batter that is rolled in breadcrumbs. This batter works well with stronger flavored fish like white bass or catfish, but is also good with most any fish. Again, using different mustards (whole grain, Dijon, yellow) and different beers will affect the outcome in good ways. In camp or in a rental fish shack in a small town, just use what you've got on hand.

Serves 4

  • 1 ½ pounds fish fillets
  • 1 beer
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup mustard
  • Dredge:
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 3 cups unseasoned breadcrumbs
  • Oil or lard for frying

Make a batter with the beer, the half cup of flour, egg and mustard, then refrigerate. Season the fillets with salt. Dredge the fish first in flour, then dip in the batter, then dip in the breadcrumbs, making sure the fillets are evenly coated with the crumbs. Refrigerate until ready to fry, or up to 2 hours. Fry in hot 375 degree oil until golden, then drain well on absorbent paper. Serve immediately with your preferred condiments.


Cornmeal Fried Fish

The classic. Using extra finely ground cornmeal gives a superior crunch to this preparation. Serve this with beans and cole slaw.

  • 1 ½ pounds fish fillets
  • 2 cups finely ground cornmeal
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • Oil for frying

Mix together the milk and eggs. Season the fillets with salt and pepper. Dip the fillets first in cornmeal, then the egg mixture, then back into the cornmeal. Dust off the excess and refrigerate until cold. Fry until golden, about 5 minutes, depending on the size of the fish.


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