Chef Ryan

Cajun Chef Ryan

Feeling & sharing a world of cooking ~ more than your average Cajun



 



Fish and Chips Style Fried Catfish

February 15th, 2011 · 24 Comments

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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Tags: Recipes · Seafood

24 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Belinda @zomppaNo Gravatar // Feb 15, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    What a classic, perfectly fried dish!

  • 2 OC2SeattleNo Gravatar // Feb 15, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    Some of my strongest memories of trips to Australia as a kid are of fish and chips. I really like this Southern Twist.

  • 3 KankanaNo Gravatar // Feb 15, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    One of my fav dish when I fist came to US was fish and chips and then i became a meat lover .. but this dish is craving me for some fish and chips again 🙂 and i like the twist you gave ..

  • 4 claudia lamascolo/aka pegasuslegendNo Gravatar // Feb 15, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Never had catfish, have caught many looks like we are missing out!

  • 5 Evan @swEEtsNo Gravatar // Feb 15, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    You can’t have fish and chips without the vinegar! When I lived in London I would find any excuse to slip into a pub to order this delectable dish! Well done Chef 🙂

  • 6 Big Boys OvenNo Gravatar // Feb 15, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    this fish and chips look really fabulous! well done chef!

  • 7 ShelbyNo Gravatar // Feb 15, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    These look yummy and I really love the malt vinegar to go with!

  • 8 Kate @ Diethood.comNo Gravatar // Feb 15, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    Oh that’s sooooo goooood! One of my favorite ways to eat fish.
    While visiting Australia, I had fish and chips almost daily!

  • 9 SandraNo Gravatar // Feb 15, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    Is there anything better? Love it, and looks extremely tasty on your photos!

  • 10 ShariNo Gravatar // Feb 15, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    Such a nice post – it’s really interesting to know what types of fish people eat in different parts of the world. A typical Australian fish for ‘Fish & Chips’ would be Hake, Barramundi or Perch.

  • 11 penny aka jeroxieNo Gravatar // Feb 15, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    Oh! I love a good fish and chips!

  • 12 shabunamNo Gravatar // Feb 15, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    I love fish and chips and these look amazing .

  • 13 ChefBlogDigestNo Gravatar // Feb 16, 2011 at 5:19 am

    This look amazing!

  • 14 PeggyNo Gravatar // Feb 16, 2011 at 5:54 am

    I love fish and chips! I love your catfish utilization here!

  • 15 Rochelle (Acquired Taste)No Gravatar // Feb 16, 2011 at 7:23 am

    Catfish would be a perfect fish for fish and chips! I have always had it fried but it’s not the same as the traditional version.

  • 16 Lori LynnNo Gravatar // Feb 16, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    Hi CCR – Great imagery!
    Dock that ship over here!
    LL

  • 17 MeganNo Gravatar // Feb 16, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    It’s been a long time since I’ve had catfish but this sure looks like a tasty way to fix it and eat it!

  • 18 Boudreaux RyanNo Gravatar // Feb 16, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    Hey folks, thank you so much for the great responses! Did you know that you can also use this batter for boneless chicken strips, or shrimp, or how about frogs legs!!!! Yeah, now you talkin’!!!

  • 19 AmandaNo Gravatar // Feb 16, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    These looks so wonderful Ryan!!

  • 20 caterers sydneyNo Gravatar // Feb 18, 2011 at 5:43 am

    Hi! Thanks for providing some great information on the topic.

  • 21 Ed SchenkNo Gravatar // Feb 22, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    I find the sugar in the batter interesting

  • 22 Worlds Best InformationNo Gravatar // Feb 23, 2011 at 7:17 am

    WOW this my Favourite. I used to take it with my DRINK….it my main BITTING stuff. But your combination is UNIQUE….definately going to try to make my PARTY more TASTY

  • 23 Mike WazowskiNo Gravatar // Feb 25, 2011 at 5:27 am

    This recipe is great i made it and everyone in home were amazed how well meal i prepared, thanks a lot!!

  • 24 patsyNo Gravatar // Feb 25, 2011 at 8:39 am

    I ADORE fish & chips! Your step-by-step instructions make me want to serve it at home now!