Food Network Inspired Cod When it comes to frying, it isn’t something I do too often. But when I choose to fry something it’s normally seafood. One of my favorite things to fry is cod. When I first made cod, I just used a bread crumb batter. But texture wise, I prefer a liquid batter. So I searched to find a good one. I settled on one by Ina Garten. I used this one for a long time, but I felt there was always room for improvement. That improvement hit me when watching another Food Network personality, Alton Brown. He was making tempura. In order to make a light crispy batter, he replaced the water with club soda as well as vodka. He also replaces the all-purpose flour with cake and rice flour. So I took Ina’s recipe and replaced all the water with club soda and all the all-purpose flour with cake flour. This made for a lighter, more crisp batter.

There was still one problem to address. Sometimes that batter would come off the fish easily when eating it. Once again I was watching Food Network, and I saw Tyler Florence making fish and chips. Before Tyler dipped his fish in his liquid batter, he dipped them in some flour. This would make the liquid batter stick to the fish better. So I added this to my recipe and now my batter sticks better. So now I have a recipe that is based on Ina’s recipe, but has been edited to incorporate Alton’s and Tyler’s suggestions.

Recipe: Food Network Inspired Fried Cod

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds cod fillets
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon cake flour for the batter (you will need extra for the fish)
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup club soda
  • 1 large egg
  • canola oil

Instructions

  1. Heat your oil to 375 degrees. I like to use an electric skillet filled with about 1/2 inch of canola oil.
  2. Sprinkle kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper onto the fish. Coat each piece of fish with some cake flour. Shake off any excess. Set aside.
  3. For your batter, you want to make it and use it immediately. So once your oil is ready begin battering your fish. This is done by mixing together 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon of cake flour with the baking powder, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, the lemon zest, and cayenne pepper. Make sure you mix well to distribute all the ingredients. Then pour in the club soda. Mix to just combine, don’t over mix, and then add in the egg and mix to incorporate. Place each piece of flour covered fish into the batter and hold up until the excess drips off. As soon as you finish, start frying your fish. After about 3 minutes (or until the fish is golden brown), flip the fish over and cook another 3 minutes. Place the fish onto place lined with paper towel.

Meal type: dinner

Culinary tradition: USA (General)

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 For me this is the only way I eat shrimp. Instead of reaching for regular old bread crumbs for this fried dish I turn to the power of panko (japanese style bread crumbs). The panko gives the shrimp a nice crispness.  I tend to buy the shrimp that is on sale, so I usually end up with the 50-55 count bag. The number on a bag of shrimp indicates how many shrimp you get per pound. The larger the shrimp the less you get per pound. The 50-55 count bag gives you a nice size shrimp for deep frying. My wife is not a fan of the larger shrimp. But use whatever you like.

What You Need:

Pre-cooked Frozen Shrimp

Panko bread crumbs

1 egg (beaten)

All-purpose flour

Cayenne pepper (if desired)

Cooking oil (I use canola, if you can afford try peanut)

What You Do:

Put the shrimp into a colander and run cold water on the shrimp until it thaws completely. At this point I like to remove the tails so I am not wasting my breading on them but you can leave them if you wish. Next I place the flour, beaten egg, and panko bread crumbs (w/cayenne to taste) into 3 separate containers. The shrimp is then placed into the flour, then the egg, and then into the panko. Make sure you don’t drip egg into the panko or soon you will have a bunch of small panko balls.

ShrimpBreading < Heat your oil to 375 degrees and place 4-5 shrimp into the oil at a time. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown and delicious. Place the shrimp on plate with paper towel or on a rack on a sheet pan with newspaper underneath. This is so you can wick away excess oil. The rack method would be best, but the paper towel method also helps. If you are cooking a big batch I recommend putting them in your oven on the warm setting while the others cook.

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I'm Eric. I live in Ann Arbor, MI with my wife, 3 kids, and a flock of ducks. I love grocery shopping, trying new fruits, farmer's market, and traveling.
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