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
- 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
- Heat your oil to 375 degrees. I like to use an electric skillet filled with about 1/2 inch of canola oil.
- 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.
- 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)