Combining the light flavor of fish and the hearty flavor of the frying process, fried breaded fish is popular in many cultures, such as Southern U.S., British and Asian cultures. While breading materials, seasonings and fish types may vary, the basic procedure is the same.
Assemble the ingredients. Pick fillets of white fish, such as cod or catfish. The fillets need to be moistened before beginning the breading process. Use water, beaten eggs or milk for wetting the fillets. Keep approximately 2 cups of flour on a plate for dredging the fillets. Decide on a breading material. Pre-packaged breading mixes are available in most supermarkets. Seasoned cornmeal or breadcrumbs are other choices. Select an oil for the deep fryer, such as vegetable or canola oil.
Start the oil heating in the deep fryer. Heat the oil to approximately 350 degrees F. If using milk, soak the fillets in the milk while the oil is heating.
Begin the breading process when the oil is heated. Take a moistened fillet and dredge in the flour. Thoroughly coat the fillet in the breading material. If the breading material does not adhere to an area of the fillet, remoisten the area and coat the area again with breading material. Prepare all fillets in the same manner.
Lower the fillets carefully into deep fat fryer. Cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Monitor the fillets so they do not over cook.
Remove finished fillets from the deep fryer. Drain briefly on paper towels to remove excess oil. For best results, serve immediately. Serve with tartar sauce, cocktail sauce or ketchup. Garnish with lemon slices.
Using milk to moisten the fillets helps remove some of the "fishy" taste.
Add fish to the deep fryer basket after the basket has been lowered into the hot oil. This keeps breaded fish from sticking to the basket.