Fish is a very healthy and high-quality source of protein, and there are many benefits to eating fish regularly as part of your diet. But sometimes a person just needs a serving of pan-fried fish or an order of deep-fried fish and chips. And the best fish to fry are ones that can hold up well in the pan or deep fryer, like tilapia, Alaskan cod, trout, bass and catfish.
Oil to Fry Fish
Before you decide which fish to buy, you need to pick the best oil to fry it in. There are two important elements that are crucial to consider when picking out the correct oil.
- The flavor – if you fry a fish that does not have much flavor, you do not want to use an oil that will overpower the meat. Oils with a strong flavor will not allow a person’s palette to taste the subtle flavors within the fish’s meat.
- The smoke point – when an oil is heated to the point where it begins to smoke, the molecules that make up the oil start to tear apart and break. The oil becomes rancid, but nutritionists also say that many inflammation issues appear when a person has a diet that includes rancid oil daily, like people who eat a lot of fast food.
There are many different types of great oils on the market that you could use to fry fish. They are:
- Coconut oil
- Peanut oil
Nutritionists recommend using an oil with a very high smoking point, so neither the oil nor the fish that is being cooked will be damaged in the frying process. The oil with the highest melting point is coconut oil, as it can stand temperatures up to 450 degrees. But coconut oil does have a strong coconut taste.
If you do not have coconut oil, the next best oil, which is also cheaper, is canola oil. This oil does not have much flavor and can stand temperatures of up to 400 degrees.
But remember that just because these oils can reach a high temperature, does not mean that you need to cook the fish on the highest setting. Not only will this damage the oil, but you will also quickly burn your fish and ruin your dinner.
What are the Best Fish for Frying?
Tilapia is found all over the nation and is relatively cheap. The meat does not have a lot of flavors, so you can season it generously and make it taste however you wish. Tilapia is a low-cost protein, so if you don’t cook it the right way the first time, you can try a second time again without going over on your grocery bill.
If you live in North America, it is best to purchase halibut between March and September. The meat of a halibut is see-through and shines in the light. Halibut can be frozen for a while without damaging the texture of the meat. The halibut should be cooked on each side for about 4 to 5 minutes.
The meat of the Alaskan codfish is very soft and can easily be ruined if it is overcooked. This fish doesn’t have a lot of flavor, so it will naturally take on the flavor of any seasoning a cook adds to it. To prevent overcooking, only cook the Alaskan cod for 4 minutes for each side. The meat should not be translucent at all when it is finished cooking.
Many people who consume a lot of fish say that trout tastes similar to salmon, but it is a bit chewy. If you know that the trout comes from a reputable source, you’ll be able to eat the skin without any issues. To test if the trout is done, use your fork to flake the meat and see if it easily comes off of the skin. In order to pan fry this fish correctly, allow the halibut to cook on one side for 6 minutes and then it must be flipped over and cooked on the other side for 3 minutes.
For some people, the bass is an acquired taste. It has a stronger taste than some other fish, so you need to use coat it in a heavy seasoning or in a thick sauce to change its taste. Its diet greatly influences the taste of their meat. When cooked, the meat is very tender, and the meat is no longer opaque as it turns white. To fry this fish, cook it on each side for about 4 minutes.
A favorite all over the South, catfish is a difficult fish to describe. The water in which it lives directly influences the flavor of the meat. If they live in clean freshwater lakes, their meat will have a light taste, but if they live near runoff and sewage, the meat will have a terrible taste. When you fry catfish, fry it on each side for about 6 minutes.
Continue reading: Do Saltwater Fish Taste Better Than Freshwater Fish?
The Freshness of the Fish
Even to this day, many cooks are in a debate if fish should be put in the freezer. As you may know, freezing any food changes its texture as well as its color. But many home cooks just don’t have the quality time to cook all the fish they purchase from the grocery store before it becomes too old. They need to be able to throw it in the freezer and take it out whenever they wish. To retain the quality of the meat when you freeze it, it can be vacuum sealed.
Popular Seasonings to Flavor Fried Fish
Whatever fish you eat, it is best to flavor them in ways that you enjoy. A few popular seasonings for fish are:
- Lemon and Herb
- Curry spices
- Garlic and butter
Frying fish can be easily and deliciously of consuming fillets and adding fish to your diet. Be sure that when you are frying, using oil with a high smoking point, so you will not ingest any rancid oil. The best fish to eat are tilapia, catfish, trout, cod, and halibut.