Fried Haddock Recipe
Haddock is a very popular white, firm-fleshed fish, but it can be bland if not seasoned properly. To enhance the flavor, I marinated haddock fish in white wine, ginger, lemongrass, red chili powder and crushed garlic. The fish was lightly coated in a little flour, then pan-fried until golden brown. It came out beautifully moist and wonderfully fragrant. I served it with vegetable couscous, but it makes the best filling for fish sandwiches as well.
I absolutely love fried seafood. I probably eat it more than I should. I have a few recipes that I always turn to when I need a fix, and this is one of my favorites. I always have to be careful whenever I cook seafood so I don’t scare off the vegetarians in my home. This particular fish doesn’t send them running for the hills, so it’s a perfect compromise.
Yields: 6 servings2 pounds haddock fillets
2 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon dry white wine
2 teaspoons Kosher salt, to taste
3 cloves fresh garlic, crushed and finely minced
1 teaspoon ground ginger (you could also use chopped fresh ginger)
4 tablespoons diced yellow onions
1/3 cup all-purpose flour, as needed
½ teaspoon red chili powder (or red chili flakes)
2 teaspoons lemongrass purée (see tips)
½ cup canola oil, as needed
Wash the fish and pat dry using paper towels. Cut the fillets into 1-½ inch thick rectangular sticks. Place in a shallow dish. Season the fish with onion powder, 2 teaspoons of garlic, white wine, diced onions, lemongrass, ginger and red chili powder (or red chili flakes). Toss well. Drizzle with a tablespoon of oil. Marinate the fish for no more than 30 minutes.
Pat the fish dry one more time and remove any moisture. Season with Kosher salt. Mix well. Transfer a few fish sticks at a time onto a plate. Using a fine mesh strainer, sprinkle some flour over the fish sticks and shake off the excess flour.
In a skillet, heat the oil and fry the remaining garlic until golden. Remove the garlic and set aside. Once the oil has a nice garlic flavor, gently shake the excess flour off each fish stick one more time. Place the fish in the oil, making sure the fish sticks don't touch each other. Jiggle the pan to make sure the fish does not stick to the bottom of the pan and that it's totally coated with oil. Cook for about 2-3 minutes until lightly golden, flip each piece (I use chopsticks which I find easier to maneuver; you could use a slotted fish turner) and pan-fry the other side for another 2-3 minutes until crispy and lightly browned. Jiggle the pan again. Place the fish sticks on a paper towel. Repeat until all the sticks are used.
To check the "doneness", cut the fish stick in half; the color of the inside should be white and opaque. If it's still clear to translucent, put it back in the oil.
Serve warm with lemon wedges and herbs (I used parsley) on the side.
In place of haddock, you can substitute any other white fish such as cod, basa fish, catfish or sole. The thickness of the flesh of the fish is approximate. The thinner it is, the faster it'll cook. Don't get it too thin though (no less than 1-¼ inches); you want it crispy on the outside but still moist on the inside.
I prefer using Kosher salt for fish; the large surface area of each salt flake is very good to extract moisture.
Dredging the fish in flour keeps the moisture in and makes a golden outer crust. Once you add the flour, fry the fish fillets right away. If you wait too long, the moisture from the fish will become soggy.
You can buy lemongrass in any Asian markets. If you don't have lemongrass, you could replace it with lemon zest.
Little reminder on how to make lemongrass purée:
Wash the lemongrass. Remove all the white powder from of the leaves. Cut the stalk in half. Crush the younger part with the back of a chef's knife and set it aside (you can use it for making broth).
Cut the remaining stalk into extremely thin slices using a chef's knife. In a mortar and pestle, grind the thin slices of lemongrass, then transfer and mix everything using a mini food processor. It should turn into a fine moist powder. You can store the remaining lemongrass in the freezer and reserve it for future use.
Published By: on March 3, 2011.