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Recipe File: Pan Fried Fish Fillets
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1018
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd guess the majority of recipe directions say "skin side down"
- or perhaps more accurately, skin side toward the heat - many recipes for broiling start out with place skin side up

not many make any suggestions as to "why" - but here's some rationale I've stumbled over in passing:

- skin acts as a heat diffuser cooking the fish more evenly
- on the assumption above: fish should be 90% cooked skin side down, 10% after turning

- skin protects the flesh from drying out
which doesn't exactly agree with:
- cook skin side up because the skin on top helps keep the fish moist

- cook skin side up / skin side down so when you flip the fish you have the presentation side
(one presumes the specified "up" or "down" relates to how the cook intends to present the fish...)

- the entire issue gets more complex if you're cooking a whole fish - there's skin on both sides . . . go figger . . .

- cook skin side down to prevent curling
- slash the skin to prevent curling
- slash the skin to allow heat to penetrate

one reason that does makes sense:
- when grilling, skin side down so if it sticks the skin may tear but the flesh isn't torn up

so up or down may be a function of how the dish is to be presented - example trout - I usually do the whole fish, but sometimes can only get filets, but they are still served skin up.
I buy salmon skin on, but never serve it skin up.

my personal experience supports the "heat diffusion" theory . . .
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Noam
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 10:20 am    Post subject: Pan Fried Fish Reply with quote

This was great Smile
I used a heavy stainless steal skillet (not non stick) and lowered the heat after preheating. The fish came out very moist and had a wonderful aroma.
The "mess" was mediocre because I used the second posting recomendation of rubbing oil directly on the fish rather than the pan.
I'll do it again
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Mike Va
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 6:31 pm    Post subject: Freezing fish after frying Reply with quote

I fried some catfish with a batter mix, and I want toknow if I can now freeze it. What is the best way to do so if it is ok?
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Stu
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 3:55 pm    Post subject: Pan frying fish Reply with quote

Once the fish is stuck to the pan adding more oil isn't going to break it loose. It's like pouring release agent around a joint after the adhesive is already cured. A bit of oil brushed on the fish with enough heat in the pan works great. I don't use any oil in the stainless pan other than a couple of drops to check the heat before putting the fish in. Never had a problem with sticking. Scallops on the other hand, are giving me some problems without a non-stick.
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pghilard
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PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 6:45 pm    Post subject: fish help Reply with quote

Ok, been in the restaurant business for several years working at the family restaurant, all italian and french cooking.

Easiest way to make sure delicate fish doesn't stick - lightly flour the fish before placing in pan at FULL TEMPERATURE(not necessarily scorching) with enough oil to generously cover the bottom of the pan.

If you do not want to use flour at all, same procedure but make sure you lay the fish down very slowly, don't just toss it in.

Here's the science behind it - the idea is to keep the fish separate from the pan. You want the fish to almost INSTANTLY sear so that it does not become one with the pan. If the pan/oil isn't at full temperature, the fish and pan will come up to temperature together and fuse as one. The idea for turning the heat down as mentioned above is so that the pan does not continue to heat up with the fish in it - again, this would have both the fish and pan reach a higher temp together, FUSION.

The reason why lightly flour dredging works is because gluten protein is much more sensitive to heat than animal protein, therefor you get an immediate sear the second the fish touches the pan(or technically the flour).

The reason for laying the fish down slowly when you do not flour dredge is so that it has a better opportunity to sear from the hot oil before it touches the bottom of the pan.

If you follow these precautions and it still sticks a little bit just be patient, once it reaches 5-6 minutes, it will flip.
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imakefishfresh
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 7:37 pm    Post subject: pakhtun tradition fish and mustard oil are made for eachothe Reply with quote

if you marinate the fish with a mixture of youghurt black pepper partially crushed red chilli peeper coriander and salt and leave to stand for 10 minutes only. than fry in mustard oil only in a non stick pan,,remmember the trick of taste in fish lies in the mustard oil only..you try it once and i am sure you wud not like any other oil like olive corn soya sunflower dalda or butter oil..
the test of the pudding say the english lies in the eating....
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elsa samson
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 1:24 am    Post subject: Pan-frying technique Reply with quote Delete this post

I honestly found reading all your comments about pan frying helpful. Other helpful tips to pan frying include: deep frying the fillets in vegetable oil if olive oil is too expensive to start with. The fire should be turned on moderate/medium heat specially after preheating the pan first then pouring the oil in a a deep fryer about 2-3 inches high. Of course we don't need to cover the pan because the retained moisture can cause the fish to be soggy and wet afterwards. Deep frying will minimize splattering the oil and cooks the fish evenly. It would be best to have a mesh wire inside the deep fryer because then this will make it easier for us to remove the fish fillets when they're done. Yes, we do not need to overcook the fish and dredging them with just a little salt and pepper will help keep the taste of the fish. Sometimes I try marinating the fish fillet with soysauce and kalamansi/lemon, pepper and some garlic but of course this will give us a different flavor although this might seem tasty but I still prefer cooking the fish simply and without too much preparations and work. Smile
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