PAN-FRIED FISH --help me improve the second time
I am quite proud of how well my first attempt at making pan-fried fish turned out. Took my cue from Michael Colameco's PBS program from a few weeks back. Did standard breading procedure (rice flour, egg, panko) and shallow fried cut-up flounder filets and whole sea scallops in a mix of olive oil and peanut oil in a heavy dutch over (not non-stick).
Crust was excellent, fish did not stick, fish was perfectly cooked.
But it lacked personality--was a bit bland to my taste. Other than to add more salt, which is definitely needed and which I will do next time, what else can I add and should I add to the panko or to the flour or to both. (I added a touch of Aleppo pepper, maybe half a teaspoon, but the amount was far too small--I could not taste it) What about adding parmesan--seems sacriligeous, no??
Also, on other threads I have read not to use eggs when frying fish. Why not? Many people advocate using a batter--how would this improve the outcome?
Please add any tips because I want to make this again soon! Thanks.
This is a chance to throw open your spice cabinet and play...think about the flavors you like together. For example, I love smoky spice & heat so I use alot of ancho and chipotle pepper my food, as well as cumin, curry, garlic, etc. Also, keep in mind that you should season every layer of your dish so your fish should be seasoned as well as the flour AND the panko.
I am one who disagrees with the no cheese on fish idea. I think cheese has it's place on certain things and can enhance a dish. I love seafood lasagna and I add a little smoked gouda cheese to my bechamel. Is it traditonal? No. Is it good, absolutely!
The important thing is to ask yourself what you like...if you like parmesan, add some to your panko. If you like it, do it again...if not, don't.
I would add butter pats to the oil you use to fry...you can salt and pepper the fish before you coat.... or season your flour. Yes you can mix Parmigiano Reggiano to your crumbs if you'd like.....nobody's watching. Flour or cornstarch only works well.... and or with corn meal is a nice twist as well.
For additional "personality" the ideas are only limited by your imagination....
Salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, Jamaican pepper, garlic, powder, onion powder. A favorite spice blend...McCormick's Season-All, Old Bay Seasoning. lemon juice/zest. Soak it in Louisiana Hot Sauce..etc. etc, etc. Whatever you choose add it to the fish and all coating material...You mentioned Parmesan...Maybe a simple pasta, and red gravy with the pan fried fish on top, a good grating of Parmesan...Yes? No? Maybe? Or maybe a creole sauce atop rice with the fried fish on top..Mmmmm! Whatever....
sounds like you've almost got it. i'd add the seasoning to the flour. and when you think about how little is actually going to stay on the seafood it's time to go "big" with the seasoning. it's just a thin layer so bump it up. i go for being able to see it in the flour. and a taste of your mixture should taste way too strong.
i like a light taste of parmesan on shrimp (yep sacrilege). or a bit of grated coconut on fish and shrimp. the parm or coconut i'd mix with the panko. less is more with scallops. their sweetness is so delicate i just dip in a little rice flour with salt and pepper, no egg or bread crumbs.
i'm a fan of light crisp breading. batter except for a nicely done tempura can be overwhelming. and batter seems to need deep frying, not something i like to do at home.