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Simply The Best Southern Fish Fry! It’s not only super easy, but only takes 2 ingredients!
I’ll be honest, I hate frying food. But there’s no deep frying here! A little bit of oil to just coat the bottom of the pan and you’re good to go.
Choosing the Type of Fish
I’m using wild Alaskan Flounder filets that I found frozen at Albertsons. This recipe and method works really well on other fish filets too like:
- Sun Fish
You could most likely use this on other fish types, but the above listed are the main ones I use for this recipe. Let me know if you try this recipe on a different fish!
The Two Ingredients
Cholula Hot Sauce and cornmeal. That’s it! No, this doesn’t make the fish spicy at all, so if you don’t like spicy food, not to worry.
I dip the filets in hot sauce, then in my own cornmeal mix and then fry them. Hot sauce has a good amount of salt, so you don’t need any additional seasoning on the fish itself. But the cornmeal mix, you’ll want to season that. You can use Cajun or Creole Spices in the cornmeal mix (my favorite), garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika just to name a few. Be mindful of how much salt is added to the cornmeal mixture though – remember the fish is well salted so don’t overdo it!
If you don’t want to make your own cornmeal mix, this is also a pretty good cornmeal mix for fish frys. It’s a bit salty though so do not add anything to the fish if using this.
We’re pan frying the fish so you need a deeper pan to avoid oil spilling/splatter. I always, ALWAYS, fry fish in my Lodge Cast Iron Skillet. I use this pan for so much – stove top, oven, open flame, it’s soo durable. Highly recommend purchasing one from the link above because they’re basically indestructible and last a lifetime!
Another kitchen gadget that comes in handy here is the meat thermometer. This is a must for cooking meat but also for checking the temperature of oil when frying. For frying fish or other meats, the temperature needs to be at 350F. You should heat the oil low and slow, so it doesn’t burn.
The most important step after frying food is finding a way to keep it crispy. To keep the fish crispy, do not place the fish on paper towels. Instead place them on a wire rack. When you use a paper towel, the heat and leftover oil from the fried fish seep into it and end up making the coating soggy.
TO DISPOSE OF THE USED OIL: You shouldn’t have too much leftover oil from frying. But whatever is left, once it’s cooled, empty into an old jar, seal it and then toss it in the trash.
I know y’all are gonna enjoy this recipe and you’ll see why I named it “The Best Southern Fish Fry.”
The BEST Southern Fish Fry
- Cast Iron Skillet
- Meat Thermometer
- 4 Flounder Filets or any of the fish listed above
- Hot Sauce I use Cholula
- Peanut Oil for frying Vegetable Oil also works well
- Over medium flame, add just enough oil to skillet to coat the bottom of the pot. We're not submerging the fish in oil. Heat over medium heat until temperature of oil reaches 350F.
- While oil is heating, pat dry your rinsed fish filets. Toss the filets in a generous coating of hot sauce.
- Shake the excess hot sauce from the filets. One by one, lay the filet in the cornmeal, tossing the cornmeal onto the filet and gently pressing the cornmeal into the filet. Repeat on the other side. Repeat this step with the other filets.
- Placing the fish away from you, gently lay the filets in the oil. Cook for about 2-3 minutes. I like my fish fried hard so I leave them in until the cornmeal turns a dark brown.
- Remove from the filets and let them rest on wire rack to cool. Enjoy while hot.
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