How to Fry Seafood with Sang Yoon

Chef Sang Yoon, of Father's Office and Lukshon Los Angeles, shares some of his favorite tips for frying seafood.

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[SOUND] Okay, so soft shell crab, summer classic. We're in the middle of soft shell crab season. I have some soft shell crabs I brought from Maryland, well I didn't bring them from Maryland. Oh, they're already outside? These guys are too efficient. Okay, soft shell crabs are blue crabs. That this time of year, are molting, and their shell is soft and thus completely edible. And they're delicious. Anyone like soft shell crab? [SOUND] Okay, if you make enough noise, maybe you can, see you guys don't get to taste. But if you make a lot of noise, or take your top off or something like that, I might give you something to eat. [LAUGH] There's that hooking up with random strangers part. So, oh sorry hang on. Sorry, tell me your name again. Larry. Larry that's right. Put these on. Don't get excited. Starting to get good now. I'm gonna put mine on too because I don't know where your hands have been. No you don't. And I don't want your hands smelling like fish. How are we going to explain that to your wife? Actually, actually... I'm not sure how to tell her or my girlfriend so. Oh, well okay. Larry, stop trying to front like you're a player. Really. No one's believing this. That's all right. Actually you have a very good alibi, if your hands do smell like fish hey I was manhandling the crabs. [LAUGH] Perfect. Okay so what you're gonna do is remove this part and I want you to cut off his face. Aww. Right here. Oh come on. [LAUGH] [INAUDIBLE] Face. Right. And then, I want you to open up the top like this, get under the shell. Okay and see these parts right here, Mm-hm, big gills out. Those are his gills, want you to remove those okay? Pretty savage huh? Yes. Okay, while you're doing that, I'm gonna make a little salad. Larry the butcher Hard at work. Okay, so a soft shell crab is gonna be an example of how we fry using a batter. It's gonna be a wet batter. Let me make the batter first. Flour, a little beer. [LAUGH] Yeah, good. Good? Like beer? I don't drink beer. You know what? What do you drink? Bourbon. Do you drink champagne? Sure. I'm a terrible host, I didn't offer you anything to drink. What an ****. This is getting better by the minute. When you go to Ming Sai's demos, he doesn't offer you champagne does he? [UNKNOWN], but I'm not going there. Now you're not going there. Not even a fan anymore. No. [LAUGH] No. Cheers, thank you. [BLANK_AUDIO] Okay. When did you get here, Larry? Yesterday. You do any day drinking? Rough night? We rolled in here about 8:30, so I did a little night drinking. All right, okay so let's do a batter. Flour, beer, you can use anything like club soda, something with a little carbonation because the carbonation kind of gives it a little levity, a little lightness to the batter and kind of gives it a tempura like structure. I like beer cuz beer has a little bit of protein in it. And protein creates a, what we call a matrix, it creates basically, a webbing. When the batter starts to come together and fry, what happens is the protein in the beer becomes sort of the skeletal structure of your batter. So if you don't think of batter, you think of a batter as just being liquid, but it actually Has a protein structure if you use something like beer. How's it going over there? I think I'm doing alright. Did you do both? Yup. Oh you want both of them done. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That would make sense. Seriously. You can start yelling now. Is there a trash can cuz I don't wanna hear that. No you're fine, right here's fine. So you are married? I am. How long you been married? 30 years. Holy ****. Right at 30 years. That's awesome. Which time? Huh? I said which time? How many times have you been married. Twice. Oh boy, well that's still 30 years. 30 years this time. 30 years of anything. I can't do anything for 30 years. What did Chris say about this girlfriend thing. I'm so I didn't hear you. Something about if you have that much control over them. That ain't gonna happen by the way. Chris just **** my **** up for the whole weekend, all right. [LAUGH] Who are you anyway? I have no idea. We're gonna add an egg. Again, egg, protein, structure. And the stronger the structure of the batter, this is why often times battered and fried food is greasy because, if the batter lacks protein, it allows oil to infiltrate. So think of protein as sort of the barrier for oil to enter. So you don't really get greasy food. When there's enough protein in the batter. See, I'm not just a pretty face, I know ****. [LAUGH] Okay, how's it going over there? It's all good, very good. Okay, we're gonna add a little seasoning. Always season. Salt, white pepper if you have. White pepper is fantastic. White pepper is more aromatic, there's not as much heat. It smells really good. [SOUND] And, little baking powder. This is the leavener that gives a little bit of extra crispness. Okay. I'm not even measuring because I'm so bad ****. I don't even Good measure. [LAUGH] How's it going, you done? You left your station a mess here. Clean up. I wasn't reaching around it to get your towel. Take it easy Larry, take it easy. Settle down. So, first time in Aspen? Second time, two years ago skiing. Yeah, first time at the classic? Yeah. Yeah. What do you think so far? It's the greatest for sure I've ever seen. [LAUGH] It's killer. I'm not, this is a blast. So thank you so much for picking me, cuz I would rather do nothing than this right here. I'm having some second thoughts about picking you, but. [LAUGH] I know you are. But you're stuck now. Yeah yeah. Finish your champagne. Cheers. [SOUND] Okay, so batter should be [BLANK_AUDIO] A batter like consistency. A little like a loose pancake batter. And you don't wanna over work it. You don't wanna beat the **** out of it until it's completely smooth. A few lumps are okay. Okay, good, very good. Now, here's the oil. Oil, it's interesting, another little factoid, oil, this oil is at 300 and can we check? My thermometer's not working. We wanna fry at around 350 to 375. Now, here's an interesting little thing. No matter how hot this gets, the water Inside the crab, only boils at 212. You can't elevate the boiling point of water. Actually, here at the altitude the boiling point does change slightly. but unless your in a pressure chamber, the water boils at 212. So, it doesn't really matter. All we're doing with the oil is trying to get crispness. We're trying to get the starch to bond, and crisp and form that crispy delicious shell we associate with Fried food, okay. Now what I want you to do is pull that guy out, okay. There, very carefully. I want you to gently let it drip and then lay it in the oil. And then back the **** away because it's gonna pop like a mother ****, okay? [LAUGH] Okay. Now, oil, water, you're gonna get some popping okay? So you don't want to be a statistic, okay? No. Be careful. [LAUGH] As he backs away. [LAUGH] Yeah, I wasn't kidding. I'll be over here if you need me. [LAUGH] Okay. [BLANK_AUDIO] Back way. Okay, immediately we start to see protein grabbing on starting to form that shell. Good job. Did you do both? Sure. No, but I can. [LAUGH] I follow instructions very literally. Two crabs, two crabs. [SOUND] I'm gonna assemble a lovely little corn salad. Just steamed corn taken off the cob. [SOUND] Perfect. I like to use a little shelled edamame. Alright. Little soy bean. [SOUND] Some chopped pepper, you can use any variety you like, they're all seeded, no spice to there. How's that going? Little red onion. Okay? And, a little lime Lime or lemon juice. Okay? Season, got the... Want me to roll them over? Yeah, can you do that? You got it? Flip the over. You are turning out to be more useful than I thought. [LAUGH] That's what she said. [COUGH] [LAUGH] What I tell you? I'm sorry I [INAUDIBLE] [LAUGH]. Okay. Don't get hit with the oil. So what we're looking forward is a light gold brown. Right now there's still little pale. And still have a lot of popping that's from the water. [NOISE] Should take three, four more minutes. That should be perfect. We have out little corn salad ready. And im going to cut down a little bit of tye basil. Delicious tye basil, okay. [BLANK_AUDIO] Ow! Just kidding. [LAUGH] [BLANK_AUDIO] Really? You thought I was gonna cut myself? [LAUGH] Maybe Larry but not me. [LAUGH] Okay, Thai basil, beautiful. Okay, crabs are coming along nicely. Notice we have a wok on a little stand. This is a perfect vessel for frying at home. This is really easy. I mean, you don't need any special equipment. You don't need to buy any of those plug in deep fryers. These are like, seriously, like 20 bucks on Amazon. And that's all you need. [SOUND] I think we're using peanut rolls today. And unlike, Water, oil doesn't boil necessarily, what happens is, it starts to smoke. So once oil gets above about 400 degrees, you start to see plumes of smoke. So you want to stay below that, use an oil that has what's called a high smoke point. Peanut oil is my favorite, if you're allergic to peanut oil, canola Sunflower oil is just fine. There's another oil that the Japanese love to use for tempura. It's called rice bran oil. If you can find it, it's really delicious. Okay, wanna flip again? Yep. Okay, corn salad. [BLANK_AUDIO] Larry made a mess, but that's fine. Typical rookie ****. Okay. All right. [BLANK_AUDIO] Let's see. This is like a Top Chef challenge. Okay, how much time we got? All right, it's bringing back memories. I wanna do this. Okay. All right, let's make a vinaigrette. We'll make a simple sauce. Can everyone see? Good. Okay. How's it looking? It's looking good. Oh, you know what we can do? Do you have any paper towels? Yes. Great. Let's line a plate with a few paper towels and then when we're done we're just gonna let them sit on that Paper towel. Some ground chili paste, sambal oelek, available in the grocery store. A couple gloves of garlic, okay? A little bit of minced ginger. This is leaning very Asian as you can probably see. It's like, what does the Asian guy know about Asian food? A little sesame oil, not a lot, okay. A little bit of light soy. Now, when we talk about soy sauce, most people think about Japanese soy sauce which you dip your sushi in. How's that looking? Not all soy sauces are alike. Chinese soy sauces are a much saltier and sometimes a lot sweeter. So if you're making an Asian dish, you're making a Thai dish, look for the appropriate Thai brand of soy sauce. If you're making Vietnamese food, same thing, look for the appropriate soy sauce of that nation because they do taste so, so different. Okay. What do we got going? Now we're gonna make this vinaigrette. We have the [INAUDIBLE] wonder lid, here it is. Okay give it a pulse. Okay. [SOUND] Who's got day drinking plans? [SOUND] Okay. I'm free after this- [LAUGH] So if you guys want to hang. [SOUND] Larry what are you doing after this? I'm doing whatever she tells me to do. Good boy. [LAUGH] Okay. Think we're ready? Someone who obviously wants to stay married. Okay Yeah, that looks pretty good. Let's see, give it one more flip. Let's see. Beautiful. Okay, let's take them out, go ahead and put them on the paper towel. That looks pretty close to ready to go. Okay. A little bit of rice wine vinegar in my vinaigrette. Okay, [BLANK_AUDIO] A little honey. Any particular type of honey? The kind that comes from bees. [LAUGH] Other than that? No. [BLANK_AUDIO] Did they say they can ask questions like that? [LAUGH] That scared the **** out of me when she just did that. [LAUGH] [LAUGH] What the fuss like out of the darkness. [LAUGH] Sorry. That really happened. How do they look? They look great. They're right there. Okay, good. [LAUGH] Beautiful. You're waiting for me. All right, that's typical. Okay. All right, vinaigrette. And we can use some oil here, we can use a little olive oil. Any oil is fine. I need neutral cooking oil. Okay, there we go. [NOISE] And There we go. Beautiful, let's give that a quick taste. Fantastic, okay perfect. All right, let's make this little dish. [SOUND] Get these out of the way. [INAUDIBLE] Beautiful corn salad. So colorful, so summery. Beautiful. Let's get a little bit of this vinaigrette. [BLANK_AUDIO] Onto the plate here. Huh, super sexy huh? What do you think? You into chefs Larry? Always. Don't answer that, okay. That's **** weird don't She cooks a lot too. Little soft shell crab. Beautiful. [SOUND] Okay, a little more over the top, beautiful, huh, how does that look? Now you can have really gorgeous- [APPLAUSE] When you're making fried food, always think of the counterpoint of Fried food can be quite rich so something with some acidity, citrus, vinegar really helps bring together the flavors so it doesn't eat like a grease bomb. Okay, beautiful, perfect. We can And walk away from that dish. Have I ruined, are you okay? How's your stamina? I'm good. Yeah? I'm good. Okay. I'm having a blast. You are? Okay, good. So a couple more things. We wanna use really clean oil. So if we're gonna cook anything in this, we wanna make sure it's nicely skimmed, there's nothing floating on top. Okay, I'm gonna crank the oil up, crank the temperature up a little bit for this next part. Okay, so any go, do you fish, Larry? Rarely. For fish, I mean. No? Thank you, you are so helpful. Thank you. The other thing that people don't cook enough at home I think is fish. And people get scared of cooking fish and I don't think you should. Fish is something very easily cooked at home. So I'm gonna show you how to cook whole fish, now you're out of champagne. That's why I left it there. [LAUGH] Not super subtle, Larry. [LAUGH] I didn't see the bottle I wouldn't [LAUGH] Where's your wife? She's right there taking pictures. [BLANK_AUDIO] Can we have another glass for Larry's wife? [LAUGH] [BLANK_AUDIO] Okay, so what we're gonna do next is talk about fish. Now, if you go to a Chinese restaurant, you see the tanks The reason why, in Chinese restaurants, in Chinese culture, you see all this whole fish is because they don't trust the fishmongers. If they don't see the whole fish, head, eyes, gills, they can't see the freshness of it. If they just see a filet, they think you're serving them something that's old and been sitting around a long time. Hey Lair? Yes sir? Let your wife have a bite of that. Fork and knife? Yes. Right here. Here. here. here. Here, I'll get that. What's your wife's name? Kathy. Kathy, enjoy. I wouldn't hire this guy though. Hopefully he's employed. [LAUGHTER] What about your girlfriend? [LAUGH] Is she here? She's right here too. [LAUGH] Yeah, obvious boyfriend advice. Are you his girlfriend sir? [LAUGH] What do you think of that whole Caitlyn Jenner thing? I don't know. I think she looks pretty good. [LAUGH] I don't know, I saw pictures, I'd do her. [LAUGH] Really? She's here. There's that voice again. I'm okay, I'm okay. So I'm gonna do the fish. Have your fishmonger find a fish that's about a pound to a pound and a half. These are the perfect size to do at home. This is a one pound branzino. A Mediterranean sea bass. These are readily available, most places in the country. And this is a one, this happens to be a one pounder. I'm gonna do is I'm gonna score the fish like this. I'm gonna do one side, and you're gonna do the other. Ready? Watch, start at the top, you're gonna work down and then you're gonna feel the bone. And then when you feel the bone, you're gonna make a Slight turn in. Okay? So down, a little detent. Down, little detent. Down, okay? A little turn. Then we're going to work right all the way to the tail. Okay? We'll do it on the other side. Okay, Larry. You got that? Try not to **** that up. I'll try not to. Can I do it with my right hand? You can do it with any hand you want. Okay. On this technique we're not going to use a batter, we're going to dry dredge technique. A dry dredge technique is purely for the purpose for getting crispness, to get something that is inherently not crispy to give it a french fry, like french fry like starchy coating. What we're going to do it Excuse me one second there. Here we go. [BLANK_AUDIO] While Larry's doing that, I'm gonna make this little dredge and it's super difficult, It's corn starch and I like to use a little tapioca starch. Everyone saw that? Want me to do it again? Okay. [LAUGH] Sometimes the IQ level at these things isn't that high, but okay, glad you guys got that. Okay, little seasoning, again salt, little bit of white pepper. This is just simple starch, nothing to it. Okay, how's that looking? Looking good? Ready to go. Okay. How do your hands smell? Fishy. Remember he was here. Okay dredging the fish, we're going to go all the way around. I'm going to try and get the starch in between all the little score marks we made, again, to give a little crispness on all the sides. It's a really, really crispy fish. Now, cooking fish like this in hot oil, literally deep frying it, is a lot less fatty and oily than taking a piece of fish, a filet, and cooking it on a pan in butter. You actually get a much cleaner tasting fish and because the fish actually cook With steam from its native moisture, from the water inside the fish. So it's kinda like steaming, even though you're using oil. Okay. Dust off, now you're gonna make the drop. Just cut it out again. [LAUGH] Okay. I'll be over here. About like that? Yeah. [BLANK_AUDIO] Okay, good. [INAUDIBLE] [INAUDIBLE] Flip over a little bit so he's under. [INAUDIBLE] I'm gonna show you something. All right. He's good. All right, perfect. Now I'm gonna show you a little something I like to do with cucumbers. Now Cucumbers are almost always served raw for some reason. I actually like to cook cucumbers. I think it has a nice flavor. Okay, so here we have some beautiful little young Persian cucumbers. Okay? And I'm just gonna cut them on the bias, which means at an angle like so, okay? There. All right. Delicious raw. Very [UNKNOWN] boring. When eating cucumbers it reminds me of eating a Greek salad, which is delicious. But I just think you should be a little bit more creative, and do something else with the vegetable. So, it's my personal thing. Okay, a little bit of oil. The altitude getting to anybody? I might faint. Rough night lat night. Cheers, Larry. Cheers. Who's thirsty? Anyone want a beer? Yeah! Wow. The fish takes a few minutes so Let's hang out and talk. Hold on. **** tops? No, that's not cheap beer. [LAUGH] Anyone see any wildlife in Aspen yet? There's like bears and ****. Oh my god. And I don't mean like older gay people, I mean bears. [LAUGH] Like Like real bears. Yeah. Larry, do me a favor and help me be a better host and please hand these out to some good people and, you know, come back with some phone numbers. You know what I mean? All right. Yeah, he has a girlfriend. [LAUGH] No trannies though. Seriously. What do you got against [UNKNOWN]? [INAUDIBLE] Hey, Andy, I got a phone number. [LAUGH] Here you go, big guy. I gotta send one over on this side. About what? Hold on to that for me, will you babe? [LAUGH] Okay, it's coming along really, really well. I got her phone number. Did you? Yes. Is she, or he cute? Yeah, she's hot. [LAUGH] Okay so we're going to get this pan hot and add just a tiny amount of oil, okay? And what were going to do is You wouldn't happen to have a blow torch, would you? [BLANK_AUDIO] No. Okay, that's all right. Yeah, I almost have one. Do you, you bring one with one with you. Hand my lighter out of my backpack. [LAUGH] No, it's fine. I have a torch lighter for cigars. Okay, I'm actually just gonna cook these cucumbers in a very small amount of fat. Just to get a little char, a little brown on them. and what I like what happens is the cucumbers get tender, a little soft, a little chewy. Really delicious, and it also brings out a completely different side of the cucumber which I think is very interesting. So, cook your cucumbers is the moral of the story. Okay, let's check on this fish. This is a one pound fish. Oh, you really do have one. How'd you get through security with that? Okay, a one pound fish, 350 degree oil should take nine minutesish if everything goes according to plan. If you did the scoring, okay? Not a long process, okay? The other thing about eating whole fish, at one of my restaurants we serve whole fish and the number one request is, can you take it off the bone? I don't wanna see its head and I think that's denial. [LAUGH] These are animals and in Asian culture the best part we save for the eldest, the cheek. That little nugget of meat right in the cheek, is absolutely the best, best part. Come here, I want you to hand these out. You forgot a few people. I forgot a lot of people. [INAUDIBLE] Come on. You're not making any friends, Larry. There's one. Do we have any more beer? There you go. Have any more bourbon? [CROSSTALK] I think I have a read on this crowd, they wanna drink, yeah. Okay, so cucumber. Excuse me, what did you season the cucumbers with? Salt, and pepper. [LAUGH] And a lot of it. [LAUGH] P-E-P-P-E-R, yeah. Okay. Okay. Oh, we're fine, we're fine, we're fine. Okay. So let's get out plate ready, cuz this is coming together pretty soon. Can we make a little sauce? Let's make a little dipping sauce, let's make a little, what do we got here? Is this it? Oh yeah, perfect. I'll make a little [INAUDIBLE] sauce. Oh bowl, no no right here, perfect. Okay. Little rice vinegar, mm-hm. [NOISE] All right. A little sweet cooking wine which is called Mirin sweet sake. Okay. Yep. A little citrus. You can use lemon. This is lemon. And where's our soy? Do we have our soy? There should be Pitcher right there. Right there. Oh here. Perfect. [BLANK_AUDIO] Okay, and this'll serve as sort of a little dipping sauce for the fish. Okay, perfect. We'll leave this over here. Let's get our big platter out. [BLANK_AUDIO] Now, you see these, I'm kind of ignoring them on purpose. I want them to smoke, I want them to get really hot, I want them to get a little brown, almost a little crunchy on the outside, just so they have that nice little tenderness on the inside, you'll see. I'll let you try that. Okay, so did you say you do fish? I do fish. You do fish. Where do you fish? I've fished in a lot of places. Yeah? Montana, How about telling us about one of them? Montana. Montana? You're going fly fishing? Yes. Oh wow, beautiful up there. Gallatin River? Little Big Horn. Yeah. I love that. I wanna try fly fishing, I've never tried it. Will you take me sometime? Sure. You cook, I'll take. [LAUGH] That's not part of the deal. Well I'll cook, you show me how. No. I don't show people how to [INAUDIBLE] well I'm not. Well you are. Well, [LAUGH] this is. Do you want a paper towel? This is cuz I'm forced to. Yes I'd love a paper towel. [LAUGH] I'm not forced to, they don't make me come here. I volunteer to come here, who wouldn't? Unlike you, I get to come for free though. [LAUGH] [LAUGH] Biatches yeah. Okay. Sweet okay. We sprinkle little salt and? Pepper. Pepper yes very good People are starting to catch on. Okay, could we have a little ramekin for the sauce? Another little sauce ramekin? [BLANK_AUDIO] Fantastic! That's it, little salt, little pepper. Everything after it's been fried, a little light seasoning. No matter what it is, okay. When's your next fishing trip? Don't have one planned? No? What do you have planned? Doing a little drinking today? You're gonna find some bourbon? [CROSSTALK] I will find- Actually I [CROSSTALK] have a great bottle of bourbon back here, I'm gonna give you as a present. Oh my God. You share with me, you come in join me? [LAUGH] Okay. Let's plate this guy up. [BLANK_AUDIO] [SOUND] Do we have any. [SOUND] Oh no. [SOUND] They're really good. They really only gave exactly what I ask for. [LAUGH] It's not like a home fridge. [LAUGH] Okay. Okay, perfect. And a little charred cucumber. Alright? Smells good. Yup! Now, any of you guys have kids? No, just a bunch of swinging white right people, okay. Okay, alright. [LAUGH] LIke we had kids, but then we ate them. [LAUGH] I get it, it's fine. Reason i bring that up, cuz I don't have any kids either. But it's good to expose kids to whole animals very young age. You don't want them to turn to like perceive little You know, yeah, yeah. Vegetarians. Exactly. You all turn into difficult, you don't want to raise a bunch of little difficult, entitled children who come into my restaurant and ask for **** to be changed. Okay? So, please do us all a favor [LAUGH] These faggy yelpers that are always like, he's- [LAUGH] It's overpriced. Yeah. He wouldn't let me have ketchup. [LAUGH] Okay. I'm just venting there. Sorry. Sorry. Okay. And a little bit of the Ponzu sauce, okay. And some beautiful ginger threads. You know what, I actually don't like how thow these are done. I'm going to do it correctly. They're a little too think. Looks like they were done by an amateur. No offense to anyone who did those for me, but they look a little amateurish. Okay. [SOUND] I do wanna the guys who helped me up here. I didn't cook any of this, they have an amazing staff here that you just walk up here. I roll out of bed, hungover, and everything is done for me. I get to look cool, Larry gets to look well [LAUGH] like Larry. [LAUGH] And [LAUGH] We get to have fun. And okay, here's how I like to do the ginger. Thin slices. Okay? [BLANK_AUDIO] And we lay them down like little planks. Okay? And then, very thin. [SOUND] Okay, and ginger, again [UNKNOWN], little tart, little acidity, little sweet? Delicious, perfect with fried fish. Okay, and the way we would serve this normally would be a little Ponzoo right over the top. Perfect, beautiful. Easy. Right? Now what's nice about whole fish is no butchering. You literally just take the entire thing, cook it and And it's eaten right off the bone, and this is actually the easiest way to eat fish. People always look at us and go, how am I supposed to eat this. You literally take a spoon and just push down on one of those little segments I made and it just pops right off
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How to Fry Seafood with Sang Yoon