Extra-Crispy Fried Fish 

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(4)

Adam Evans, of Automatic Seafood and Oysters in Birmingham, Alabama, serves up this perfectly tender and delightfully crispy fried fish that never seems to lose its crunch, even in takeaway containers. His secret is in the dredge. Gluten-free tapioca flour and rice flour team up with effervescent club soda in this light batter that becomes exceptionally crispy-and stays that way up to an hour after cooking. Delicious on its own, this fish also makes great sandwiches and tacos.

Extra Crispy Fried Fish
Photo: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
25 mins
Yield:
2 to 4

Ingredients

Dredge

  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon white rice flour (about 1 3/8 ounces) 

  • ¼ cup tapioca flour (about 1 1/8 ounces) 

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Batter

  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons white rice flour (about 2 5/8 ounces) 

  • ½ cup tapioca flour (about 2 1/8 ounces)

  • 1 ¼ teaspoons onion powder

  • 1 ¼ teaspoons garlic powder

  • ¾ teaspoon gochugaru or 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder

  • ¾ teaspoon ground turmeric

  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar

  • 1 cup cold club soda

Additional Ingredients

  • 8 cups peanut oil

  • 1 pound (1- to 1 1/2-inch-thick) skinless mahi-mahi or flounder fillets, or skin-on brown trout fillets (4 fillets)

  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper, divided

  • French fries and tartar sauce, for serving

Directions

Make the dredge

  1. Whisk together rice flour, tapioca flour, salt, and black pepper in a large bowl until well combined.

Make the batter

  1. Whisk together rice flour, tapioca flour, onion powder, garlic powder, gochugaru, baking powder, turmeric, black pepper, salt, and sugar in a large, shallow bowl until well combined. Just before frying fish, whisk in club soda until well combined.

  2. Heat oil in a 10-inch straight-sided skillet or Dutch oven to 375°F. Season fillets evenly with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.

  3. Place 2 fillets in dredge mixture, pressing mixture onto fillets; gently shake off excess. Dip fillets in batter, allowing any excess batter to drip off. Place battered fillets in hot oil, and cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer fillets to a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet; season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Repeat frying process with remaining fillets, salt, and pepper. Serve with fries and tartar sauce.

Note

Look for gochugaru at Korean grocery stores, or find it online at spicejungle.com.

Suggested Pairing

Lime-scented dry Riesling: Penfolds Bin 51

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