After my post when I made fish and chips a friend emailed me with some tips on making fish and chips. The first tip was for thawing fish if that was what you had. Since he has his own restaurant and the reasoning for doing it made sense. I can be called dumb on this because it is what I do, and have done for years, when I thaw shrimp. Never even considered doing it with fish fillets which a smart person would of figured out when they do it when thawing shrimp. Needless to say I tried it a couple of weeks ago and was impressed. This is really simple and if you’re a bit of a science geek like I am it makes sense. When you take the fish fillets out of the freezer salt them generously and let them thaw out on lots of paper towel. First reaction likely is it will make them salty, it will not, it just draws the excess moisture out of the fillets. The salt leaves with the moisture and you end up with a fillet that is very close to a fresh fillet. A lot of people would not be able to tell the difference if you gave them a piece of each. So now it is my go to way to thaw fish fillets.
The batter recipe I have used for years because my greatest critic thinks it is the best. So I was hesitant to even try a different batter but finally decided to give it a try. As he put it my batter was what everyone uses and then wishes their fish was more like what you get in a great restaurant. The batter did two important things you need when frying fish, basically tell you when the fish was cooked and stay crisp right to the last mouth full. I had tried different batters that claimed they stayed crisp but in the end they didn’t. Never had I seen one that told you when the fish was cooked. He said he cut the quantities back to what was best for home use. The quantity they made for his restaurant was gallons. There was one thing he didn’t mention and that was it tasted great also. It sounded crazy to me that the batter wouldn’t get crisp until the minute the fish was cooked, but I have made a lot of crazy things. To my surprise the batter stayed soft and all at once it was completely crisp, just like he said. This for me is a great thing, no guessing if it’s cooked, just take it out when it’s crisp. As to staying crisp, well I had 4 pieces and the last mouth full was as crisp as the first, yes I did make a pig of myself. Best part was my wife loved it and said it was the best batter she ever had, so now it’s what I will always use. I think what makes it tasted so good is the vinegar, it just adds something to the taste that other batter don’t have.
Because I didn’t know if it would work I didn’t take a picture, but next time I will add a picture to this.
3/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoons paprika
1 and 1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup water
1 and1/2 tablespoons vinegar
Mix flour, cornstarch, paprika, baking soda, salt, and pepper together in a bowl. Add the water and whisk until smooth, this can be done even a day before and kept in the fridge. Just before your going to dip the fish whisk in the vinegar.