Fish Frying

Fish Frying

Fry Basics

by Chef Mitch Omer

One Popular Shore Lunch

Four 4- to 8-ounce

walleye fillets

Salt and freshly ground

black pepper

1 c. all-purpose flour

1 whole egg, lightly beaten

1/2 c. milk

2 c. crushed corn flakes

1/2 c. lard

Homemade tarter sauce

Heat the lard in a cast-iron skillet. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat the egg and milk together lightly.

Season the fillets with salt and pepper. Roll them in the all-purpose flour and shake off the excess. Then dip each fillet in the egg wash, allowing the excess to drain off. Immediately roll the fillet in the crushed corn flakes, pressing gently so the crumbs stick to the fillet.

Fry the breaded fillets in the hot lard, about 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.


Tarter Sauce

1 c. minced green onion tops

1/2 c. Miracle Whip

salad dressing

2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Mix together all ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use.

Equipment — A cast-iron skillet is still the time-­honored favorite for frying fish. The heavy cast distributes heat evenly, and the high sides prevent the fat from bubbling over as fillets are added. Of course, many fine-­quality nonstick pans are on the market, and most also work well.

Fat — Shortenings are favored for frying. These include solids such as lard and hydrogenated fats, and liquids such as corn, safflower, cottonseed, peanut, grape seed, sesame seed, and olive oils. Solid fats tend not to break down so quickly as liquid oils and therefore often are preferred for frying fish. Use only fresh, unused shortenings.

Food dropped into fresh hot oil acts as an irritant to the oil, which responds by immediately sealing the breading so the oil can't get to the food inside. All crumbs, drops of breading, salt, or water that fall into the oil during frying weaken the oil's ability to seal the breading. That's why it's important to shake off excess breading or batter before frying.

Temperature — Keeping the fat at about 365°F is important. Use a frying thermometer when you can, and keep the thermometer in hot water to prevent it from breaking when it's placed in the hot fat. Wipe the thermometer dry before placing it in the fat to prevent spattering.

When a thermometer isn't handy, test the temperature by dropping a small cube of bread into the hot fat. The cube will brown in about 60 seconds when the fat is at 365°F. Always allow the fat to reach the proper temperature again before adding more fillets.

Wash — Breading requires something to hold it fast to the fish fillets. An egg wash works well. Beaten eggs are mixed with a small amount of water or milk, or sometimes beer.

Breading — The fat must be hot enough to immediately seal the outside of a fillet, to prevent the loss of juices and also to prevent sticking. Prior to frying, the fish should be at room temperature (about 70°F). Cold fish lower oil temperature, resulting in fillets that don't seal and become oil soggy. Some of the most popular breadings, singularly or in combination, include sesame seeds, buttermilk biscuit mix, corn meal, and corn flake crumbs.

Fish Frying

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

Recommended for You


Sensational New Softbaits for Bass

Steve Quinn - April 22, 2019

Steve Quinn talks new softbaits for bass from Berkley.


Costa Baffin Sunglasses Review

Chris Schneider - April 26, 2019

Made from 100% recycled fishing nets, the Costa Baffin's are a must-have for any serious...


Rigging Soft Bass Baits Correctly

Matt Straw - May 15, 2018

Balance is the goal when tipping jigs with trailers.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

New Optimum and Optimum TS Downriggers from Canon

From rugged reliability to smooth integration of cutting edge technology across several different platforms, OSG's Lynn Burkhead learns that there's much to like about the new Optimum and Optimum TS downriggers from Canon.

Select Lure Options for Giant Pike

And handful of lure options produce big pike early in the season.

13 Fishing Omen Black Baitcasting Rod

Multiple time FLW Costa winner Jessi Mizell is no stranger to catching big Florida bass on a popping frog. As he tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead, with the new 13 Fishing Omen Black baitcasting rod, the job just got easier.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories


Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart

Dr. Rob Neumann - January 22, 2017

Check out this Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart, a simple and accurate...


Walleye Length To Weight Conversion Chart

Dr. Rob Neumann - January 03, 2017

Several methods are available to estimate the weight of a fish. Some use length as well as...


All About Catfish

Rob Neumann

Catfish are among the most popular groups of fish with over 7 million catfish anglers...

See More Stories

More Fish Recipes

Fish Recipes

Stir-fry Catfish Recipe

Chef Lucia Watson

Make this Stir-fry Catfish Recipe your own by incorporating your favorite vegetables.

Fish Recipes

Cedar Plank Grilled Salmon Recipe

Raschell Rule

This fresh and healthy salmon recipe gives the fish a sweet smoky flavor.

Fish Recipes

Catfish & Potato Stew With Herbed Biscuits Recipe

Chef Lucia Watson

While it might take some time, this Catfish & Potato Stew With Herbed Biscuits Recipe is easy...

See More Fish Recipes

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.