Every spring in the South, we break out the fishing gear and hit our honey holes in search of bountiful catches of fish. With that comes a good ol’ weekend Southern Fish Fry.
Around our neck of the woods, that means largemouth bass and crappie. Limits of 10 bass and 25 crappie per day are easy.
And so is the cooking! Here’s how you do it.
Along with your fresh fish fillets, you’ll need to mix up a simple seasoning with white corn meal, salt, pepper, garlic and onion powders.
You can even add a bit of cayenne or chipotle if you want to kick it up a notch.
Here’s the recipe for the seasoning:
Southern Fish Fry Seasoning
- 1 1/2 cups White Corn Meal
- 2 teaspoons Sea Salt
- 1 teaspoon Pepper
- 1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
- 1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne/chipotle pepper (optional)
In a large, deep cast-iron pot, heat peanut oil until it reaches 350 degrees. If it’s a little over, that’s OK, the temperature will drop once you add the fish filets.
We like to use a Thermapen Mark 4 ($99) to check our oil temperature, as well as our internal fish temps. It gives instant readings and very accurate.
What you want to do is roll your fish fillets in your Southern Fry Seasoning until they are well coated. Shake off the excess and drop into your peanut oil.
It’s a good idea to pat-dry your fish with a paper towel before seasoning to keep the seasoning from clumping on the fish.
Stagger your seasoned fish when you place into the oil to prevent it from sticking together. If your fish does start to cook together, use a slotted spoon to or tongs to gently move the fish apart in the oil.
Be careful as some fish are delicate and could break while frying.
After 2-4 minutes of frying, or an internal temperature of 145 degrees, you’ll see the fish turn a nice golden brown.
Remove from the peanut oil and place on a platter lined with paper towels. This will help keep the oil from pooling and soaking into the fish.
Season with sea salt and enjoy a Staple of the South.