Frying haddock is only one of the many ways to prepare the fish. Haddock can be pan-fried or battered and deep fried. It is a delicate fish, so frying haddock for too long will cause it to fall apart. The oil used to fry haddock needs to be the right temperature for the best results. The size of the fish determines how long it will take to cook; smaller pieces fry faster and more evenly.
Before frying haddock, it is important to choose the right type of oil. Some oils, such as extra virgin olive oil, are not good for frying, because they have a low smoke point. Ideal frying oils include canola, sunflower and peanut oil. When pan frying haddock, a cook can use a combination of oil and butter or butter by itself.
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Preparation of the fish depends on whether it will be pan or deep-fried. Deep frying haddock usually requires a batter. Fillets of haddock should be dredged, or coated with a thin layer of all-purpose flour, then dipped in the batter. A cook can make a type of batter using a 1-to-1 ratio of flour and beer as well as a seasonings such as salt and pepper to taste.
The oil should be up to temperature before a cook begins frying the fish. When deep-frying, the oil should be at least 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius) but not more than 383 degrees Fahrenheit (195 degrees Celsius). The oil is ready when a small piece of batter turns golden-brown within 30 seconds of being thrown into the oil. Oil that is too cold will produce soggy fish, and oil that is too hot will burn the fish.
When frying haddock, not overcrowding the pan is important. If the cook is frying whole fillets, he or she should fry one at a time. If smaller pieces are being fried, they should be able to float about freely in the oil. Ideally, the pieces will be the same size so that they cook at the same rate.
A cook can bread haddock for pan-frying or pan-fry it using only salt and pepper as seasoning. If the fish is not breaded, the cook should blot any extra water from its surface before frying so that it doesn't splatter when it hits the pan. The thinner the fillet, the more evenly and quicker it will cook. For best results, a cook should split any thick fillets in half before pan-frying them.