What Are the Best Tips for Making Fried Seafood?

Felicia Dye

To begin the process of making delicious fried seafood, it is best to cut items so that each piece is proportional. Then the seafood should be battered, which is best done if it is dipped in milk first. The oil that is used for frying should be one with a high smoke point, and it should be allowed to adequately heat up before the seafood is placed in it. For the best results, it is also best to avoid cooking too much at once.

Fresh squid used for calamari.
Fresh squid used for calamari.

When items have to be cut before they are fried, it is best to try to make them proportional. When seafood, such as fish or squid, is cut so that it is thicker in some places than it is in others, it can be difficult to determine if the entire item has thoroughly cooked, especially because the outside is likely to appear uniformly brown. After the seafood is cut, it should in most cases be thoroughly washed before it is battered.

Fried calamari.
Fried calamari.

It is a good idea to dip the pieces of seafood into milk before tossing them in the batter. The milk acts as an adhesive of sorts and helps the material to stick to the seafood. Corn flour is highly recommended for the exterior coating of fried seafood.

Adding batter is an important part of making delicious fried seafood. A person may assume that the batter is merely for flavor. That is indeed one reason why the seafood should be covered before it is placed in oil, but it is not the only one. Battering can provide a crispy outer texture that can greatly enhance the experience of eating fried seafood. It also helps to contain the moisture within the items that are being prepared.

Proper consideration needs to be given to the cooking oil that will be used. Certain oils, such as extra virgin olive oil, are discouraged due to their low smoke point. Canola, peanut, and grapeseed oils are generally considered ideal options. Once the type of oil is selected, it is important to make sure that the oil is the correct temperature before any attempts to begin cooking are made.

Individuals should also avoid cooking too many items at one time. If the seafood appears jumbled and there is little or no room to move the items, it is likely that too many are in the pan or fryer. This tends to reduce the temperature of the oil, which can adversely affect the outcome of the fried seafood. For example, the lower the oil's temperature, the more oil that is likely to be absorbed into the items being cooked in it.

Grapeseed oil, which can be used to fry seafood.
Grapeseed oil, which can be used to fry seafood.

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