Fried fish is a staple breakfast item in my home. Sometimes I feel like it’s the default breakfast recipe simply because it’s what my kids love and kids’ loves rule. Oh yes, we still get to enjoy my Homemade Chicken Tocino every now and then, paired with any of my lacto-fermented babies; or Homemade Spanish sardines; or Pancakes; or the no-fail egg repertoire — sunny side up, boiled, scrambled or Deviled Eggs; but always, always, fried fish is a frequent dish.
It was sometime after I made Chicken Tikka Masala that it hit me that I could easily ramp up ordinary fried fish into something a bit special. If you’ve not tasted or cooked Chicken Tikka Masala yet, I suggest you do. This favorite Indo-British dish involves marinating chicken in spices dissolved in yogurt.
The lactic acid of yogurt tenderizes the meat and dissolves the proteins in the surface so as to allow the variety of spices to penetrate through the interior of the meat. The spices then infuse the meat with flavor and aroma. Lastly, the milk fat of yogurt seals in the moisture during grilling or frying. The result is tender, incredibly fragrant and deeply-flavored meat.
Now imagine that same phenomenon occurring when, instead of just salting the fish and frying it, you go through the hassle of marinating it in the same spicy marinade for at least 12 hours, or overnight, or for a full 24 hours. Not only will you have tasty fried fish, you get to have a dose of healthy spices which offer a lot of nutrition and antioxidant protection.
So the next time you fry fish, go through the extra mile and make this Spicy Fried Fish instead. You just need to take time one night each week to thaw some fish cuts and to marinate them.
Basically you just need the following:
Fish — Any fish would do.
Yogurt — I make my own yogurt and I’ve made a blog post about it last year: Homemade Yogurt. It’s way cheaper to make your own, and you get to make whey as well, which you could use to lacto-ferment vegetables (blog post on how to make whey coming soon).
Spices — Choose whatever you fancy. Try an infinitesimal combo of any of the following: black pepper powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cumin, curry, turmeric, coriander, anise, chili, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, etc.
Glass marinating container — I still have make a blog post on why, as much as possible, I try to keep food away from plastic and from reactive metals such as aluminum. A shallow, rectangular glass or ceramic dish would be perfect for marinating meats.
Coconut oil for frying — Read this to soothe your worries about frying, coconut oils and saturated fats.
That’s it really. Oh, and one last thing, you need about a cup of yogurt to marinate a kilo or 2-pounder of fish. Just mix in your spices into the yogurt and marinate the fish in the spicy yogurt. Give it at least 8 hours in the ref before frying it and voila! You get fried fish that is at least not so ordinary. It’s flavorful, easy to cook, nutritious and just far, far better in all respects than the usual quickie breakfast items like hotdogs or canned corned beef.
What breakfast recipes and tweaks do you recommend? Please share.