Fried fish is the first thing I was ever trusted to cook, at 9 years old. Since then my recipe has changed a bit, and here it is! It's a lil spice (heat) forward and uses cornstarch for color and crunch! (https://www.cooksillustrated... —Chef Ramone
Fish Rub (Reserve half for the breader)
Catfish Nuggets or Boneless fish of your choice
Cayenne or Ground Red Pepper
All Purpose Flour
Corn Meal (white or yellow)
Liquid (water,milk,buttermilk, whatever you have on hand. Buttermilk preferably. )
Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl, make them play together like children in a sandbox, pre-social corruption. Divide in half.
Place fish in a separate bowl, add half of rub to the fish. Mix.
Heat your oil in whatever vessel you're cooking in. 350 degrees.
Add all dry ingredients in one bowl.
Add all liquid to the fish bowl and mix.
Add enough breader mix to the fish bowl to make a schloogey batter, approx. 1/2 cup. Ok, schloogey is not a real word per se, but it's kinda like a wettish, thickish consistency. I'm sure the word batter would've worked just fine.
One at a time, lightly place fish into breader. Flip once making sure all spots of fish are covered. Remove and place on a floured pan or surface. Allow fish to rest until the breader on the fish moistens and looks more wet, than powdery and dry. But not too long or the batter will stick to the surface and come off the fish in clumps.
When the oil is at 350F, add fish to the vessel, one at a time making sure not to crowd the pan. Overcrowding can cause the temperature of the oil to drastically decrease resulting in soggy, overly oil-absorbed fish. (Overcrowding also appears to result in a decline in task performance and deterioration in social behavior...according to studies. Anyway....)
Cook fish until it reaches 145F degrees internally, or as the ole' heads at the fish market say, "...till they float like a boat". #noonehaseverreallysaidthat
Remove fish from oil, allow the majority of the oil to drip in the cooking vessel and place on a plate or pan lined with newspaper on the bottom AND paper towels on top. It's that absorbent combo that has given way to so many successful southern, crispy, fish fries and picnics! TRUST ME! Enojy!