What did I do wrong?Saturday afternoon I went to the market to buy fish for dinner. There was the smallest piece of grouper left, same with red snapper and I decided on flounder. I don't fry food often anymore, but followed this recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/foodnation-with-bobby-fla...It wasn't anything I haven't done in the past without a recipe, but the flounder came out soggy and greasy. I put the flounder in a hot pan. Actually, I kept the temp quite high throughout.It wasn't worth keeping the leftovers, so I threw them out. I threw out fish! Have I lost my knack for pan-frying? Any ideas why fish was so soggy?-Donna (Happy to report the chicken I roasted Sunday was delicious)
Any ideas why fish was so soggy?It's usually a sign that the fat (not the pan) wasn't hot enough when you put the food in.PhilRule Your Retirement Home Fool
Not sure what went wrong, but I don't wash fish before cooking (perhaps that may be my mistake, not yours-), I put seasonings in the flour/cornmeal, not onto the fish before dredging (not that it could make difference-), and I have never fried fish in butter. Butter burns at a fairly low temperature and IMO is unsuitable for frying excpet for eggs, which cook very quickly. I have gently cooked thin sole fillets in butter, but not hot enough to call it frying, and they didn't have a flour or batter coating. I seldom fry fish these days (maybe once a year each for flounder and shrimp) and use coconut, walnut or sunflower oil since I stopped using canola oil maybe a year or two ago. Also, if the fish was less than fresh it might've been sort of mushy--but then, wouldn't it taste off?I know my method works with frozen fish as well, which I thaw first in the fridge.
sorry, didn't notice Phil's post. I opened the OP last night, decided to watch Castle and then go to sleep(!), leaving it open on my computer, then replied this morning without refreshing.
“Any ideas why fish was so soggy?”It's usually a sign that the fat (not the pan) wasn't hot enough when you put the food in.I gotta agree with Phil, me. The oil wasn’t hot enough or, if it was when you first added the fish, its temperature dropped too much. Down here in S.E. Loosiana, most of the seafood restaurants use corn flour or fine cornmeal to coat their fish filets (usually catfish) and peanut oil for frying because it has a fairly high smoke point. The oil is heated to 375 degrees F and only 1 or 2 pieces of fish are cooked at a time so that the oil’s temperature never drops below 350 degrees. The fish comes out with a crisp greaseless coating and a moist but not soggy interior. ;-)C..V. - and fur home cookin, a deep cast iron skillet be best, yes
It's usually a sign that the fat (not the pan) wasn't hot enough when you put the food in.This may have been the reason. I cook on an induction stove, which heats quickly, but maybe I misjudged. Also, could have been the butter. I also wonder if I could have used less oil and butter as it was a quick pan-fry....not a deep fry.Also, I usually go to a fish market to get fish, but picked this up at The Fresh Market, so maybe it wasn't as fresh. I have pan-fried grouper in last few months without a problem...Just hate that I smelled the kitchen up with fish and didn't even enjoy the meal!-Donna
The oil is heated to 375 degrees F and only 1 or 2 pieces of fish are cooked at a time so that the oil’s temperature never drops below 350 degreesBut isn't that for "deep-fried" fish filets as opposed to the "pan-fried" filets that the OP was making?Christina
I had a batch of haddock that turned out soggy no matter how I prepared it. My theory was that some fish you buy is pumped with water to increase the weight, and make it seem you're getting a great value when you're really just buying alot of water along with the fish. (Iirc some places I shop at advertised that their scallops aren't 'enhanced' with water and a grocery chain in my area is running ads saying something similar about their pork.) So maybe that's what happened with the flounder.
My theory was that some fish you buy is pumped with water to increase the weight, and make it seem you're getting a great value when you're really just buying alot of water along with the fish. (Iirc some places I shop at advertised that their scallops aren't 'enhanced' with water and a grocery chain in my area is running ads saying something similar about their pork.)I am certainly aware of scallops and pork (and turkey) being "enhanced" or whatever you want to call it with water and/or other liquids but I am not aware that that is also done with fish.I do have to say that I've pan-fried thawed filets and found them to be a bit soggy (and I attributed that to the fact that the texture of the fish had been changed by the freezing and thawing). (That's why I prefer only using fresh fish.)Chrsitina
I'm not sure it's done with fish either Christina, but even with frozen fish, I've never had anything even remotely as mushy as what I've experienced recently....so I'm wondering if using water is being done now especially since someone else has experienced this issue. The haddock I had was barely edible. Never had that happen before. Unfortunately we get either frozen or 'previously frozen' seafood around here, fresh fish is rarely available.
Just hate that I smelled the kitchen up with fish and didn't even enjoy the meal!I find that really fresh fish doesn't have a fishy smell, and doesn't make the place smell fishy. I agree that your cooking fat was probably not hot enough, but I wonder if the fish itself wasn't a great quality to start with.sheila
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