Caribbean Fried Fish

Caribbean Fried Fish

My recipe for Caribbean fried fish came about when I wanted a pescatarian-friendly version of Paul Carmichael’s Bajan fried chicken. Crumbed pan-fried flying fish is a specialty of Barbados and I think flathead makes a great alternative. You’ll only need about half the Green Seasoning for this recipe, keep the rest in the fridge for up to a week (or frozen for up to 3 months); it’s great served with everything, especially seafood and poultry. Add more or less chilli to suit your taste or serve some extra on the side for the real chilli heads – just remember those habaneros can be hot! Serve some of Paul’s cucumber souse with your Caribbean fried flathead if you like (see video below). It takes a complex wine to stand up to the chilli and herbaceousness in this dish, I found a great match in Podere San Biagio’s Migrante, a pecorino from Abruzzo that’s spent a bit of time on skins.

Serves 2

Ingredients
  • 360g flathead fillets, skin off, pin-boned
  • Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • Salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 

Green Seasoning

  • 1 small brown onion (about 120g), chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • ⅓ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves and thin stems, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
  • 1½ tablespoons marjoram or oregano leaves, chopped
  • ½ small habanero, chopped (about 2-3g)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • Salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Method
  1. Make Green Seasoning: blitz all ingredients together into a food processor to form a paste.
  2. Combine fish with half the Green Seasoning and set aside to marinate for an hour or 2.
  3. Heat oil to 180°C (it’s ready when small bubbles form around the handle of a wooden spoon placed into the oil).
  4. Combine flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper in a plastic bag.
  5. Add fish pieces a couple at a time and shake to coat well.
  6. Working in batches if necessary, fry fish for a minute or 2, turning occasionally until coloured and crisp and just cooked through.
  7. Carefully scoop from the oil with a large slotted spoon or spider and drain on paper towel-lined wire rack over a plate.
  8. Sprinkle with salt and serve hot.

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