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Rachael Ray's 30-Minute Healthy Recipes

Perfect Pan Fried Fish Fillets


* 4 fish fillets, any good frying quality (catfish, perch, trout, haddock, etc.)
* 2 cups white flour(or enough to coat fillets)
* salt and black pepper to taste (Try adding additional favorite spices here if you wish.)
* 2 eggs
* 1 cup buttermilk
* 2 cups bread crumbs (or enough to coat fillets)(You might want to try flavoring the bread crumbs with some spices you like. You also might like to try cornmeal here.)


1. Heads up: You'll need to prepare the fish at least 1 hour in advance of the time you plan to serve.
2. Put flour in shallow pan, salt and pepper. Set aside.
3. Whisk together eggs and buttermilk in large bowl. Set aside.
4. Spread bread crumbs out in shallow pan. Set aside.
5. Cover a cooling rack with paper towels. Set aside.
6. Arrange your prepared pans in order of:
flour, egg mixture, crumbs, rack
7. Coat each fillet in that order, also known as "dry, wet, dry, rack".
8. After all fillets are on rack, place rack in refrigerator for at least 1 hour. This is VERY IMPORTANT. This is what keeps the coating from falling off the fish while it's frying.
9. To fry, pour canola or peanut oil into large heavy skillet. Oil should not cover fillets, but there should be enough oil to give the fillets a little "lift" in the pan. Heat oil until a drop of water sizzles when dropped in the pan. Gently add fillets to pan but do not overcrowd. Fry on medium-high in two batches if necessary. Turn fillets over only once, making sure both sides gets a nice golden brown. Remove to cooling rack covered in fresh paper towels or paper bags to cool.


For years, whenever I fried fish the coating always fried right off. I was left with naked fish and chunks of fried crumbs in the pan. I finally paid attention to how my Mom and Dad fried fish. (Who knew! They were right again.) The "Dry, Wet, Dry, Rack" keeps the coating on the fish. But the other trick is keeping it in the refrigerator for an hour or so. I'm not sure why that works, but it does.
I included a simple ingredient list, but PLEASE experiment with other spices (Cajun, Mexican, Grilling Blends, etc.) added to the dry ingredients. Also try cornmeal instead of breadcrumbs. Enjoy!

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