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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Perch Fried Two Ways - Dry Coated & Beer Battered

We eat a fair amount of fish with a good portion of that fish being fresh water from the Great Lakes. I love to fish and we have friends who generously gift us with some of their catch. Fish is one of those things that I really don't like heavily coated. In fact even though I love English style fish & chips I peel the coating off. The coating makes the fish moist and tender so I like that just not the coating.

Smaller fish such a small bass, perch, bluegill and pickerel lend themselves nicely to pan frying. In this case it is customary to use a light cornmeal based coating. The cornmeal gives a nice crunch without being overpowering. The best part is it is extremely easy to do. At the same time battered fish coating as in English style fish & chips offers an entirely different result. The smoother coating rises making the cooked fish look bigger. It is quite tasty as well.

golden dipt beer batter mixGolden Dipt

We are trying to clone a specific fish batter my husband swears is the best. That means we've been trying a few in an attempt to make a clone. Now the nice thing about this is we get to eat most of the attempts. My husband brought home a couple of boxes of Golden Dipt Beer Batter to try. The real trick to making a good battered fish coating lies in the beer. It is important to use a preservative free, bottled (not canned) micro-brew although I suspect those perfecting English style beer batter likely used draft beer so perhaps a good substitute would be a homebrew. Canned beer and preservatives can result in off flavours.

perch dinnerPerch Dinner

Fresh water perch (lake or yellow perch) fillets are small with a pleasant mild taste. We catch them by line and hook from our dock or boat using minnows we also caught via a minnow net or worms we dug from the garden. We eat a lot of perch! As with all fish occasionally there can be bones depending on how well they were cleaned but normally this isn't a problem making them suitable for coating. They are quick cooking so pan frying is ideal.

Pictured is the perch we had for dinner cooked in about a half inch of oil in a hot fry pay using two different coatings. The thicker coating (larger pieces) was the Golden Dipt beer batter coating while the thinner pieces to the right was a dry coating. Just look at the difference between the two coatings yet the actual pieces of fish were pretty much about the same size. Both were quite tasty and while the battered fish was impressive looking we both agreed we liked the dry coated fillets more. The beer battered coating was good but still not quite what my husband is looking for in the clone recipe. So the experimenting continues :)

2 food lovers commented:

A Year on the Grill said...

looking forward to more attempts... and now I have to go explain to my wife the fish lover why I need to brew my own beer... just for her

Chey can cook! (and more) said...

experimenting is half the fun!