Mixed Fried Fish, or Il Fritto Misto di Pesce: Quick and Easy

Fish Fry: Enjoy!

Fish Fry: Enjoy!

If you have a deep fat fryer, fried fish is one of the easiest and quickest dishes one could possibly imagine, and wonderfully refreshing in the summer months. But there are a few requirements.

The fish must be absolutely fresh: Since there are no sauces — merely a little lemon and some salt — the flavor comes from the fish. Also, the oil must be fresh: Fresh oil does not impart flavors or aromas, and has a higher smoke point than oil that has already been used.

Fish Fry: Flouring the Fish

Fish Fry: Flouring the Fish

In this photo Alfonso Borrelli is flouring a mixture of squid rings and slices of swordfish fillet, which may sound extravagant, but are what the Osteria L’Antica Quercia had  – he was preparing the dish before the daily delivery of fresh fish, which takes place in the afternoon, to have it as fresh as possible for the evening’s diners. As a general rule he also adds peeled deveined shrimp, and small fry, tiny whole fish.

The flouring process is simple: Put small handfuls of fish in a fairly coarse strainer, and pull the strainer up through a bowl of flour while gently shaking it from side to side; the flour will coat the pieces evenly and the excess will fall away.

Mixed Fried Fish, or Il Fritto Misto di Pesce: Quick and Easy

Fish Fry: Frying!

Fish Fry: Frying!

The next step is to fry the fish. Alfonso uses a restaurant-sized frier, which is capable of frying larger batches. But a home frier will work just as well; set the oil temperature for 380 F (190 C) and fry the fish in small batches, for about 4-5 minutes — you will learn precise timing with experience.

While the fish is frying, Quarter several lemons, and lay sheets of absorbent paper – what’s called Carta Gialla, “yellow paper” in Italy, which is traditionally used to wrap foods – on the plates you’ll be serving the fish on (or your serving platter). The paper will look nice, absorb any oil still remaining on the fish, and also insulate the fish from the plate or platter, keeping it warmer.

Fish Fry: Turning Out the Fish

Fish Fry: Turning Out the Fish

When the time is up — 4-5 minutes — drain the fish well, turn it out onto the platter, lightly salt it, and enjoy!

The wine?  We had a Greco di Tufo from Mastroberardino, and it was perfect.


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Categories: Fish Stews and Other Mixed Fish Dishes, Illustrated Recipes And More

Author:Cosa Bolle in Pentola

Italy boasts an astonishing number of varietals, denominations, and wines, and tremendous changes are sweeping the land. New wines are being created, new DOCs are being introduced, and the existing denominations are overhauling their regulations both to reflect the practices adopted by their member wineries and to favor improvements in quality. Even the most staid and stolid region can flower seemingly overnight, emerging with exciting new wines and wineries that require rewriting the enological maps and rethinking one's positions. And, of course, recipes too, because cuisine and wine are closely intertwined and it's difficult to imagine one without the other.


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One Comment on “Mixed Fried Fish, or Il Fritto Misto di Pesce: Quick and Easy”

  1. July 5, 2013 at 11:25 am #

    Ciao Kyle,

    There something very familiar about the appearance of the seafood for the Fish Fry. It looks like calamari to me.

    Vivi, ama, ridi e specialmente mangia bene,


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