Ever since I was a young child, I loved fried fish. I remember fishing off my grandma’s pier, and catching a ton of bluegill fish. After catching them, we would walk down, have them cleaned by my dad, and bring the fillets back for breakfast. Keep in mind we would wake up around sunrise, and fish for an hour or so. My grandma would fry them up in a bit of oil, and we would eat with eggs and toast. I still consider that as one of my favorite breakfast items.
I wanted to continue this tradition (of eating fried fish) with my kids. As we fish a lot in our pond, the fish are not worthy of keeping or cleaning as they are too small. Let me state that I do not use the word fish while cooking. I have tagged them as ‘Lakeshore Salties’, and that is how they currently no this type of ‘meat’. I am not going to change that for quiet some time. These Lakeshore salties are tilapia fillets, seasoned, lightly floured with, well, flour and cornmeal. While at the store recently, I saw whole tilapia; cleaned, gutted, and scaled. Yum. I got them, and went a step and fried the whole darn thing. Nothing special, but delicious nonetheless.
- Whole tilapia, cleaned, gutted, scaled
- Salt, lots of it to coat the fish
Once the fish is thawed (if you can get it fresh, even better), rinse with cold water and pat dry. Coat the fish, both sides with salt. This will remove any extreme fish smell while eating. Coat for nearly 30 minutes or so. Rinse the fish again and pat dry. Score the sides of the fish with a sharp knife. I seasoned my flour with salt and pepper, lots of it. Then lightly coat the fish with flour. Once the oil is heated through, begin to fry until a light golden brown.
The trick to eating this is to be careful of the bones while pealing away the skin. We enjoyed this with white rice, and tomatoes and soy sauce. Enjoy.