This is a classic Italian dish using olive oil, traditionally, to deep fry – I think these days you can use rape seed oil or veg/sunflower oil instead. Or use your air-fryer or if battering or breadcrumbing use a hot ( 220'C ) oven.
What I love about this recipe is that you really can use whatever ingredients you like or can buy at the time - I have listed the options below. The only thing you need to make sure is that each is prepared correctly before cooking. We often go to this for a quick dinner.
The traditional recipe uses seasoned flour rather than a batter or breadcrumbs but again, this is entirely up to you how you like it. And don't be afraid to add a bit of spice or heat with smoked paprika, curry powder or chilli to your flour.
All you need to accompany the fish is lemon wedges and a lovely garlic mayo or seafood sauce to dip.
Prep time – 10mins. Cooking time 10-15mins. Heat the oil or fryer up to 180'C. The fish/shelfish cooks quickly.
Pre-heat the oven and have a kitchen towel lined baking tray ready to put the fried fish on to keep warm and finish cooking through.
800g of mixed fish and shellfish from the below – approx 200g per person - in all cases make sure it is boned and skinned, de-shelled etc.
- 1 inch cubes of white fish such as Pollock, Ling or Hake, but any will do.
- Flat fish goujons such as plaice or any sole ( Lemon best or Cornish/Megrim )
- Monkfish loins/cubes – this was used for false scampi.
- Scallops – smaller ones or bigger halved, pierce the roe with a knife.
- Oysters – remove the oyster from the shell and pat dry.
- Mussels and cockles – precooked and de-shelled – these fry up like little popcorn
- Prawns – any but raw preferably ( we get a great little season of Lyme Bay Prawns )
- Squid or cuttle fish – cleaned and ringed/cut into strips include tenticles.
Seasoned flour – simply sea salt and cracked black pepper ( plus any spice ) added to 150g of plain or gram flour - don't be shy with the seasoning.
Add all the fish/shellfish to the flour and coat all over before frying in batches for no more than 1 minute, place on the baking tray to drain, keep warm in the oven.
Batter – make up a simple batter of 100g plain and 100g cornflour, seasoned well with sea salt and black pepper ( and spice ), pour in enough cold sparkling water or beer to make a batter the consistency of double cream. Dip the fish/shellfish in plain flour and shake off the excess before adding to the batter in small batches to throughly coat then fry in small batches for about 1 minute. Remove to the baking tray, drain and keep warm.
Breadcrumbs – in 3 separate dishes place plain seasoned flour, 2 beaten eggs, 200g of breadcrumbs – make your own or try using Panko.
In batches dip the fish/shellfish into the flour, then egg and finally the breadcrumbs coating well.
Fry in batches for about 1 minute then remove to drain on the baking tray and keep warm in the oven.
Serve with a garlic, lemon or seafood mayo or dip and lemon wedges.