A good deep-fried fish or ‘pescaíto frito’ –as Andalusians say– is one of those guilty pleasures that reminds you that you don’t need to spend a fortune in a Michelin-starred restaurant to afford some of the greatest culinary marvels of this world.
In the southern Spanish region of Andalusia, the ‘pescaíto frito’ is as sacred as paella is for the Valencian. If you ask for an opinion, you will find that most people will give you one, even if they have never entered a kitchen.
Being such a simple recipe, every single recipe step becomes of a transcendental importance. So first of all, make sure you get the freshest fish. Then use the right flour and use it appropriately. And finally, give plenty of love to the frying process. It is not difficult. But you will have to stay focused if you want to eat your ‘pescaíto frito’ as an Andalusian would.
Andalusian deep-fried fish (Pescaíto frito)
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Passive time: –
- Let’s start by preparing the fish. Remove the head from the king prawns and peel them. Reserve.
- Wash the anchovies, clean them and fillet them. Reserve.
- Wash the baby squids, clean them and sliced them into rings. Wash the dogfish and dice it into bite-size cubes. Reserve.
- Place all the fish into a bucket with the cold water and the ice cubes. The purpose of placing the fish into iced water is to keep the fish fresh and tender. It makes a huge difference!
- Put the flour in a tray. Take the fish out of the water and drain it slightly. We don’t want the fish to be completely dry as it needs to be a bit wet so that the flour sticks properly. Place the fish on a platter next to the tray. Season with salt and squeeze some drops of lemon.
- Coat the fish with the flour and remove any excess. The fish should be completely coated with flour.
- Heat the sunflower oil in a saucepan to a temperature of approximately 210ºC/410ºF. Be careful whilst manipulating the boiling oil as it is always very dangerous. Deep-fry the fish little by little until it gets a nice golden colour. Pat-dry to remove any oil excess and serve immediately. The fried fish should be crispy on the outside and moisturized and tender in the inside.
Remember to use sunflower oil. We love olive oil but it’s not the right choice when it comes to frying fish.
The finer the flour the better. That is why we recommend using cake flour as opposed to all-purpose flour.
Keep the fish in iced cubes so that it stays tender. Remember to keep it slightly wet as it will be much easier to coat the fish with the flour.
When you deep-fry the fish, do it little by little so that the oil temperature doesn’t go down.