There’s nothing nicer than a piece of crispy skin coating your flaky fish fillets and achieving this is a lot simpler than one thinks! The trick is to follow a few simple rules:
- 1. Make sure your fillets are incredibly dry.
- 2. Make sure you season the fillets with fine table salt 5 minutes before frying to assist in removing any excess moisture from the fillets.
- 3. Make sure you use clarified butter to pan fry the fillets.
- 4. Make sure you use a plate or some form of a weight to keep the fillets flat in the pan to prevent them from curling up.
If you follow these few simple rules, plus read the recipe provided carefully, achieving crispy fish skin will be a breeze!
TO MAKE THE CLARIFIED BUTTER:
Place your butter in a glass jug or bowl and leave in a sunny spot to melt on its own.
Once the butter has melted it will separate, the clear liquid on the top is your clarified butter.
Either scoop this clear liquid butter out with a spoon or syringe or pour through a muslin cloth. I only had a fine sieve, so I used this and it worked out ok. Put in a separate dish to use for this recipe and keep the leftovers in the fridge as it’s great to have some readily available for future use.
- 2 Greenfish Fish Fillets (for this recipe I used Silver Fish)
- 1 Block of Butter (500g)
- Fine Table Salt
- 1 tsp Garlic
- handful of Parsley
- TO MAKE THE CLARIFIED BUTTER: place your butter in a glass jug or bowl and leave in a sunny spot to melt on its own.
- Once the butter has melted it will separate, the clear liquid on the top is your clarified butter. Either scoop this clear liquid butter out with a spoon or syringe or pour through a muslin cloth. I only had a fine sieve, so I used this and it worked out ok. Put in a separate dish to use for this recipe and keep the leftovers in the fridge as it's great to have some readily available for future use.
- PREPARING & FRYING YOUR FISH: Place your filleted, pin boned and scaled fillets flat on a board or plate. (You can use our recipes on how to fillet and scale fish if your fish fillets still have these attached).
- Score your fillets 1mm deep from the back to tummy of the fish (refer to pictures in this recipe which display the correct direction to score)
- Dry your fillets with paper towel on both sides until all the moisture has been removed.
- Five minutes before frying, season on both sides with fine table salt, this will allow any further moisture to be absorbed.
- Heat your pan to a medium high heat and add a generous amount of clarified butter.
- Place your fillets in the pan skin side down and use a plate to weight them down to avoid them from curling upwards.
- Cook the fillets until they are about 80% cooked through.
- Turn the fillets over and cook for the remaining 20% to finish off.
- Brush with your garlic and parsley butter before serving.
- TO MAKE THE GARLIC AND PARSLEY BUTTER: In a small pot on the stove add 1/3 cup of Clarified Butter, 1 teaspoon of Garlic and your handful of chopped Parsley.
- Melt together on a medium heat ensuring that the pot doesn't get too hot as cooking at too high a heat will kill off your delicious garlic flavours.
You may often find when you come home with a fillet of fish that the pin bones are still present. This is due to the fact that leaving them in keeps the meat intact and effectively “undamaged” which preserves the shelf life. Luckily for you, you have me, the trusted Fish Wife to guide you through this simple process of removing them.
Buy yourself a good pair of pin boning tweezers or borrow a pair of hubby’s long nose pliers that you can throw in the dishwasher.
Run the blade of a knife over the centre of the fish which will expose all the pin bones.
Using your tweezers or pliers, gently grab the pin bone, push down and pull out each individual bone one by one (there should be about 5-6 pin bones per fillet). If you are using Greenfish yellowtail fillets all other bones would have been removed.
And voila! Yes, it is that simple! Now you have beautifully prepared Yellowtail fillets ready to cook.
Smoked fish in salad or paté is quite simply delicious and really easy to do at home without having to go out and buy a smoker. Here’s a quick method to create your own smoked fish at home.
YOU WILL NEED:
- A wide pot or pan with a lid that seals tightly
- Tin foil
- Wood chips or shavings
- A wire rack to fit the base of the pot or pan
Line your pan with tinfoil (shiny side up).
Place your wood chips in the centre of the tinfoil.
Place your wire rack on top of the wood shavings.
Place your chosen fish fillets seasoned with salt and pepper on the wire rack (in the image I have used Angel Fish fillets). Make sure the wood chips are not touching the fish.
Place the pan on a high heat. It will take approximately 5 minutes for the wood chips to start smoking. Once smoking allow the fish to smoke for a further 10 – 15 minutes (you may wish to turn the heat down to medium here). The fish is done when it has turned a lovely golden colour. You may need to smoke for a bit longer if the fillets are thick.
Remove from the pan and enjoy as is, in a salad or turn into a lovely paté!