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Slightly OT - Frying Fish

civil eggineercivil eggineer Posts: 1,547
edited 11:48PM in EggHead Forum
Any tips or suggestions to keep fish fillets from curling up while frying in a skillet? I assume possibly scoring the sides with a knife but am looking for eggspert advice. Whenever I put some in they immediately curl into a little ball "roll your own" making it difficult to evenly cook. Thank You!


  • RipnemRipnem Posts: 5,511

    I've done my share of frying fish and have never seen a flat one. I just let'em go till they just pass golden brown. Sure the thin edges are a bit more done than the center, but it's nothing that can't be fixed with a gulp of beer. :) I've also been dabbling in egged methods with great results.


    the important thing is you're catching them and enjoying the fruits of your labor. B)

    I'll be on Lake Traverse this weekend, I hear they are piss pounding the eyes on the north end. We'll have room in the lodge if you're not too far away.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 21,866
    skin on salmon seems to lay flat, the thinner tail section will curl a little. im thinking with cod like fish just buying the shoulder section might help, its more uniform in thickness. fried fish doesnt need to be perfect though and the curled edges hold more ketchup :laugh:

  • I have some farm raised catfish fillets and have done some smaller cod fillets. Those buggers completely roll into a tube when frying making it difficult to evenly cook. I don't have the same problem with salmon fillets maybe because they are thicker. I suppose I could place a cast iron weight on them but was hoping there was some trick. Thanks for your replies though!
  • RipnemRipnem Posts: 5,511
    I missed the word 'skillet' :pinch: I was thinking deep frier.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 21,866
    the skillet might be part to blame, with the deep fryer your cooking it all over, with the skillet just one side which might be forcing it to curl.
  • I will have to dig out my fry daddy.
  • Haven't done cod in a pan for a while...However the last time I did, they were stuffed and breaded...I didn't have a problem with any curl.
    I do a substantial amount of fish, both on the EGG (grilling or planked) and in a pan on the stove top (mostly northern, walleye, bass, blue gill and crappie) and do sometimes have some curl, but not what you describe :ohmy: .
    I do however, do a bit of a soak-out with salted water and have now gotten into a soak in milk before the breading / egg wash thing.
    OTOH, if it curls into a "pipe" keep it rolling...I guess :whistle: !
  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428

    I'm a pan fry guy too, mostly trout, perch, flounder and salmon. Yes, salmon is outstanding when fried. Anyways, the thirdeye philosophy is to use the minimum amounts of oil, and coating. This will help the curling issue with thin fillets like flounder, and it helps the true flavor of the fish come through.

    This first picture are some pieces of trout. Note the amount of oil, you can hardly see any. I start with a tablespoon or so, then add as needed usually before a flip)


    Here is some fried salmon, I use a little more oil because it's thicker and the pan is fuller. It comes out just dandy.



    Here is some salmon I'm pan frying on the Egg, again not much oil is needed for cooking... (use extreme caution when doing this, a grease fire in a cooker is a nasty situation)


    Oh, and this is the amount of cornmeal type of coating I use... I know it doesn't look like it will work, but these are the same pieces of trout that appear in the firstand second pictures above. I season the fish before sprinkling on the coating. (I don't dredge the pieces in the coating)

    Happy Trails

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 21,866
    fried salmon is one of my favorite fish cooks, people do look at you strange for frying it until they taste it :laugh: been breading it with jiffey mix and macadamias all summer with a light drizzle real maple syrup. before trying it fried i used to just let them mostly go back overboard :laugh: should try it with a rainbow, they are all stocked here and taste hideous, must have something to do with either the feed or water type we have on this side
  • BigABigA Posts: 1,157
    I have done a ton of shore lunches. Using a CI skillit, i put in the butter or veg oil, and if the fish curl a little i just puch down on the fillet a little until it takes shape and stays down, maybe your fire is a bit hot, i do my shore lunches over an open fire so when the batter starts to spit i put the fish on, but i think if you try holding it down with a fork for a few seconds that may help.
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