Giving the Hot Iron Skillet Treatment to Fish


I like fish.

Raw, steamed, poached, in a curry, or (my favourite) – the Indian style fish fry.

I like fish.

Slightly crisp on the outside, soft yet firm on the inside. Steam rising as you fork out the first bite. Melt in the mouth flakes of fish flavoured with a hint of chili, a hint of garlic … I’m drooling. Stop.

I like fish.

But without the ‘deep-fry’ of an Indian style fried fish.

That’s where my trusty iron skillet comes in handy. It takes away the need for drowning things in bubbling hot oil.

Just heat the skillet really well before you lightly brush the surface with oil. Then place the fish in and smile, enjoy the sizzle. Yes it’s music, to my stomach. Crisp one side, flip over.

I like fish.

Slightly crisp on the outside, soft yet firm on the inside. Steam rising as you fork out the first bite. Melt in the mouth flakes of fish flavoured with a hint of chili, a hint of garlic …

I’m drooling.

Surmai (Kingfish) Getting the Hot Iron Skillet Treatment

Ingredients:

5 chunky-cut pieces of surmai (kingfish) on the bone; 1 tsp chili powder; 1 tsp turmeric (haldi) powder; 1 tsp crushed garlic; 1 tsp salt; oil for brushing

Method:

Make a paste of chili powder, turmeric (haldi) powder, garlic and salt. Apply over the fish. Marinade for 1 hour. Give each side the hot iron skillet treatment for 3 minutes.

On the choice of cutsI like my fish on the bone. A filet is a very unsatisfying way to eat fish. There’s something about digging out all the little bits from between the bones that completes the fish eating experience for me. And it’s all the more satisfying if you use your fingers. It instantly becomes yumm x 2.

So drop the fork. And keep the bones.

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6 thoughts on “Giving the Hot Iron Skillet Treatment to Fish

  1. If you fry the fish in a flour and water batter, you can discard the batter and have delicious steamed fish. The problem is that the batter tastes too good and one ends up eating the batter full of oil too. I love your approach. The picture looks fantastic.
    Best,
    Conor

    • Hey Conor, thanks for your comment. I don’t like “batter-frying” anything because it gets too oily, however delish it may end up being. Besides, when it comes to fish, I don’t like the distraction of batter coming in the way of the fish, I like to get into the flesh as soon as possible. Greedy me 🙂

  2. Sanjiv,
    To add that extra crunch that we all adore, I dip the fish in a mixture of rawa + rice flour, and shallow fry it, you’re set for a delicious treat… a fave around our bar 🙂

      • Actually I use a ridged frying pan so the fish rests on the ridges and skims the surface of the oil. I also cook it on high heat so that it seals the juices and gives it that crispy oustide that we all fight over. I’ve never deep fried fish except when making prawn-spring onion pakodas. And those I use moong and masoor dal mix with rice flour and use seltzer/club soda to mix, to make them light and non greasy. I also never use besan unless absolutely required and even then I mix in rice flour to “lighten” it.

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