Adding herbs and seasonings to either batter or breadcrumbs is a great way to create delicious crispy coatings for fish. These coatings give a tasty and crisp texture and help prevent overcooking, leaving your fish moist and beautifully succulent.
Coatings work best with baked fish and deep fried or pan fried fish and seafood. There are plenty of great recipes for coating fish and seafood so have fun experimenting.
As well as batters and breadcrumbs, you could try coating with shredded fresh coconut, wrapping in filo pastry and even “potato spaghetti”, which are ultra thin strands of potato from your spiralizer, usually wrapped around prawns, which are then deep fried. The potato coatings look great and add a delicious crispy texture.
If you prefer a very light coating, why not try using cornmeal, polenta or matzo meal; each of these will provide a delicious, light and crispy coating.
There are a wide variety of batter recipes for fish such as sparkling water batter, tempura style batter and beer batter. The most common types of battered fish are plaice, cod and haddock and simple batters produce perfect results for great fish and chips.
Whichever type of batter you use, it should not have a greasy coating after cooking – the coating should be dry and crisp to provide a delicious crunch. It’s best to lay out your batter ingredients in dishes before commencing the coating process. For great tasting batter, try gently dipping the fish in some flour mixed with a sprinkling of Knorr Aromat Seasoning.
Shake off any excess flour before dipping into the batter by hand (much better than using utensils). To avoid soggy or greasy batter, be sure that the oil is hot before adding the fish and only cook one fish at a time as the more fish you add to the oil, the cooler it will get. The ideal temperature for your hot oil is 180 – 190ºC.
Homemade breadcrumbs are always great but there are a variety of breadcrumbs for sale at most supermarkets including golden and panko. The texture of panko breadcrumbs produces great results with an excellent “crunch” and whichever breadcrumbs you choose, try seasoning them with a sprinkling of Knorr Aromat for some great extra taste. For prawns, try mixing the breadcrumbs with a sprinkling of Knorr Aromat together with a pinch of cajun or chilli spices, then serve with a sweet chilli dip; delicious!
For a very different texture, try wrapping your seafood in filo pastry and deep frying for a few minutes or ‘egging’ the pastry wraps before baking in the oven. You have to work quickly, before the filo pastry dries out. Cut the pastry into strips, and wind around a giant prawn – it works really well.
Shredded fresh coconut is another great coating for seafood, especially prawns but it also works great with crayfish and lobster. To coat the raw prawns, have 3 bowls, one with flour seasoned with a sprinkling of Knorr Aromat, one with beaten egg and the other with the shredded coconut.
Dip first in the seasoned flour, then the egg, then the coconut. Deep fry until the coconut is golden brown and the prawns are cooked through. Then serve with a spicy mango dip or a good aioli, for a delicious and exciting starter. If there’s no fresh coconut to hand you can always use some desiccated coconut, the coating will still taste great.
Tips: Always prepare your coatings before starting the process. Once your fingers are sticky and messy, you don’t want to be picking up containers or bags of flour! It is essential to ensure your oil is always at the correct temperature if deep frying. If you don’t have a means of checking the temperature, just carefully throw a small cube of bread into the oil. If it sizzles and floats, your oil is hot enough.