How to clean fish and fry fish
Ha – it depends on your fish. If you ever go on a fishing trip and you get on hand on son fresh fish, please add some salt and fry it. You don’t need anything extra. I grow up at Kpeme (on a Togolese coast), my dad is a boat pilot so he used to bring fresh fish at home all the time. I miss it so badly!!!
Well, if you can only get your hands on a frozen fish, you need to work a little more. You need to season before you fry it. I usually use garlic, ginger, Salt, Red sweet pepper, Cayenne pepper, and pepper. The All-purpose flour is to help the fish not stick to the pan. The fried fish with flour is beautiful golden crust and juicy flesh inside.
Clean one fish at a time. Keep the remaining fishes cold (in a cooler or a cold environment) if you are frying more than 1 fish.
Hold the fish firmly by the head and scrape the scales off the tail towards the gills with a butter knife or scaling tool.
Keep the blows of your knife short and fast. Avoid pressing too hard and slashing the fish, remember we are trying to remove the scales not cut into the fish.
Be careful and work around the fins because they can sting or pierce the skin.
Be sure to remove all scales from both sides, around the pectoral and dorsal fins, and up to the throat of the fish.
Rinse fish with high-pressure water to remove loose scales
You start the evisceration process by forcing the knife through the body part between the pelvic fins and to the base of the lower jaw and remove the guts. Clean the inside of the head of the fish.
Cut off the fins of the fish
Once the attachments are cut, you can remove the gills easily. Now wash the fish and rinse off all the blood and scale with cold water.
1 whole fish, white-fleshed, approx. 2–3 lbs.
⅓ Cup All-purpose flour
1 Tsp garlic
½ Tsp ginger
¼ teaspoon Salt
½ Red sweet pepper
½ tsp Cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil for deep frying
Mix All-purpose flour, garlic, ginger, Salt, Red sweet pepper, Cayenne pepper, and pepper. Set aside.
Pat the fish dry with paper towels – If the fish is big, make a few slits on both sides – season the fish with the mixture. Shaking off excess flour is important for crispy skin because otherwise, the excess flour crisps but then falls off when flipped. Also, excess flour burns in the pan and you get black bits on the fish.
Set a deep-fry thermometer in a large, heavy pot. Add the oil and heat to 350°F. Add one or both fish (as many as you can fit without crowding), and fry, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, 4–6 minutes total. Do not move the fish until the underside is golden brown or the skin will stick to the pot.
Transfer the fish to a paper-towel-lined platter and serve with Waakye, Akpan, Ablo, Jollof rice, French fries, spaghetti, Banku, Kenkey, Fried yam…