Somethings we celiac sufferers crave are just the simple meals that most of you take for granted. Like some crispy fried fish. All the fish that is in the freezer case all battered up is, of course, made with flour that contains wheat/gluten. And, of course, totally unsafe for people like me. I have been dreaming of crunchy breaded fish fillets for months now. The dream was about to be realized!
My mom was craving real fried fish, she lives in an assisted living facility and complains that nothing is ever crisp or fried. I like to take her supper every Sunday so I looked around and decided to modify a recipe I saw on foodnetwork.com. It was for gf fried chicken and with minor changes it became my fried fish meal. Crispy crunchy and flavorful and not that difficult to create.
I know fried fish does not have the glamour appeal of a chocolate cream pie or a cake but this recipe turned out very tasty and quite simple to throw together. I used buttermilk as the original chicken recipe asked for; it is thick and clings to the fillets and the short marinade period can do nothing but improve the fish flavor. I used cod but you can use any boneless fish fillet you prefer. I didn’t have any onion powder so I left it out; up to you! The smoked paprika adds a lot of flavor, don’t use too much or it will overwhelm the delicate flavor of this dish. My photo just doesn’t do this fish justice. You have to taste the seasoning and crunch of it to know how delicious it is! Yes, that is the Three Continent pilaf I made to go with it.
Gluten Free Fried Fish
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp. onion powder
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
½ cup all-purpose gluten-free flour mix
½ tsp. smoked paprika
1 lb fish fillets
2-3 tbsp canola oil
- Making the batter: Whisk together the buttermilk, paprika, garlic power, and onion powder. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and stir. Put fish fillets in mixture for 10-30 minutes in the fridge. I used a Ziploc bag for this step, easy clean up; throw away when done. I had cut up the one big fillet into several as there was a variety of thickness and this way I could leave the thicker chunks to cook longer and take out the thin ones when they were perfectly fried.
- Making the flour: Whisk together a pinch each of salt and pepper, flour mix, and smoked paprika.
- Dipping the fish: Set a large cast-iron or Teflon skillet on medium-high heat. As the pan is heating, line up the fish, and the spiced flour. Pour the oil into the hot pan.
- Frying the fish: When the oil is fairly hot, shake off any excess liquid from a fillet, dip the fish in the seasoned flour and coat it entirely. Place the fish in the hot oil. Repeat with all the pieces of fish. Don’t overcrowd the pan. You can always do this in two batches. Flip the fish pieces when the bottoms are nicely browned, 3-6 minutes a side depending on thickness. When both sides are browned and fish appears done remove from pan, place on plate covered with a couple paper towels.
I served my fish fry with seasoned rice pilaf and a green salad. I used Nature’s Earthly Choice “Three Continent Blend” made up of red and gold quinoa, amaranth, brown rice and wild rice. No sodium, no sugar, no saturated fat and 5 grams of protein per serving. Tasty too….I put a tiny bit of vegetable bouillon cube (1/4th of one), a tsp. of dried parsley and it cooked up delicious. You could make some gf oven potato fries or brown rice or potato salad. Or totally skip a starch if that is your preference.
Easy to make and pretty healthy for a fried meal. Did I mention how yummy this meal was?