Friday, February 20, 2015

Breaded Pan Fried Rockfish

There is a real treasure of the Chesapeake Bay and the top recreational sport fish here in Maryland.  The Rockfish, also known as Striped Bass or "Striper" as we call it, is the official fish of the State of Maryland.  It is an amazing fish that is so buttery and so delicious you'll want to make it time and time again. 

Breaded Pan Fried Rockfish 
                      (aka Striped Bass)

4 center cut rockfish fillets; about 2 ½ inches thick
1 cup of whole milk
1 egg slightly beaten
1 cup flour for dredging
1 cup panko
2 tablespoons olive Oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
Salt and Pepper to taste

Pour milk in a large bowl and soak your fish for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, lay out  3 pie pans or shallow bowls for the flour, egg and panko. Season the panko with salt and pepper and Old Bay Seasoning. One at a time, dredge the fish pieces in flour, shaking off the excess.  Then dip them in the egg, and then coat each fillet with the panko crumbs. 
Melt the butter and olive oil in a large heavy skillet; set to medium-high heat. Once the oil begins to ripple (not smoke), carefully add the fillets. Do not crowd the skillet. You may have to fry in batches depending on the size of your fillets.

Sear the fillets on the first side without touching them for about 3-4 minutes. You want to leave it alone so that a crust can form to hold the fillet together when you flip it to the other side.  Cook the fillets with the skin on to ensure that they don't fall apart in the pan. Fry the skin-on side first, then flip the fillets and cook the skinless side.  Next, carefully flip and sear on the other side for an additional 3-4 minutes. The fish is cooked when it is opaque in the center and flakes nicely.  Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice if desired.

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