Deep Fry Seafood
- Fill an electric fryer or heavy, deep pan about 1/3 full of vegetable oil and preheat to 375 F. Coat the seafood with seasoned flour; pat to remove the excess.
- Dip the seafood quickly in milk, then thoroughly cover with the outer coating (for instance, breadcrumbs). Pat to remove excess and set aside on a plate.
- Gently add the seafood (2-3 pieces at a time); the oil should bubble actively around the seafood, indicating it is the correct temperature.
- Fry until evenly browned, gently turning once or twice for even cooking. To check if done, cut into one piece to see if it is opaque through. Drain on paper towels before serving.
Caution: Deep-frying requires careful attention to avoid fire or other accidents. Never fill a fryer more than 1/3 full of oil. Keep handles and cords directed towards the back of the work area to avoid tipping the fryer. Take care that no water comes in contact with the hot oil or it will spatter violently. Keep an open box of baking soda on hand for small flare-ups. Every kitchen should be equipped with a fire extinguisher.
Technique tips: Most types of seafood can be deep-fried, though some are better than others. Among the best are shrimp, scallops, oysters, squid and white fish such as cod, halibut and sole. The seafood pieces should be equally sized to ensure even cooking. The most important part of successful frying is thoroughly coating the food before placing it in the hot oil. This forms a protective barrier between the food and the oil, sealing in moisture and reducing splattering. Coatings range from flour to a variety of batters.