Popcorn as a crust on fish? Now, why didn’t I think of that? Oh, I did! And guess what? This popcorn-crusted fried fish recipe is delicious, easy to make, and fast! Definitely lives in my fast, cheap, and easy recipe files.
8 pieces of firm white fish, cut into thick strips lengthwise
3 – 4 cups freshly popped popcorn, buttered and salted
3 large eggs, beaten
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1-2 cups of flour
Salt and pepper to taste
High smoke point oil for frying, like peanut or organic canola
Step 1: Grind the popcorn in a fast food processor until the size of peas. If you’re using plain, unsalted popcorn, drop in a generous pinch or two of salt. Remove the popcorn from the processor and place it in the casserole dish. Set aside.
Step 2: Add the sifted flour to another casserole dish or plate. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Step 3: Beat the eggs with a pinch of salt, pepper, and cayenne. Set aside in an additional shallow dish.
Step 4: Press each fillet into the seasoned flour to coat both sides. Gently shake off the excess flour and dip the fillet into the egg mixture to coat both sides, then dredge the fillet in the popcorn breading, pressing gently to coat each side thoroughly. Set coated fillets on a platter.
Step 5: In a large sauté pan, heat enough oil to coat the pan’s interior, pooling about 1/4- to 1/2 inch high. When oil is heated and shimmering, gently place in a few filets. Cook in batches until the coating is golden and crisp while the interior of the fish flakes easily with a fork, about 1 to 2 minutes on each side.
Step 6: Remove from oil and gently roll in additional popcorn meal, if needed. Drain on a paper towel. Serve immediately with freshly made tartar sauce, warm melted butter, homemade ranch dressing, or dip of your choice.
Serves approximately: 4 to 6 people
Note: You can also bake in a preheated 425’F oven. However, if you are searching for super crispy filets, pan or air frying is best- be careful not to burn the breading or overcook the flesh of the fish.