In Bengal the fish fry is the Anglicized version of the Bengali maach vhaja or the fried fish. With fish fry, the fillets are covered with bread crumbs. Great as an appetizer, it is also served as a snack with tea.
The recipe has 3 basic steps:
1. Marinate the fish in an onion, ginger and garlic marinade
2. Coat the marinated fillets with flour, egg wash and bread crumbs
3. And finally deep fry the coated fillets.
First cut the fillets into 2 inch by 3 inch pieces and set it aside
Next the marinade needs to be made. In a blender, add onion cubes, ginger, garlic and green chilies. You may want to break long chilies into smaller pieces inside the blender for better grinding.
Grind the mixture into a smooth paste and then pour the paste into a container. Add salt and lime juice and mix together. Next the fish need to be made ready to marinate. Press each fillet with a paper towel to remove excess water. Put it into the marinade and then marinate the fillets evenly. Cover with a plate or a plastic sheet and set it aside for about fifteen minutes at room temperature.
In the meantime make an egg wash by whisking 2 eggs in a shallow bowl. Make a plate of regular flour and a plate of bread crumbs. Sprinkle pepper into the flour mix it till everything is evenly distributed.
Turn on a stove with a skillet. A non-stick skillet will be preferred but you can use any kind. Add oil into it and as the oill is getting hot, dip a fillet in the flour to coat flour uniformly. Then dip it in the egg wash, and then in the bread crumb to uniformly coat on all sides. The steps, in sequence, thus are (1) dip in flour (2) dip in egg wash and next (3) dip in bread crumbs. Then put it in the oil.
Start frying other fillets on the same way. Check to see if the underside of the fillet is browning. After about 2 minutes, turn them over. Continue frying and turning over, till all the fillets turn deep brown on all sides. Remove them from the oil and place on a folded paper towel to absorb the oil. And that’s it.
It takes about thirty minutes or so and serves 3-4 people. Garnish with sliced shallots or red onions. Serve the fish fry hot with a favorite sauce as an appetizer or with a cup of hot tea as a snack.