The Unusual Ingredient Hack For Crispy Fish Fillets

From the Friday night fish fry to the classic fish and chips, one key element makes one dish instantly better than another. Crispy fish fillets jump off the plate with their perfect golden texture. After throwing back too many soggy samples, many home cooks might wonder if that perfect coating comes from a chef's expertise or if there is an unusual ingredient hack that leads to fantastic fried deliciousness.

Although some restaurants might make it seem easy, a well-cooked fried fish requires all the components to work in tandem. Food and Wine once did a deep dive with the chef from Automatic Seafood and Oysters. While that recipe combined rice flour, tapioca starch, seasonings, and club soda for a thick batter that surrounds the delicate filet, achieving that golden shell is more than just the coating. From the oil's temperature to holding the fish, each element is contingent on the other. Still, any fried fish lover can appreciate that not all fish in the basket is the same. For the home cook willing to get the oil bubbling, a pantry ingredient might whip up a better batter recipe.

This pantry staple adds extra crunch to crispy fish fillets

Whether wrapped in newspaper or displayed simply on a plate, perfectly crispy fish fillets can have some people ready to sing, "Give me that fish!" Creating that delightful coating might be more than seasoned flour on top of a flaky fish. According to Food, a riff on a Crusty Baked Chicken inspired a tweak to the fish's coating. One recipe recommends using potato flakes, i.e. instant mashed potatoes, in the batter. The result is a light, crunchy texture that will get a cheer around the table.

Although the science behind the technique may be unimportant, The Kitchn explains that the pantry staple helps to keep the fish, or any protein, moist while being cooked. The flakes add texture and can be used either in a baked or fried recipe. In addition, it is a gluten-free coating alternative. 

It is time to put away the excuses for soggy fish fillets that just do not measure up. Keep that box of instant mashed potatoes in the pantry because this recipe hack is the ultimate catch.