You Should Never Dip Frozen Fish In Batter. Here's Why

Fried fish might not be the healthiest way to indulge your seafood craving, but it's certainly one of the most delicious. Whether it's cod, haddock, tilapia, or some other filet, fish simply tastes better when dipped in a flavor-bursting batter and fried to crispy, juicy perfection (served with a side of tartar sauce for dipping, of course). While it's a mainstay on seafood restaurant menus everywhere, it's also a fairly easy dish to whip up at home — as long as you have the right ingredients and follow the right instructions, that is.

One of the big questions people have when trying to make homemade fried fish is whether or not you have to use fresh fish filets. In other words, is it okay to use frozen fish instead? After all, that's much more convenient and sometimes budget-friendly than buying fresh fish. While that may be true, unfortunately, according to home cooks who have been there, done that, you really can't take your fish from freezer to fryer. Keep reading to see why.

The coating will fall right off your fish

You know that crunchy, golden-brown coating that makes fried fish so much more delicious than its steamed or grilled counterparts? Well, that crispy exterior will likely cease to exist if you try to dip frozen fish directly in batter, according to a Reddit thread. Users warned that the batter won't stick to ice-cold filets and will instead fall right off in the oil when you try to fry the fish. As an alternative, they suggest defrosting the fish first or, at the very least, patting the outside dry to give the batter a better chance of sticking to the filet.

However, even if you let the fish thaw before battering it, bloggers like The Kitchen Magpie still stand by the belief that fresh fish is always better than frozen. She explains that frozen fish has more moisture, which can not only affect the final texture of your fried filets, but could also prevent the batter from coating the fish as well — i.e. the extra moisture could cause some of the batter to slip off.