June 28, 2020
Eating fish a few times a week is a great way to increase your heart health. Fish and other seafood are full of omega-3’s and other essential nutrients that are good for your body. Of course, how you prepare your food will affect its nutrient profile, and in some cases can take a healthy source of vitamins and turn it into a cholesterol trap.
Here at Global Seafood, we encourage you to eat more fish, shrimp, crab, and other marine life, but before you deep fry fish sticks or deep fry crab cakes, consider the benefits you may lose along the way. Deep-fried seafood has been linked to heart problems and other health concerns. In addition;
- Seafood deep-fried or cooked at high temperatures lose a large portion of their helpful nutrients.
- Those who deep fry lobster or fish once weekly are 48% more likely to develop heart failure.
- Deep frying fish reduces the concentration of omega-3s in the seafood.
- Battered fish and seafood that is deep-fried increases weight gain due to increased calories.
- Those who only deep fry fish are also 44% more likely to suffer a stroke.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that you can never eat deep-fried fish again. Everything is okay as long as you consume it in moderation. Fish and other marine life are heart-healthy which makes adding it to your regular meals a smart move. The crux is learning how to deep fry fish in a way that is less damaging to your heart and health.
The best way to eat seafood is to bake it or broil it, these methods allow the meat of the fish, lobster, crab or shrimp to retain much more of their vital nutrients that when they are fried. You can also pan-fry fish if you have a craving for crispy skin as opposed to a soft exterior. If you do decide to fry, it is critical that you know which type of oil to use and the best fish to deep fry for the most mouth-watering results.
Healthier Methods of Deep Frying Seafood
Let’s start off by talking about the best oil to deep fry fish. Most oil starts to form compounds when they are heated to high temperatures. When these oils are reused, it can increase the danger that comes from deep-frying seafood. Most restaurants that offered deep-fried food use partially hydrogenated oils which are also reused until the oil is almost like tar. Partially hydrogenated oils are full of trans fat which counteracts any benefits you will gain by eating seafood.
Instead, every time you want to deep fry frozen fish or any other type of seafood, use fresh oil. According to the American Heart Association canola oil, olive oil, safflower, and sunflower oil. Any oil with a high smoke point but low in trans-fat is appropriate for creating succulent deep-fried seafood dishes. We also suggest grapeseed, extra light olive oil, soybean, and peanut oil. All of these options are low in trans fat and also have a neutral flavor profile that won’t overpower the taste of the fish or lobster you are frying.
Deep Fried Dishes – Which Fish Is Best?
Now that you know the best oil to use for deep frying, let’s get into the best types of seafood to fry. Of course, the taste is one of the reasons people flock to deep friend food, but the health benefits are equally important. A lot of seafood will lose their nutrients when they are tossed in a deep pot of hot oil which makes them nothing but empty calories at the end of the day. That is not to say all fish is useless once it has been deep-fried, there are some that retain their nutrients or at least lose only a minimal amount when fried.
Fatty fish is full of heart-healthy omega-3 fats and able to withstand the higher temperatures that come with deep frying better than lower-fat fish. Some great choices of fatty omega-3-rich fish are mackerel, salmon, sardines, herring, oysters, tuna belly, swordfish, trout, and Alaska pollock. All of these have high fat and omega-3 concentrations along with being delicious options for your fried delights.
Fish is always best when you can use the fresh variety to deep fry, but if you are curious about can you deep fry frozen fish, the simple answer is yes, just choose from the varieties we mentioned above. You can also deep fry lobster and shrimp on occasion, but the health benefits will be much less than a full-fat fish. Also if you are wondering can you deep fry crab cakes, you can, though a shallow fry in a fatty oil is a much healthier option.
Seafood Frying Instructions
Now we are getting to the information you really want to know, what is the best way to deep fry fish! We have put together some tips that will help you deep fry whole fish, fillets, lobster tails, and crab legs without ruining the nutritional content or the taste. The general consensus on what temp to deep fry fish is between 350 and 375 degrees, but make sure that you bring the temperature up slowly to keep the oil from burning.
Let’s start by going over how to deep fry whole fish on the stove or in a deep fryer. You will want to take a fresh fish such as an Alaskan cod or a wild-caught salmon. Wash the fish well and then clean away the scales, tips of the fins, and remove the mouth and eyes. Next, cut shallow slices along each side of the fish to allow heat to get inside to cook the meat. Rub the whole fish down with rocky salt on both sides. You can also add pepper to taste. In a deep fryer or a deep well pan heat canola or any of the “good” oils listed earlier in our post on a medium-high flame. For coated deep-fried fish, simply roll the whole fish in cornstarch after preparing it. Next, dip it in a bath of a whipped egg beaten with 4 tablespoons of flour. When the oil is hot, using tongs dip the whole fish into the fryer/pan. Knowing how long to deep fry fish depends on the type and size, but in general, you can allow it to cook for 8-12 minutes until the outside is crisp. If you want to know how long to deep fry frozen fish fillets, we suggest no longer than six minutes.
Our next lesson is on how to deep fry crab legs which can also be completed in a deep fryer or on the stove. For this recipe, you can use fresh or frozen crab legs. If you do use frozen crab legs, make sure that they are thawed and cleaned before you fry them. Take 3 eggs, 2 cups of buttermilk, a dash of tobacco sauce, a pinch of garlic salt, pepper, and some self-rising flour and make a smooth batter. You can add Old-Bay if you prefer. In a deep fryer or a deep well pan heat peanut oil or any of the “good” oils listed earlier in our post on a high flame. When the oil is hot, coat the crab legs generously in the batter and then drop in the hot oil. Remember the right temperature to deep fry fish or any other seafood is 325-350 degrees. Too low and it will be greasy, to high and it will burn. Allow them to fry for 4-6 minutes until they are a golden brown and then remove them from the oil. Allow to drain and then serve.
Our final tip is how to deep fry lobster tails on the stove or in a deep fryer. There are two ways you can go about making this weekend favorite. You can fry the whole tail without batter, or you can remove the meat from the tail and dip them in batter similar to chicken strips. Both options are equally delicious and simply depend on your preference. Our recipe calls for frying the whole tail. In a large plastic bag add:
- ½ cup of all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper
- 2 cups of cornmeal
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon of onion powder
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
Next, take your lobster tails that have been halved and cleaned and coat them in your mixture. Two or three at a time in the bag will ensure each tail gets a generous coat of spices. Heat 2 quarts soybean or any of our listed good oils to 365 degrees. Our deep fry fish time for a perfectly cooked lobster tail is about 3 minutes or until the coating is a golden brown and the meat of the tail a crisp white. Remove from the oil and allow it to drain. Plate and eat.
Why Does Fat Content and Oil Type Matter?
Deep-fried fish loses some of its health benefits or rather offers less nutrition than broiled or baked fish for a few reasons. Most types of fish that are fried tend to be lean meat. Catfish, cod, haddock, and even crab are all-white meat that has lower concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids. Frying these types of seafood decrease the number of fatty acids that remain in the food after cooking. In addition, more calories are added especially if they are coated in batter. The type of oil used can increase the amount of trans fat a person consumes which can be bad for the heart.
Adding fish and other marine life to your diet is good for you. Eating it on a regular basis can help reduce your risk of developing many conditions. Broiled, pan-fried, and baked recipes are the most nutritious, but there is nothing wrong with enjoying a deep-fried seafood meal once or twice a month.
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