Buttermilk Fried Fish and Lemony Tartar Sauce

Son had been asking for "Fish and Chips" for a long time, and for my boy to ask for fish instead of steak or fried chicken was just music to my ears. Of course, I had to give in. But I didn't want to make the beer-battered type that is usually served in fast foods and restaurants.

Enter Guy Fieri and his show "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives." He featured a restaurant which uses cornmeal in their fish fry, and I thought it would be a great idea. I mean, we love it in corn dogs, why not in fish, right?

So I started slaving in the kitchen, and after preparing the dish, I noticed that we didn't have tartar sauce. Drats. No problem, I'll just make some. I quickly scanned the fridge and realized that we also didn't have pickle relish (a main ingredient in tartar sauce). Ugh. So I grabbed the lemon and prayed that they wouldn't notice the difference.

Well, what do you know... they loved it. Made me very proud and happy.'Nuff said.

What you need: 

2 fillets (about 10 oz) haddock (or any white fish)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup cornmeal
3 tablespoons flour
oil for frying
seasoned salt
freshly ground black pepper

What to do: 

Rinse and pat dry fish with paper towels. Season with freshly ground black pepper and seasoned salt.

Place the fillets in a quart-size resealable bag then pour in the buttermilk. Seal the top and let sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a shallow bowl, combine cornmeal and flour.

Heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high. Dredge the fish in the cornmeal mixture, then slowly lower into the hot oil. Fry for about  2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Serve hot with lemony tartar sauce (recipe follows).

Lemony Tartar Sauce 

What you need: 

1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 Vidalia onion, chopped 
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
dash of kosher salt
juice of 1/4 lemon 

What to do: 

Combine all the sauce ingredients in a bowl. Mix well. Easy peasy.

Tips, Tricks and Tweaks: 

1. Don't skimp on the buttermilk - aside from adding flavor to the fish, it also takes away the "fishy" taste.
2. Instead of seasoned salt, use Old Bay seasoning. It is great on seafood!
3.When dredging, make sure you don't overcoat your fish. A light breading will make for a light and flavorful dish.
4. No buttermilk? Make some! Put a tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar in a (1 cup) measuring cup, then top with regular milk. Stir and let sit for 5 minutes. Voila! Buttermilk!


anney said...

Sarap nyan! We had this yesterday saka french fries!

Gio said...

Sayang wala masyadong cornmeal binebenta dito. Can you recommend a substitute? :D

J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J said...

@Gio: The closest things I can think of are grits or polenta. Otherwise, just grind some tortilla chips. ;-)

Boy Takaw said...

It looks tender kahit sa picture pa lang. :) I guess it's the buttermilk that makes the color really nice.

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