Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Panko Crusted Fish

Breading station ready.  Flour seasoned with salt and pepper, egg whites, and bread crumbs
 (from right to left).

Anyone who knows me KNOWS that I am a huge fan of the Food Network.  There is a new network called The Cooking Channel and I enjoy it maybe even more (if that's possible).  What I like about these channels is how I learn techniques, I get inspiration to combine things I would not otherwise think to combine, and I learn about products I would never think to try.  Panko is something I've been hearing about for quite some time.  In case you are not familiar with this ingredient... Panko are Japanese bread crumbs. You can use them to make a coating on fish, chicken, pork... why, at our local Japanese restaurant, I've even had tofu coated in Panko and fried.  It makes for a great crispy coating on things.  I was reading the side of the box where they also suggested using Panko on top of casseroles.

I've finally found Panko on the shelves of my local grocery stores and had to give it a whirl.  Progresso Brand offers Lemon Pepper Panko... the box jumped off the shelf and into my cart so I promptly made a U-turn to the frozen seafood aisle for some cod.  It was on sale... SCORE!   My local grocery store also has a generic brand of Panko. So far I've tried the Italian style which has Parmesan cheese and is speckled with dried Italian herbs.  The Italian style is also good on the fish, but I imagine the Italian style would be really good on pork and chicken.  My husband and son both like the Panko crusted fish.  We had this Sunday night with frozen crinkle cut fries... I ate too many fries but it was yummy.  I don't eat fries often but there is something especially good about the crinkle cut fries.

This is not much of a recipe; it's basically just a technique. I apologize I did not get a "beauty shot" of the fish but my family gobbled it all up before I had an opportunity to take a decent photo.

Panko Crusted Fish
1 to 1 1/2 pounds fish (I used cod), cut into similar sized pieces
about 1/2 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
salt and pepper
egg whites, whisked (I used 2 egg whites)
Panko Bread crumbs (whatever flavor you can find)
vegetable oil for frying

In the first shallow dish, combine some flour, salt and pepper.
In a second shallow dish, whisk egg white(s).
In a third shallow dish, place the Panko.

Dredge the fish in the seasoned flour, gently tap to remove excess flour.
Then dredge the fish in the egg whites, coating all sides.
Then dredge the fish in the Panko, coating all sides, gently pressing the crumbs to ensure they are stuck. (I tried to put too many crumbs on my fish and made a mess of my cooking oil... don't do what I did!)

Heat oil in a skillet (I used two skillets) over medium heat.  Pan fry the crumb coated fish for 3 to 5 minutes per side (approximate) until fish is done.  Serve immediately.

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