Fritto misto di mare

Fritto misto di mare

Mixed fried seafood

By
From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery
Serves
4

A fritto misto, or ‘mixed fry’, is an Italian dish of small pieces of tender meats, vegetables or seafood encased in a light, fluffy batter which are quickly deep-fried. Fritto misto, like all fried food in batter, must be eaten as soon as it is cooked to be at the peak of perfection.

Fritto misto di mare, the famous Italian fishermen’s fish fry, can include small whole fish or strips of fillet, calamari, prawns or scallops – whatever combination of seafood is best and freshest on the day.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1kg mixed fish and seafood
1 lemon, juiced
oil, for deep-frying
plain flour, for coating

Batter

Quantity Ingredient
150g self-raising flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon brandy
1 tablespoon oil
190ml warm water
1 egg white

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
lemon wedges
375g Mayonnaise
1 tablespoon capers, chopped
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon tinned pimiento, chopped, (optional)

Method

  1. Remove heads of small whole fish, open out and remove backbone. Cut fillets into 5 cm strips. Shell prawns, leaving tails on, and de-vein. Discard any dark beards from scallops. Wash and clean calamari and cut into rings. Dry all seafood on paper towels and sprinkle with lemon juice.
  2. To make batter, sift flour and salt into a bowl, make a well in centre and add brandy and oil. Gradually add water, stirring from centre until mixed, then beat batter until smooth. Leave for 30 minutes. Just before cooking seafood, whisk egg white until it stands in soft peaks and fold gently into batter.
  3. Heat oil in a deep-fryer or saucepan (a cube of bread should brown in 30 seconds). Toss seafood in flour and dip in batter. Deep-fry a few pieces at a time, for 1–2 minutes or until golden. To prevent toughness, do not overcook.
  4. Drain on crumpled paper towels and keep hot in a cool oven until all pieces are fried. Arrange on a heated serving platter and serve immediately with lemon wedges, and mayonnaise mixed with capers, parsley and pimiento, if using.
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