Frozen fish fillets is the best boneless fish I can find here in Islamabad, I was being asked to make some sort of fish by my sister and father time and again, so finally after Ramadan was over I decided to have a go at making it. By now you must be wondering why it’s called popcorn fish….. may be due the small size of cubes.. Well I didn’t know what else to call it. One more thing that makes this fish special is the use of panko bread crumbs, and I am glad I did, the final result was crisper, crunchier and less greasy coating. If you do not have panko on hand, you can certainly substitute bread crumbs, but your toppings won’t be as crisp and any recipe you use them in will have a somewhat heavier texture…
500 gm boneless fish
1 tsp salt
1 tsp red chili powder
½ tsp black pepper powder
½ tsp cumin powder
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp ginger powder
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 egg beaten (with 1/3 cup of milk)
½ cup flour (add ¼ tsp salt and ¼ tsp red chili powder in it and mix)
Panko bread crumbs
1) Marinate the fish cubes with salt, red chili powder, cumin powder, black pepper powder, ginger garlic powder and lemon juice.
2) Now have the flour, whisked egg and bread crumbs ready in 3 different plates. Take one fish cube at a time, first roll the fish cubes in flour then coat it with egg and next roll them in bread crumb and then put them on a tray, (for panko bread crumbes I found it much easier to spary the bread crumbs with spry bottle to make sure they stick nicely to fish pieces)
Next put then tray in fridge for 15-20 minutes. Heat oil in a deep heavy based frying pan or a wok until a bread crumb sizzles and turn brown when dropped in it. Add the fish cubes in and fry for 5-6 minutes or until they turn golden brown and crisp (turning occasionally)
3) Remember to fry the fish cubes in batches, don’t over load the pan. Removes the fish with a slotted spoon and drain it on kitchen paper. Serve it with potatoe chips, ketchup and mayonnaise (or tartar sauce).
Note: An easy way to check if the fish is ready is to flake it with a fork, if it flakes easily it means it’s done. If you want to fry fish in pan then let it fry on medium heat until lightly browned, flip over and fry the other side till done.