Mustard fried fish?
I had my client Gordon onboard with me a month ago, and after catching some nice perch on Skaneateles Lake, he mentioned wanting to fry them in Panko after coating the fillets in mustard. I’d never heard of that, but Gordon had done a few guided Lake Erie trips for walleyes, as well as some trips up in Canada, and I guess that’s a very popular method used to fry fish.
I’ve given it a couple tries now, and I really like it. A quick internet search brings up plenty on the topic. I just hadn’t heard about it before. It’s very simple – basically take your fillets and coat them in mustard; you can use plain old yellow mustard or Dijon or any kind you like. After that, dredge them in Panko or whatever coating you choose to use. I tried a mix of bread and cracker crumbs with yellow mustard the first time I did the recipe. Tonight I used Dijon mustard and coated the fish with an instant mashed potato mix. The latter method worked better for me. It’s important to let the coated fillets air dry on a rack so you get a nice seal on them. Otherwise, you run the risk of everything coming off in the skillet.
Online recipes claim that you don’t taste the mustard after frying the fish. I found that to be somewhat “truer” with the yellow mustard, but that cooking attempt of mine didn’t go well – I did get a lot of the coating peeling off in the pan. With the Dijon mustard, I could taste it, and it was great. It didn’t overpower my mild walleye fillets. It’s a super convenient way to bread fish for frying, and it’s easy to see why these guides use it. No need for egg wash and multiple dipping with flour and so on. There’s no need for any seasonings like salt, pepper or even lemon juice. The mustard imparts a nice mild flavor to the fish. Gordon told me that the main reason the guides use the mustard is that it gives the fried fish a nice yellowish, golden color. That’s true as well but do it for the flavor and convenience! It’s a great method and one that I will keep experimenting with.