Topic: How to deep-fry fish

Specific Purpose: To inform my audience on how to deep-fry fish.

Central Idea: Don't be fooled, deep-frying fish is a tedious process, but the results are wonderful when all the steps are performed properly -- clean it, bread it, and fry it.


I.                    Introduction

A.      As my favorite television chef Justin Wilson says, " How ya'll are?  I'm so glad ya'll got to see me."

B.      Justin Wilson is a cajun chef who has been hosting his own cooking show since I was a child.

1.       I grew up watching him cook everything from crawfish jambalaya to bread pudding.

2.       I truly enjoy watching him cook, and I like his cooking style.

C.      Like Justin would do, today I am going to tell you on how to deep-fry fish, and hopefully I will tell you a few things you didn't know.

1.       For instance, according to Better Homes and Gardens - "New Cook Book", one third of a pound of deep-fried fish contains 51 percent of the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance of protein.

2.       Also, that same serving of fish contains 311 calories and 11 grams of fat.

D.      I like to think of deep fried fish as my specialty.

1.       One reason is, I have never eaten deep-fried fish anywhere that tasted as good as mine.

2.       Also, I have been asked to cook fish for many different occasions -- picnics, group meetings, birthdays, and work functions.

E.       Don't be fooled, deep-frying fish my way is a tedious process, but the results are wonderful when all the steps are performed properly -- clean it, coat it, and fry it.


(Transition  - Now then, let's get our hands dirty.)


II.                  Body

A.      First and foremost, it is important to insure that the fish is fresh, cut up properly, and trimmed properly -- clean.

1.       Having fresh fish is very important.

a.       The "New Cook Book" states that fresh fillets have flesh with a firm fresh appearance, and it should not have a strong odor or dried edges."

b.       The cook book, "Wok Cooking," instructs that the proper way to thaw out frozen fish is to place the fish in a colander and run cold water over it for a while, then they say to dab it dry with a paper towel and refrigerate to finish thawing.

c.         My personal experience, run cold water over the fish until it is completely thawed out by working the fillets apart slowly.

2.       The next step in making your fish clean is cutting it up properly -- not more than an inch and a half wide and a half inch thick pieces. (Visual Aid)

a.       The first thing I do is cut the fillet into at least 3 pieces. 

b.       If the pieces are still too large, I cut them accordingly to make sure that all of the pieces are not thicker than one-half inch.

3.       The final important element of clean fish is proper trimming.

a.       It is extremely important to remove any red meat that is present on the fillets because this meat is very greasy and has a very strong taste.

b.       Also, for the safety of your family and all others eating your fish, it is important to remove all bones that may have been left in the fillet.

4.       As you can see, having clean fillets is much more than simply rinsing; it takes a little extra effort to create spectacular deep-fried fish. (Visual Aid)


(Transition - With the fillets clean, it's time to move to the next step)


B.      The second step in preparing deep-fried fish is the coating of the meat -- egg bath and breading.

1.       The egg bath is an integral part of creating crispy deep-fried fish.

a.       To create the egg bath, put a two or three raw eggs, about a quarter cup of milk, and all desired seasonings into a large mixing bowl.

b.       Mix the entire ingredients well, insuring that all of the elements are combined.

c.        Add the cleaned fish to the egg bath and stir the fish into the mixture -- covering all the fish with the bath. (Visual Aid)

2.       The final step in the coating process is breading the fillets.

a.       Combine a corn flour with your favorite seasonings in either a large Tupperware bowl with a lid or a bag large enough to shake several pieces of fish inside of it.

b.       When it is time to start frying, place five to seven pieces of fish into the breading and shake well, completely coating every piece of fish.

c.        Lastly, only coat pieces of fish that will go immediately into the deep fryer because the coating will become moist and mushy.

3.       By taking the time to properly coat the fish, you have completed two-thirds of the process for preparing deep-fried fish that will have everyone asking for seconds.


C.      The final phase for preparing deep-fried fish is to fry it. (Visual Aid)

1.       Make sure that there is enough oil to completely submerge the fish.

a.       It is important to have enough oil in the fryer to allow the fish to sink down into it.

b.       The deep oil helps to provide one indicator of the fish's completeness.

2.       Make sure that the oil is heated to the proper temperature

a.       In an article I pulled off the web by Johnnie F. Davis, he instructs to heat your oil to 375 degrees.  He states that "oil that is too cool causes excessive fat absorption, and oil that is too hot browns the outside too fast without fully cooking the inside."

b.       Having the oil the right temperature seals in all the natural flavors when the fish enters the oil, and prevents absorption of the oil into the meat.

3.       Do not cook too many pieces at the same time.

a.       It is important not to cook too many pieces of fish at the same time because the heat is absorbed into the fish; therefor, too many pieces of fish effectively lower the temperature of your oil.

b.       Always give the oil time to reheat after removing fish before putting more into the oil.

4.       Cook until the pieces are golden brown.

a.       When the fish floats to the top of the oil, it is effectively cooked.

b.       I like to continue my cooking until the fish reach a color of golden brown to insure that they are crispy on the outside, yet still moist on the inside.

c.        The cooking time ranges from 3 to 5 minutes per batch of fish.

5.       Although every step throughout the process of preparing deep-fried fish is extremely important, whatever was done in the previous steps is irrelevant if the fish is not fried properly.

III.               Conclusion

A.      As you can see, preparing deep-fried fish entails a thorough process of cleaning, coating, and cooking.

B.      Taking a few extra minutes in the preparation stage goes a long way toward the quality of the final product. (Visual Aid)

C.      I think that Justin Wilson says it best, "Mmmm. Mmmmm,"