As some of you may know, I’m a very observant Catholic. Since the season of Lent is now upon us, my family and I are obligated to abstain from meat on every Friday for the next forty days. I’m going to take this opportunity to stretch my culinary muscles a bit. During this time of fasting and penance, I’m planning on sharing new vegetarian and/or pescatarian dishes with you fine folk every Friday. So, for the time being, you can expect to get a glimpse of what’s on my own table and see how my family navigates this period of abstinence from warm-blooded meat.
This Friday’s featured meal is a Lenten classic: Fish Fry. On Fridays in Lent, you’ll find a fish fry happening at just about every parish in the U.S., and mine is no exception. While my ketogenic lifestyle precludes me from partaking in the parish social event, that certainly doesn’t stop me from making my own at home.
I adapted my favorite triple-breading process to a pescatarian-friendly one by replacing the pork rinds with almond flour, and frying up the breaded fillets in avocado oil instead of bacon drippings. Easy peasy, and it makes for excellent eating. I paired this fish fry with my own broccoli cheddar casserole (once again, I swapped pork rinds for almond flour for Lenten compliance).
FYI: Eggs will be featured kind of heavily in my Lent posts, as they’re permitted in a Latin Catholic fast and are an easy source of protein on days we can’t eat beef, pork, or poultry. While they technically come from a land animal, because they’re not fertilized they’re not chickens, and thus regularly fit into a Lenten meal rotation. Those observing a traditional Orthodox fast, or who are looking for vegan meals, will likely want to skip this series or adapt these recipes for your own use.Print
This is one of the few recipes on the site that doesn’t rely heavily on weighted measurements. That’s because it works best in volume ratios.
- 8 skinless catfish fillets, or white fish fillets of your choice (approx. 5-6 oz each)
- 1/4 c coconut flour
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tbsp. (1 fl oz/ 30 ml) heavy cream
- 1/2 c fine almond flour
- 1/2 c (approx. 4 oz/ 113 g) grated parmesan cheese
- 1-2 tsp Seasoned Salt, or a combo of salt, pepper, and garlic powder, to taste
- avocado or coconut oil, for frying
- Grab three shallow but wide bowls, or alternatively two plates and one bowl. In one dish, place the coconut flour, in the second bowl the eggs and heavy cream, and combine the almond flour and parmesan in the last container.
- Beat the heavy cream and egg together to make an egg wash.
- If not using Seasoned Salt, mix the spices together, then evenly divide the seasoning between the coconut flour, the beaten egg wash, and the almond flour-parmesan mixture. Mix the spices into each.
- Step one is to lightly roll each fillet in the coconut flour. You want a good dusting on the fish, but not a thick layer, so be sure to tap off any excess.
- Step two is to dip each floured fillet into the egg wash, being sure to coat completely, then letting any excess drip back down into the bowl.
- Step three is to roll or dredge the fillet in the seasoned, almond-parmesan mixture to cover well, again tapping off any excess.
- Repeat the triple breading steps with each fish fillet, and place aside on a plate until ready to fry.
- In a large pan, heat your chosen oil over medium-high. You want a good 1/2 inch of liquid oil in the bottom of the pan.
- Once it is hot enough that a drop of water sizzles when dropped into the pan, it is ready. Add the fillets, a few at a time, to the pan to fry. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan. When in doubt, fewer is almost always better.
- DO NOT WALK AWAY. Watch your fish! When the first side is golden brown, and a good crust is formed (it should look very close to a unified piece of breading), flip and continue cooking on the second side. This usually takes four to five minutes, but again, watch and don’t ever walk off when pan frying.
- When the second side is golden and your crust is well-formed, then remove from the oil to a paper towel lined plate. Let stand to cool, and repeat until all fish fillets are cooked.
When frying foods, it’s a little difficult to get a good nutrition count of fat, because while you may use a lot of oil in your pan, a large portion of it doesn’t get absorbed into your breading. I fry these in avocado oil, and use a very goodly amount, but most of it stays behind in my pan, and so I guesstimated macros for about 1/2 c oil consumed across the entire recipe. It may be a little more or less, but I didn’t want to leave the fat estimate out because you do eat some of it.
Per fillet: 386.5 cal, 31.9 g protein, 26.4 g fat, 4.4 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 2.4 g NET carbs
- Serving Size: 1 "breaded" and fried fillet
Keywords: FIsh, Fish Fry, Fish Fillet, Lent, Pescatarian