We want to thank Chef Davis Turner of Huckleberry Food Truck for sharing this excellent recipe and frying method. Huckleberry Food Truck is very popular in the Austin area, featuring fresh black drum fillets, served in sandwiches and also seafood platters. Black drum fillets are flavorful, flaky, white meat; better in my personal opinion than its more glorified cousins – speckled trout and red drum. We also want to recognize Chef Davis for his support of Texas Parks and Wildlife Coastal Fisheries sustainable harvest of Texas seafood initiatives.
1.5 cup Yellow Cornmeal
1.5 cup All-Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon Garlic Powder
1 tablespoon Chili Powder
1 tablespoon Paprika
1 teaspoon Cayenne
1/4 teaspoon Toasted and Celery Seed Powder
1/4 teaspoon Dried Oregano
1/4 teaspoon Dried Thyme
Pinch of Kosher Salt and Pepper
Makes a little over 3 cups, should be able to bread roughly 1 pound of Black Drum or any other white flaky fish. Also makes a great breading mixture for shrimp.
Preheat deep-fryer or oiled frying pan to 350 degrees.
Slice fish filets into 4-oz portions, roughly 3x3 inches. If using shrimp, peel and devein first.
Soak your fish or shrimp in an egg wash or buttermilk and let sit 5 min in the refrigerator.
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
Set up a breading station starting with the buttermilk fish, a plate/tray with the breading, and a plate/tray to set the breaded seafood on.
Carefully remove the seafood and set it in the breading mix and coat thoroughly. Be sure to let the seafood drain off the liquid before placing it in the breading mix to avoid getting clumps in the mix. Also, do not overcrowd the breading mix with the seafood, bread just a few pieces at a time. When they are breaded, place them on the sheet tray and place in the refrigerator for at least 5 min. This will help the breading mix set on the seafood.
Once the seafood is set, test the fryer with one piece of seafood to make sure it is hot and ready. You will want to fry your seafood in batches, fry fish for 4-5 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. If you are frying shrimp, it will take about 1 minute less.
When fish is golden brown, pull out of the fryer and drain oil by placing on a tray with a wire rack or paper towels. Sprinkle with kosher salt, a squeeze of fresh lemon, and enjoy.