Crispy Nostalgia: Friday Fish Fry, Northern Midwest Style

Published on 11 May 2023 at 10:53

There's something magical about Friday Fish Fry's in the northern Midwest—the comforting aroma of golden brown fish, the camaraderie of local bars, and the unmistakable taste of a tradition deeply rooted in the culture. As someone who grew up in the heart of Northern Wisconsin, the memories of this culinary ritual are as vivid as the lakes that dot the landscape. Recently, feeling a wave of nostalgia, I decided to pay homage to this classic dish by diving into my freezer for sunfish and walleye fillets, firing up the deep fryer, and letting the golden magic happen.

The Essentials: Oil, Batter, and Fish

To embark on this flavorful journey, all you need are three key elements: piping hot oil (preferably peanut oil for that extra richness), a delectable batter, and, of course, the star of the show—fresh fish. For my go-to batter, I opt for Shorelunch, a classic choice that never disappoints. Whether it's their beer batter for a traditional taste or the Cajun blend for a dash of spice, Shorelunch provides the perfect canvas for the golden brown masterpiece.

The Art of Preparation: Thaw, Mix, Dip, and Fry

While the deep fryer works its magic to bring the oil to the perfect temperature, I take the time to prepare the batter. In a large bowl or Tupperware container, I mix the Shorelunch batter with a touch of milk and an egg, creating a velvety texture that ensures a perfect bond on the fish. Thawed fillets or chunks are then delicately dipped into the batter, creating a generous coating that promises a satisfying crunch.

Into the Golden Abyss: The Deep-Frying Dance

With the batter-coated fillets ready, they take the plunge into the sizzling depths of the hot oil. No need for timers or elaborate tracking methods—just a keen eye for that dark golden color that signals perfection. When the fillets rise to the surface, floating gracefully, they are done, creating a symphony of flavors and textures that pay homage to the best of Friday Fish Frys.

The Homestyle Advantage: A Taste of Home Without the Drive

One of the joys of mastering the art of deep-frying fish at home is the ability to recreate that cherished Friday night experience without leaving your kitchen. No need to drive to a supper club or local bar; for the cost of a bag of batter, you can savor the crispy goodness of your homemade fish platter.

Looking Ahead: Summer's Bounty and Culinary Adventures

As the weather warms up, so does the anticipation for open water angling. With fish getting active, the promise of new culinary adventures is on the horizon. Stay tuned for a summer filled with tantalizing recipes based on various fish species that will undoubtedly elevate your taste buds to new heights.

Conclusion: A Crispy Homage to Tradition

In the northern Midwest, Friday Fish Fry's are more than just a meal—they're a celebration of community, tradition, and the simple joy of savoring delicious, golden-brown fish. As we recreate this culinary ritual in our own kitchens, let's raise a crispy fillet to the memories of Fridays past and the delicious Fridays to come.

written by: tyler tesch

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