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Citarella’s Fried Flounder


Serves 4

You shouldn’t fry something too rich or with too much flavor—like sardines, for example. You could, but they wouldn’t taste good, and you wouldn’t know what you were eating. On the other hand, light and flaky flounder has a delicate flavor that makes it a great choice for frying. It’s no surprise that in England and Ireland, flounder or cod are usually the fish of choice for traditional fish & chips.

2 quarts canola, grapeseed, or other high-heat cooking oil, for frying
4 (6- to 8-ounce) skinless flounder fillets
1/2 cup Wondra flour or all-purpose flour
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Red Cabbage Slaw, for serving


Pour the oil into a large pot, Dutch oven, or fryer. It should be at least 2 inches deep. Heat the oil to 375°F. If you don’t own a candy or oil thermometer, simply sprinkle a pinch of flour into the oil. If it sizzles, it’s ready.

Meanwhile, put the flour in a shallow dish. Rinse the fish and pat it dry with paper towel. Dredge the fish fillets in the flour, shaking off any excess.

When the oil is hot, using a slotted spoon or spider, gently slide the fish into the oil and fry for 1 1/2 minutes, then transfer to a plate or baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain, frying in batches as necessary. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Serve with the slaw.