Deep-fried Fish and Shellfish (Fritto Misto Di Mare)

This is one of the great classics of Italian cooking, and can be found in restaurants and trattoria all around the coast. The fish used below are merely suggestions and are among those most widely used in Italy, but of course this is one of those dishes where you can add and subtract according to availability, season–and purse


4 - 6 servings
Sufficient oil for deep-frying
2 Plaice (flounder) fillets, skinned and cut into strips
2 Whiting fillets, skinned and cut into strips
4 Small scallops
225 g (8 oz) Large frozen prawns or shrimps, thawed and shelled but with the tails left on
8 Parsley sprigs
1 Lemon, quartered

for the batter

125 g (4 oz) 1 cup Flour
1/4 tsp Salt
1 Egg yolk
1 Tbs Vegetable oil
250 ml (8 fl oz) 1 cup Milk
2 Egg whites


1. To prepare the batter, sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Make a well in the centre and put in the egg yolk and oil.

2. Mix the egg yolk and oil together, gradually incorporating the flour, then add the milk, a little at a time. Cover the bowl and set it aside in a cool place for 30 minutes.

3. Beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Quickly fold the egg whites into the batter.

4. Fill a large deep-frying pan about one-third full with oil and heat until it reaches 190°C (375 °F) on a deep-fat thermometer, or until a small cube of stale bread dropped into the oil turns light brown in 40 seconds.

5. Using tongs, dip the fish pieces first into the batter, then into the oil. Fry them for 3 to 4 minutes or until they are crisp and golden brown. As each piece is cooked, remove from the pan and drain on kitchen towels. Transfer to a warmed serving dish and keep hot while you fry the remaining fish.

6. Garnish with parsley sprigs and lemon quarters and serve at once, piping hot.

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