Crispy Fried Pompano is a simple dish for crispy fried pompano fish seasoned with salt and pepper then deep fried in a garlic infused oil.
What is your favourite fish? Well if you ask me my answer will be different depending on the cooking method used for that fish, as the experience of eating them depends on how it was prepared. So for me if it’s in soup or with sauces then my favourite would be grouper. If its grilled, then it will be tuna (but the jaw part only) or tilapia. If its raw then it will be salmon, kingfish, and snapper. If its steamed then it will be grouper, snapper, and flounder. If its battered and deep fried it will snapper and grouper but if its pan fried as a whole fish, then nothing beats pompano.
Pompano is really good when fried, the flesh is quite firm, does not flake easily and is good in keeping its moisture when fried. If fried correctly the outer layer becomes so crispy, where the skin becomes crackling like in consistency and the belly is just so rich and fatty. Scoring it multiple times will help a lot so you will have a good mix of texture as the edges on the scores will yield a crispy result while keeping the insides juicy. It’s quite hard to find a similar fish with the same texture and flavour like pompano when fried like this and if think of something similar let me know.
Score pompano in a criss-cross pattern then season it with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Try to rub salt and pepper into the creases and insides as well.
Prepare a wok, add 1/4 cup of oil and place under medium low heat. Add garlic then cook until golden brown and crispy. Remove garlic from wok, place on a plate lined with paper towel in one layer to remove excess oil. Let it cool and set aside.
Add more oil to the wok, add enough for deep frying, heat to 180C. Using a paper towel pat dry fish to avoid heavy splattering, gently put fish into the wok then cook for 8 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
Remove from wok, drain then place in a serving platter, sprinkle fried garlic on top then serve.