Dredging

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Joined Aug 9, 2009
When someone says to dredge with cornmeal for example does the term automatically imply that the cornbread (or whatever) is moistened with a liquid to enhance sticking or is the addition of any liquid optional to the instruction?

Mark
 
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dredging is dry....it prevents the protein(chicken, veal, fish etc.) from sticking to the pan and aids in the browning...you can use flour or cornmeal alone or flour mixed with cornmeal...it is a light coating, not heavy in any way.....

joey
 
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Don't add liquid to a dredging. The whole point of the dredging is to absorb the surface moisture, to make the surface of your protein dry, and favorize maillard reactions.
 
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You also want to use as little of the coating as possible. Shaking off excess can work. Even better is to use a strainer when feasible.

F'rinstance, last night I made fried squid rings. I tossed them in a mixture of flour and turmeric, then transferred each batch to a strainer. A shake or two and any excess flour drops back into the bowl.

Obviously, this was a deep frying application. But the same works for pan frying.
 
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So after I rinse off the fillets should I not 'pat' them down with a paper towel as I have done and thereby keep the surface moisture in place for the dredge or do I still pat them down?
 
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You want them dry, dry, dry before dredging.  Any moisture on the surface of the fish will cause the coating to lift and/or break during the cook, or immediately after.

You can either dredge the seasoned fillets into the flour (or whatever), and shake off the excess; or use a dredger (which is something like a salt shaker only with bigger holes -- bakers use them all the time for powdered sugar) and shake off the excess.

Shaking off the excess is important.  You're only trying to help the fish hold together and develop a little texture on the surface, not make a batter or "crispy" breading for frying.  That's a different thing.

Good luck with the fish dish,

BDL
 
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why are you rinsing your fish in the first place? do you rinse your steak or chicken? it will only add more moisture,and not of the right kind...if its fresh, just wipe it off with your fingers or something....if you're anal, i guess a paper towel is good. blotting is better....all above advice should be incorporated, as it's all so good and right on.... you just gotta jump in there kid...just make sure you got a good sauce, relish, salsa etc.to top it and good wine..trust me on this, all is forgiven with good wine

joey

p.s. oh, if you have to err on timing, like you have to set a timer or something, err on undercooking..
 
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Sometime I put the filet in a plastic bag put seasoned flour in and just gently rock back and forth,dame with cornmeal.I do not break the filet and it is bone dry when I put it in. I then shake all excess of. I do this so flour or dust does not get all over, and its all covered evenly. You can then take the bag with seasoned flour in it and freeze for next dredging.
 
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The rinsing and patting down of fillets was a tip from a quick recipe that I had downloaded with my first fish attempt last week. It was after a few attempts and many different internet downloads that I decided it'd be best to just start and stay here ;-)

Proved to be a correct decision. Thanks!
 
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The most common mistake is to put the flourcoating on too soon before frying it and/or putting it back in the fridge, flourcoat on; the coating can get wet again and stick to the pan.

Just coat fish with flour seconds before panfryng and you will never have any problems.

Many times I use the trick that Ed explains; put some flour in a plastic bag, add the fish and gently shake the bag. Simple and easy trick! Remove from the bag and gently tap the excess of flour off.
 
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