This is one of my favorite techniques for breading a light-fleshed fish like flounder, sole, haddock or cod because it locks in the moisture.
On our Foodie trip to the Loire valley in France, white asparagus is seasonal and widely available each spring. Here, I made the “Oscar” with the white asparagus spears, featuring sole fillets and cracked crab claws. White asparagus has a thicker “woody” skin than green asparagus and requires a little more peeling.
Anyone who has ever cooked with me knows how obsessed I am with peeling my asparagus. I find that most asparagus is worthy of peeling, with the exception being the very thin and very tender young ones. I usually cut the bottom lighter section of the spear off (some people break them, I just find this rough break is not as visually nice as a clean cut) and peel up to the top cap. Usually, the larger the spears, the more peel that will need to be removed.
Coating the fish:
The fish is seasoned, floured and dipped in an egg wash and fried until golden on each side. The “egg breading” seals in the moisture and keeps the fish tender and juicy so it can be done in advance without the hassle of soggy breading.
Other Coatings I use on fish are:
- Plantain Crust – https://chefmichaelsalmon.com/plantain-crusted-halibut/
- Parmesan Crust – https://chefmichaelsalmon.com/grilled-halibut/
- Nut Crust – https://chefmichaelsalmon.com/walnut-crusted-cod/
Flounder OscarCourse: EntreeCuisine: FrenchDifficulty: Medium
1 pound asparagus
4 five-ounce portions of flounder (or other light fleshed fish like cod, haddock, sole, etc.)
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons chopped flat leaf parsley
Kosher salt and ground white pepper
All-purpose flour, to coat the fish
Canola oil for frying
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
6 oz fresh crab meat
Hollandaise Sauce (recipe below)
- Hollandaise Sauce
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 large egg yolks
1 Tablespoon dry white wine
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and ground white pepper to taste
- Remove the tough white lower sections from the asparagus spears. Peel the lower two to three inches of tough outer skin from the bottom of the asparagus.
- Combine the eggs, Parmesan cheese and 1 teaspoon of the parsley in a small bowl and stir vigorously with a fork to combine well. Place the flounder on a plate and sprinkle with salt and pepper; gently coat with flour.
- Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Cover the bottom with a thin layer of canola oil and heat. Dip the floured flounder into the beaten egg and coat well. Gently lay the fish in the hot oil and allow the first side to cook to a golden brown before turning, about 2 minutes. Flip the fish over with a spatula and continue cooking on the other side for 2 minutes.
- Heat two small sauté pans over medium heat. Melt 1 Tablespoon butter in each pan and heat the crab meat and asparagus spears in the separate pans. Season the asparagus with salt and pepper.
- Arrange the cooked fish on a serving plate or platter and top with the warm crab meat. Lay the asparagus spears on top and spoon over the hollandaise. Finish by sprinkling with the reserved chopped parsley.
- Hollandaise Sauce
- Place the butter in a small saucepan and melt over low heat. Set another medium-sized saucepan on the stove over high heat with an inch of water in it, bring to a boil and reduce heat to low.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl combine the egg yolks and the white wine. Whisk vigorously for about 2 minutes.
- Place the bowl over the pan of hot water (it should rest on the top of the saucepan and the bottom of the bowl should not make direct contact with the water) and whisk continuously for about 2 minutes. This is a tricky step. The idea is to heat the egg yolk mixture without turning it into scrambled eggs. If the sauce appears to be thickening too quickly, then remove it from the heat for a few seconds, and whisk it off the heat. When the sauce is warm to the touch and thick, it is ready for the addition of the melted butter.
- Add the melted butter 1 Tablespoon at a time and whisk in very well before each addition. Finish the sauce with the lemon juice and season with a pinch of white pepper and salt to taste.