These fried fish fillets are crispy and they stay crisp for longer than you would expect. As you can see, they are not greasy as they have been dip in semolina and not bread crumbs. These fried fish fillets were marinated in an Indian inspired yogurt masala -a blend of spices. It makes these fillets flavourful and quite different from regular salt and peppered fish fillets. Any leftovers are lovely for sandwiches with a little tartar sauce and iceberg lettuce. If you do not want to fry them, omit the semolina crust and grill them instead. Scroll down to ‘Tips’ to find out how the fried fillets can be easily reheated without sacrificing the crisp exterior.

Semolina Crusted Fish Fillets Marinated In A Yogurt Masala

Prep: 20 minutes 
Cook: 12 or less
Inactive: 20 – 60 minutes
Level: Intermediate
Serves: ~3 – 4 persons
Oil Temperature: 360F (180C)
Can recipe be doubled? Yes.
Make ahead? It is best served hot from the fryer but it could sit at the table for up to an hour.


1 lb (450g) firm flesh white fish fillet*
Oil for frying fish
1/2 cup yogurt
1 and 1/2 Tablespoons minced ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 and 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
3/4 teaspoon cumin powder
3/4 teaspoon tumeric powder
1/8 teaspoon chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon chickpea flour/rice flour/all-purpose/plain flour**
Crumb coating
1 to 3/4 cup semolina
For serving
Lemons for squeezing over fish if you wish
* I like using Tilapia Fish.
** To thicken the marinade. 


Marinate the fish
1. Mix the marinade for the fish. Add the fillets and marinade for 20 to 60 minutes.

Set up your production line for frying (refer to image and instructions below)

1. Placed the tray of semolina next to the frying pan. For easy dipping, the tray should be able to comfortably fit a fish fillet.
2. Place the tray of marinated fish fish fillets on besides the semolina.
3. Have a wire rack (and a tray to catch drips) ready for draining the fried fish. If you do not have one, kitchen paper towels would do or use tempura paper which are paper liners traditionally used to serve tempura but they do a good job in absorbing excess oil.
4. Have a frying slice (perforated is good as it drains off excess oil), a long handled spoon and kitchen paper towels close by.

Lets fry
1. Heat up enough oil to come 1/2 way up the sides of the fish fillets.
2. The burner should be set on medium-high heat and the oil temperature should be heated to 360F (180C).
3. Only when the oil is sufficiently hot, pick up one fish fillet at a time and remove excess marinade from the fillet by running your thumb and fore finger down its length.
4. Dip each fillet in semolina and slide the fish into the hot oil away from you. Be careful of splatters.
5. Cooking time depends on the thickness of the fillet. The fillets you see above are very thin, barely 0.59″ (1.5 cm). They took a total of 3 minutes to cook.
6. Once the fillet is in the hot oil, you must start to coat the top of the fillet with the hot oil to seal in the semolina crust. This is when you use the long handled spoon. If you do not bathe the fillet in oil, the semolina coating will start to slide down the fillet and you will have a bald fish fillet.  Not attractive and definitely not tasty.
7. Drain the fried fish fillets preferably on cooling racks. Paper kitchen towels or tempura paper will do. However, once the oil has drained through them, you should lay the fried fillets on fresh paper. This minimises the fillets from getting soggy at the bottom or stuck to the kitchen paper towels.
8. Repeat the process above until all the fillets are cooked.
9. In between frying batches of fish, do let the temperature of the oil come back up before sliding in your next fillet. Do not overcrowd your frying pan either. The temperature of the oil will likely drop too much and you will be steaming the fish instead. Nothing will crisp up.
10. Fried well, they will stay crisp for easily an hour. Serve hot or at room temperature with some lemons nearby for squeezing.


Grill instead of deep fry
Should you not want the hassle of deep frying, these fish fillets are also wonderful grilled. In which case, skip the semolina crust.

To reheat the fish fillets
(1) Frying pan: These semolina crusted fish fillets re-heat well. Place the cold fillets in a dry frying pan and set it over a burner. Turn on the heat to medium. When one side is heated up, flip the fillet and warm up the other side as well. How long it takes to warm up depends on how thick the fillets are.
(2) Oven: You could also reheat them in an oven, preferably on a rack that has been set over a tray.
(3) Do not reheat in a microwave. It will come out soggy.

Great in a sandwich
These are great as a fish sandwich with some lettuce and tartar sauce. Hot or cold.


Cheese sticks! Bring out the beer!