How to get a tasty fried fish

the best oil for frying fish

Frying is a very tasty culinary technique that, contrary to what many people think, makes food more digestible and healthy, as long as we use extra virgin olive oil. Frying is one of the delights of the Mediterranean diet that we should not stop using, in moderation to be quite calorific.

For frying fish or any other product, we recommend always using high quality extra virgin olive oil, as it will be subjected to high temperatures and more extreme conditions. Of all the varieties, the most suitable for frying are the picual and cornicabra varieties.  In our shop in Las Rozas de Madrid you can buy all these varieties. In our online store you can buy within the categories of olive oil Jaén and if you want a softer, we recommend olive oil from Cordoba. For more information visit the article where to buy extra virgin olive oil

What oil should we use to fry the fish?

As we have indicated previously, it is fundamental to use a good oil for the frying process, because we subject the oil to high temperatures for quite some time, and it is the extra virgin olive oil that better endures these conditions without deteriorating. Among all the extra virgin varieties, we recommend the picual or cornicabra, these you can use up to 10 fried. Other varieties like empeltre and arbequina can be used in the frying, they will transmit less flavor to the fish but you will be able to reuse them less quantity of times.

But why should we use extra virgin olive oil?

  1. During frying, the olive oil creates a film on the food without entering it, achieving that inside the product does not exceed 100 º C, and maintain its properties.
  2. The oil that can withstand higher temperatures without deteriorating is the extra virgin olive oil as we will see below.
  3. If we want to use in the frying an oil that does not take away flavor to the product, the best thing is that it uses soft extra virgin varieties like those of Cordoba, Baena or Priego de Cordoba.

Extra virgin olive oil, the best oil for frying

Which Bárbara Nieva-Echevarría, Encarnación Goicoechea, María José Manzanos and María Dolores Guillén have published their article “The influence of frying techniques, cooking oil and fish species on changes in fish lipids and oil during frying” in the journal “Food Research International”.

Fillets of sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) and sea bream (Sparus aurata) have been used in this study and fried using extra virgin olive oil and refined sunflower oil in a frying pan and microwave oven. These researchers, using proton magnetic resonance imaging (1H NMR), analyzed the changes that occurred in the lipid composition of both products when frying.

During the frying process at domestic temperatures, some of the lipids in the fish migrated to the oil and components of the oil were transferred to the fish.  Therefore, the composition of the oil used in this process was modified, enriching them with lipids found in a greater proportion in the fish fat and also impoverishing them with lipids that were in a greater proportion in the original oil than in the fish fat.

Thus, in frying with extra virgin olive oil, this oil was enriched with omega 3, linoleic and saturated fatty acids from fish and was impoverished with oleic fatty acids, the main fatty acid in extra virgin olive oil. Also, in the case of sunflower oil, it was richer in fatty acids from fish except linoleic acid, as this fatty acid is the predominant one in sunflower oil. Likewise, both oils took small amounts of cholesterol from the fish.

As far as the fat of the fish was also modified, because the lipids of the fish were enriched with fatty acids that were found in greater proportion of frying oil (with oleic fatty acids, when it was fried with extra virgin olive oil, and with linoleic fatty acids, when it was fried in sunflower oil), and in plant sterols.

At the same time, the lipids of the fish after frying were impoverished in fatty acids and minority components that were found in a higher proportion in raw fish than in the original oils, were impoverished in fatty acids such as omega 3 and minority components such as eicosapentaenoic (EPA).

In frying, the oils are usually subjected to temperatures of about 180 ºC which, together with the oxygen found in the air, the components of the oil can suffer a certain thermo-oxidation.  In the extra virgin olive oil when subjected to these temperatures in this study there were no thermo-oxidation reactions. However, in sunflower oil if these reactions occurred, forming secondary compounds of oxidation (aldehydes) and some of them are considered potentially toxic, although it depends on the concentration to be found.

Therefore, and in relation to the results of this study, the most advisable oil for cooking and frying is extra virgin olive oil.

In this study it was also discovered that fish species influences the proportion of fat exchange between fish and oil, because in sea bream the fat content decreased after frying and in sea bass remained constant or increased with respect to raw sea bass.

In conclusion, this study has found that the frying technique, the type of oil used and the species of fish have a great influence on the changes that occur during the frying process. It is for this reason that it is of great importance to always use extra virgin olive oil, as extra virgin olive oil does not degenerate or f

Photo 1: Extra virgin olive oil of the Picual variety.

How to get a crispy fried fish?

In order to obtain a crispy fried fish it is fundamental to control the temperature of the oil very well, this must be very hot next to that it smokes. When the oil begins to smoke, the product would be richer and crunchier, but this is when the oil begins to burn and form harmful substances,

At the point of smoke, any oil is charring, but it is in the extra virgin olive oil that slowly burns to deteriorate.

After each frying, it is necessary to filter the oil well and remove any remaining food in it, as these remains react with the remains of the food and form trans fatty acids that are very harmful to health.

How to make fried fish with flour?

The first thing to do is to prepare the frying pan with the extra virgin olive oil and leave the oil very hot, but do not get to smoke.


– Flour

– 1 beaten egg

– 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


Mix the ingredients well until you get a good pasta. Once this is done, batter the fish and put them in the frying pan with the very hot oil. Let the oil cover all the fish well, until it lasts.

Now you will be able to enjoy a crispy, tasty and very healthy fish. Enjoy.



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