Recipe: Ouzo-Battered Fried Fish

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I use the same batter for sliced zucchini, eggplants, squash blossoms, and any other seasonable vegetable that I serve in my "Greek tempura," as my friends call this dish.

    • 1 ½ to 2 pounds fish fillets
    • olive oil or canola, for frying
    • 1 cup cornstarch, plus 2 tablespoons to dust the fish fillets
    • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
    • 2 cups ouzo (see note)
    • 2 cups club soda or more, as needed
    • 2 lemons quartered

Heat about two inches of oil in a skillet.

In a bowl mix together one cup cornstarch, the flour, and the baking powder. Add ouzo and club soda, whisking to incorporate. It should be runny. If too thick, add a little more club soda.

Dip one fillet at a time in the batter, remove with tongs, let drain a bit, and fry in the heated oil turning as it becomes deep golden. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.

Serve with lemon quarters.

Note: Ouzo, Pernod, and Raki are anise-flavored strong alcoholic drinks. If not available, substitute vodka or grappa, adding a pinch of ground star or green anise to the batter.

To read Aglaia's story about the "she-dragon," a poisonous—but tasty—Greek fish, click here.

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Aglaia Kremezi writes about food in Greek, European, and American magazines, publishes books about Mediterranean cooking in the U.S. and Greece, and teaches cooking classes. More

Aglaia Kremezi has changed her life and her profession many times over. She currently writes about food in Greek, European and American magazines, publishes books about Greek and Mediterranean cooking in the US and in Greece, and teaches cooking to small groups of travelers who visit Kea. Before that she was a journalist and editor, writing about everything, except politics. She has been the editor in chief and the creator of news, women's, and life-style magazines, her last disastrous venture being a "TV guide for thinking people," a contradiction in terms, at least in her country. She studied art, graphic design, and photography at the Polytechnic of Central London. For five years she taught photography to graphic designers while freelancing as a news and fashion photographer for Athenian magazines and newspapers. Editors liked her extended captions more than the pieces the journalists submitted for the events she took pictures for, so she was encouraged to do her own stories, gradually becoming a full time journalist and editor. You can visit her website at www.keartisanal.com.


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