Fried fish is one of my favorite foods. Although I prefer grouper, it is very expensive in this area (even though we live right off the Gulf) and we usually settle for tilapia. When we are lucky enough to have a great fishing adventure and actually come home with fish, we make fried fish every night until it is all gone.
We have found that the frozen tilapia that comes in large bags is the best value . . . if it is available in your area.
I make a very simple tartar sauce to go with the fried fish. Sorry, I don't measure, so taste as you go until it is the right combination for you. Mix mayonnaise, dill, cayenne pepper, onion powder, dill pickle juice and finely minced dill pickle (optional) . . . chill. A slightly different variation (especially if low on mayonnaise) is to add some sour cream. It makes a great topping for baked potato instead of plain sour cream.
1 cup yellow corn meal
⅓ cup flour
2 teaspoons salt
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (amount to taste for heat)
(or you can sprinkle directly on the fish before coating with dry ingredients)
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
Marinade: milk and hot sauce (amount to taste for heat)
Add the fish and allow to marinate for a few hours.
Remove the fish and drain.
Coat the fish into mixed dry ingredients. Shake off excess.
The fish is best deep fried (365 degrees), but may be pan fried (I love to pan fry the fish in some olive oil and butter).
Cook until the fish flakes easily with a fork, about 5 to 6 minutes.