Mojarra frita is a Mexican dish very popular in the coastal states. It consists of a whole mojarra fish cleaned, seasoned, deep-fried, and served with various accompaniments.
The secret of the mojarra frita is to marinade the fish with some seasonings. Then, the entire fish is coated with flour and fried in plenty of oil until it is nice and crispy.
How To Make Fried Mojarra
Place 2 large cloves of garlic peeled in a molcajete or mortar. Add 1/2 teaspoon of black peppercorns, 1/4 teaspoon of cumin seeds, and a pinch of coarse salt. Add a few drops of lime juice and mash until you will have a smooth paste.
Add the remaining juice of the lime to the paste and mix well. Use the mixture to spread nicely out and inside the fish. *You can also make 3 diagonal cuts on each side of the fish so the seasonings will infuse it better.
Place the seasoned fish in a dish, cover with cling film, and put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Place all-purpose flour on a large plate, coat nicely the mojarra fish on all sides, then make sure to shake well to remove excess.
In a large heavy pan, heat a good glug of frying oil (about half a cup) over medium heat.
Carefully add the fish to the pan and fry on one side. Use a large spoon to baste the fish with the hot oil as its cooking.
Cook for about 5 minutes, depending on how thick your fish is. Once you see the side in contact with the pan starts to brown, use two spatulas and carefully flip the fish to fry on the other side.
Keep cooking until the fish is nicely golden and crispy, flipping from time to time. The time will depend on how big your fish is.
Remove mojarra frita from the hot oil and place in a paper-lined plate. Then repeat with the other fish.
You can also fry as many fish as they fit in your pan but make sure they don’t overcrowd it.
Any fried fish will be served with rice or pasta, various vegetables like cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, lime juice, and of course, salsas.
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