Deep-fried threadfin

A few days ago I went fishing for four finger threadfin with Alex. The threadfin also happens to be one of my mom’s favourite fish. Unfortunately the majority of our catch were small and not big enough to fillet into generous portions. Fortunately, during my trip to Tunisia, I encountered a pretty useful way for preparing small-sized fish by dusting them in spice and flour before deep-frying them until they are golden brown. This recipe below is more like my own interpretation of the dish and it is very flexible to be changed.


10-15 small fish, gutted and cleaned

2 tablespoons of cake flour

3 tablespoons of corn starch

3 tablespoons of curry powder (or a combination of herbs and spices of your choosing)

Salt and pepper for taste

Cooking oil


  1. Mix the flour, starch, curry powder (or a combination of herbs and spices of your choosing), salt and pepper together in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add fish to mixing bowl.
  3. With a pair of tongs, coat the fish in the flour mix until the fish are completely covered.
  4. In a deep pot, heat up two inches of cooking oil until it starts to smoke or reaches about 170 Celsius.
  5. Using the tongs, pick the fish up, shake off excess flour and deep fry in oil for three to four minutes or until they are golden brown. Don’t overcrowd the the pot, leave room for movement and even heat distribution.
  6. When golden brown, remove fish from oil, strain the oil, sprinkle salt and pepper and serve with lemon or lime.
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4 Responses to Deep-Fried Spiced Fish

  1. Alex West says:

    Tried this recipe with curry powder, salt, pepper, and bread crumbs.

    Since I have no maid for the moment, gutting and cleaning the fish by myself was the most messy (and tiresome) part!!

    The threadfin is a very nice eating fish. The meat is soft and not too many bones.

    Just a tip in case you want the meat to be more flavorful : If you want the flavor of your seasoning and spices to penetrate into the meat, you need to make small cuts into the meat. The skin of the threadfin is rather tough and strechy, which prevents the spices from ‘cooking’ into the meat.

    Ugh, I still smell like fish…

  2. crystallinesheen says:

    Hey Oz, your recipe sounds like the one I have always used to fry fish. Instead of using cake flour I’ve always used just regular ‘ol all purpose flour. Do you feel that cake flour works better for frying fish? This is the first time I have ever heard of anyone using cake flour for frying, I am intrigued.

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