Chef John Folse's Ice Water Marinated Seafood


Prep Time: 1 Hour
Yields: 6 Servings

Many trappers in South Louisiana found it inconvenient to batter seafood in milk and eggs because these ingredients were not available. Instead, they created this unique and interesting method of marinating fish, shrimp and oysters prior to deep-frying.

48 tiny catfish fillets,
OR 48 (21-25 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined,
OR 48 fresh oysters
salt and cracked black pepper to taste
Louisiana hot sauce to taste
granulated garlic to taste
1 gallon ice cubes
1-2 quarts water
vegetable oil
6 cups yellow cornmeal

Place seafood in a large ceramic bowl and season generously with salt, pepper, hot sauce and garlic. It is important to over season because most flavor washes off in ice water. Cover with ice cubes and 1-2 quarts water, depending on size of bowl. Allow to sit 1 hour. While seafood is marinating, heat oil in a Dutch oven or FryDaddy to 365°F. In a large bowl or brown paper bag, place cornmeal and season with salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Remove seafood from ice water and shake well to remove excess liquid. Coat pieces in seasoned cornmeal. Fry seafood in small batches until golden and floating to surface. Serve with Louisiana Seafood Cocktail Sauce or Louisiana Tartar Sauce. (See recipes.)