Active time: 25 min Start to finish: 25 min
Serves 4 main-course or 6 hors d’oeuvre servings.
- 8cups vegetable oil
- 1/2teaspoon smoked paprika (sweet or hot)* or 1 teaspoon regular paprika (sweet or hot)
- 2lb sole fillets
- 3/4cup all-purpose flour
- 1cup chilled fresh seltzer or club sodaspecial equipment:a deep-fat thermometer
DIRECTIONS Heat oil and make paprika salt:
Heat oil in a 4-quart heavy pot over moderate heat until thermometer registers 375°F.
Stir together 1 tablespoon salt and half of paprika in a small bowl.
Make batter and fry fish:
Pat sole dry, then cut crosswise on a diagonal into 1/2-inch-wide strips. Whisk together flour, remaining paprika, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, then whisk in seltzer. Working with 6 pieces at a time, dip fish in batter to coat, shaking off excess, and fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown and fish is just cooked through (cut a piece open to test), 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain, then sprinkle with some of paprika salt. Skim any bits of fried batter from pot and return oil to 375°F between batches.
Serve remaining paprika salt on the side for dipping.
* Available at Formaggio Kitchen (888-212-32244) and Tienda.com.