Moldovan Easy Whole Fried Fish Recipe

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My Moldovan easy whole fried fish dish, inspired by my mother’s recipe, is a wonderfully simple and blissful way to cook and enjoy a fresh piece of white fish you may have bought at a seafood market, or caught yourself.

This is a super easy, but utterly delicious recipe to make. This one is a recipe from Moldovan cuisine, but similar recipes are common in other Eastern and Central European cuisines, as well as Russian cuisine and Balkan cuisines.

Eastern European cooking uses simple ingredients, yet still maximizes flavor, and as this recipe shows, even the humblest of ingredients when combined and cooked right can elevate the flavor of fried fish in marvelous ways.

Moldovan Easy Whole Fried Fish Recipe

Ingredients

To get started, you’ll need these simple ingredients:

  • 3 Whole Fish (We used “pastrav” which is translated to “trout” but it works really well with “carp”/carp as well)
  • Flour mix (3 tbsp plain flour, 3 tbsp cornmeal/maize flour, and 1 tbsp salt)
  • Sunflower oil for frying (about 1/4 cup, depending on the size of your pan, you can also use vegetable oil)

Step-by-Step Instructions

Make sure the fish has been cleaned (scaled and gutted). Ours had already been cleaned except for the scales. So, in the picture below, we’re using a knife to descale it.

Once scaled and gutted, roll the fish through the flour mixture (plain flour, cornmeal/maize flour, and salt), and lay on a plate, ready for frying.

Add a generous amount of oil to a pan over medium heat. Fry the fish for about 5 minutes on one side and then flip and fry it for 5 minutes on the other side.

In time, you’ll see a golden-brown coating forming, layering the tender fish in a delicious fried coating.

Once your whole fish has fried, lay your fish out on a large plate, ready to plate up.

Lemon slices and a few sprigs of parsley will go a long way to both adding to the flavor of the fish and adding a dash of vibrant color to the plate.

The textures in this fish dish are truly jaw-dropping. The white, flakiness of the fish, the crunch of the coating, and the moisture from the lemon meld to create a truly melt-in-mouth experience with every bite.

What to Serve the Whole Fried Fish with?

In my family, we serve the fried fish with lemon slices, salad, mamaliga, white cheese, and “mujdei” (a garlic sauce). But fried fish is so versatile and can be paired with most things, including mashed potatoes, buckwheat, salads, and roasted veggies.

For such a simple seafood dish, the fried fish is truly a showstopper on the plate, its crumbed coating rich in color, complimenting the side dishes beautifully.

Combine a few sides, and you’re in for a real treat. The crunch of breadcrumbs, salty-freshness of fish, zest of lemon, warmth of mamaliga, and streak of garlic make for a truly sublime combination of flavors.

Humble and creative food still to this day brings Moldovan families together to share stories, enjoy hearty food, and spend quality time together.

Moldovan whole fried fish was, for me growing up, one of those dishes that the whole family looked forward to eating together, hence why it will always hold a special place in my heart.

Moldovan Easy Whole Fried Fish Recipe Card

Mooldovan Easy Whole Fried Fish Recipe

Mooldovan Easy Whole Fried Fish Recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 whole fish (We used “pastrav” which is translated to “trout” but it works really well with “carp”/carp as well)
  • Flour mix (3 tbsp plain flour, 3 tbsp cornmeal/maize flour, and 1 tbsp salt)
  • Sunflower oil for frying (about 1/4-1/3 cup, you can also use vegetable oil)

Instructions

  1. Make sure the fish has been cleaned (scaled and gutted). Ours had already been cleaned except for the scales. So, we used a knife to descale it.
  2. Once scaled and gutted, roll the fish through the flour mixture (plain flour, cornmeal/maize flour, and salt), and lay on a plate, ready for frying.
  3. Add a generous amount of oil to a pan over medium heat. Fry the fish for about 5 minutes on one side and then flip and fry it for 5 minutes on the other side. In time, you’ll see a golden-brown coating forming, layering the tender fish in a delicious fried coating.
  4. Once your whole fish has fried, lay your fish out on a large plate, ready to serve.

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Author: Doina is a content writer and strategist, originally from Chisinau, Moldova. She loves to recreate both dishes from her childhood, and foods tried on her travels, in her home kitchen, and is passionate about sharing international cuisines with other foodies through her writing and recipes.

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