Flours of Flavour
  |  First Published: November 2009

Steve and I cooked a BBQ seafood selection at a friend’s place recently. We offered our friends a selection of freshly caught fish species and showed them the magic of flour coating for enhancing tasty fillets.

A flour coating on a fillet of fish is one of the simplest cooking methods you can imagine. Some fish, such as sweetlip or emperor, have such a beautiful flavour that they require very little gilding of the lily. A simple dusting of flour on the fillet will provide a nice crust to the fish that will protect the surface of the fillet from sticking to the BBQ. At the other end of the scale, fish such as firm white-fleshed threadfin salmon will respond well to a few additions in the way of herbs and seasonings to lift the flavour of the fish.

I also like to vary the types of flour that I use to marry in with the flavourings. Have a look in the flour section at your supermarket – ordinary plain flour, cornflour and rice flour. All of these flours are fine to use to dust the fish fillets.

Using a resealable plastic bag is an ideal way to mix the flour with the herbs or spices. In fact, I find these bags the easiest way to flour the fish as well. Mix the herbs and spices in the bag and then lay it flat. Add the fish pieces and then simply tumble gently until you have coated the fillets with the seasoned flour.

Here a few options for you to try, or you can mix your own. The amount of spices that you use in the flour is a personal preference. Some of the stronger flavoured fish, such as mackerel, partner well with a generous amount of the more robust herbs. It is a good idea to chop your fresh herbs as finely as possible.

Flour Flavours

1) Plain flour with simply good old salt and lots of pepper.

2) Cornflour with ground cumin, ground coriander and some garam masala.

3) Plain flour with lemon or lime zest and some finely chopped chives.

4) Rice flour with some finely chopped shallots, ground ginger, finely grated garlic clove and a pinch of Chinese five spice.

5) Rice flour with chilli powder, ground ginger and some finely chopped lemon grass (white part only).

6) An Italian touch with finely chopped fresh oregano and basil.

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