I love my papi because he catches (and cooks) shark for me! (EXCLUSIVE RECIPE)
"Wait, you have WHAT in your freezer?!"
That is the phrase that I hear every single time that I tell people that I do, in fact, have shark in my refrigerator. The subject comes up in many different ways but the reaction is always the same: pretty much shock. But I love shark. And I love it for one very good reason: because my dad is the one who catches it and, oftentimes, cooks it for me.
I know it may not be the most conventional childhood memory but papi's fried shark was one of the first dishes I remember loving. And now that I'm all grown up, I still love it. Luckily for me, my dad's favorite hobby and my love of this quirky dish pretty much perfectly fit together.
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The great thing about my dad's shark dish is that, so far, it has not disappointed anyone that I have made it for. Although my dad will fish, debone and filet the shark when I'm visiting my parents in Florida (where he does his fishing, of course), I often bring the perfectly-packed fish filets back with me to New York (where I live).
He packs them up in vacuum sealed packages and I store them in my freezer for a few months, until I'm ready to make my dad's dish again.
I know it's a bit unconventional but, with Father's Day this weekend, I just couldn't help but savor the delicious memories of my dad's specialty. And I wanted to share the recipe because, to be honest, you can make this with any kind of fish. It's just that, for me, shark holds a special place in my heart (and my stomach), thanks to my adorable fishing-obsessed papi.
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Papi's Fried Shark
1pound shark fillet
1 pint milk
1 egg, beaten
canola or vegetable oil
lemon pepper seasoning, to taste
1. Take your shark fillet and cut it into even, 1 inch pieces.
2. Take your shark pieces and soak it in a large bowl, filled with the milk. You can soak them for a couple hours or just 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare your breadcrumbs by mixing them with your seasoning.
3. Then, take your shark pieces and, one by one, dip them into a small bowl with your beaten egg mixture, then coat them in the breadcrumbs/seasonings mixture. As you do this, heat about 1 cup of oil in a large, deep pan.
4. Finally, as you coat each piece, throw it into the hot oil. Let them fry for about 10 minutes. Use tongs to take out each individual piece, put them on a paper towel and dab to get rid of excess oil. Some of the breadcrumbs will fall off, but don't worry. Plate and serve with your choice of side dish or just plain with some tartar sauce.
What is your favorite hobby of your dad's? Has your dad ever made a dish for you that you just LOVE? Share with us in the comments below!
Images via Irina Gonzalez