My dad and I bought an outdoor turkey frying kit and decided to use it to fry up a bunch of fish and hush puppies. It worked just fine and better still, it kept the kitchen from getting splattered with hot cooking oil and hush puppy batter. We threw some newspaper on platters and served everything family style with a couple bowls of tartar sauce. It was a great meal for a big group, and an afternoon of frying over a couple of beers with my dad was the best part.


  • 1 pound petrale sole fillets, or other firm white fish
  • 1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 pints shucked medium oysters
  • quarts buttermilk
  • 6 tablespoons Tabasco sauce
  • 8 cups cornmeal
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for deep-frying Lemon wedges
  • Big Papa’s Tartar Sauce
  • Fennel Sausage Hush Puppies


Place the fish, shrimp, and oysters in 3 separate shallow bowls. Add enough buttermilk to each bowl to just cover the contents. Add 2 tablespoons of the Tabasco to each of the dishes and combine. Let the seafood marinate in the buttermilk for 30 minutes at room temperature or refrigerate for up to 2 hours.

Place the cornmeal in a separate bowl and season it liberally with salt and pepper. Taste the cornmeal to make sure it is well seasoned. Heat several inches of oil to 365°F in a large, heavy pot over high heat; don’t fill the pot more than halfway with oil. Remove the fish fillets from the buttermilk marinade, allowing the excess to drip back into the bowl, and dredge each piece in the cornmeal mixture, coating on all sides and shaking off any excess. Carefully place the fish fillets in the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet and immediately season with salt and pepper. Keep warm as you bread and fry the shrimp, and then the oysters, cooking the shrimp for 4 minutes and the oysters for about 2 minutes. (Frying one type of seafood at a time ensures that everything cooks evenly.) Don’t overcrowd the oil, as that brings down the temperature of the oil, resulting in a soggy fry; and be sure to allow the oil to return to 365°F between each batch. Serve hot with lemon slices and tartar sauce, and with the hush puppies on the side.

In this section