Inspired by Caribbean conch fritters, this is an easy way to enjoy sheepshead and is infinitely adaptable to your tastes.
It also works great with larger sheepshead.
For approximately 24 fritters:
- 8 ounces sheepshead, skinned and trimmed
- 1 cup flour (or ¾ cup flour and ¼ cup cornmeal)
- Salt and pepper
- Old Bay or other seasoning or herb mix
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- Peanut oil or other oil for frying
For dipping sauce:
- Greek yogurt
- Lemon juice
- Fresh tarragon, chopped
Chop fish in a food processor or finely mince by hand (you’re looking for very small pieces of fish—not chunks, but not a paste either).
Add the flour and cornmeal (if using) to fish. Add salt, pepper and your choice of seasonings to taste (I like just a bit of Old Bay, but any herbs or spice mix, fresh or dry, would work).
Add baking powder, eggs and milk. Stir together—it should look just slightly thicker than pancake batter with the only lumps being the pieces of fish.
Heat oil to 350°–375°. Using a large soup spoon, scoop up a spoonful of batter and using another spoon, push the batter gently into the hot oil, frying until golden brown.
Note: it’s a good idea to fry and taste one small fritter first to check seasonings and adjust if necessary.
Lightly salt fritters right when they come out of oil.
Stir together the yogurt dipping sauce and serve with hot fritters.