FRYING fish is not exactly a new idea, but people do come up with new ways to do it. Some are more practical than others. At last year’s Madrid Fusión, the annual gathering of the world’s restaurant avant-garde, the Spanish chef Dani García demonstrated a method that couldn’t have been simpler:
Take a small whole turbot untouched by a knife, dredge it in a mixture of bread crumbs and flour, and drop it directly into hot oil. The skin puffs out away from the body, insulating the interior from the high heat, so you get an ideal result: moist, tender flesh and crisp, flavorful skin.
There is one small problem. The technique works only if the skin is perfectly intact. The slightest nick quickly turns into a major breach, oil pours through, and the fish ends up overcooked and sodden. Which is what usually happens. Despite his access to pristine fish, Mr. García estimated his success rate at around 10 percent.
A more reliable innovation comes from Heston Blumenthal, chef at the Fat Duck near London.