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Which oil for pan fry?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I've been using olive oil--which leaves a distinct olive oil flavor. Is it better to use a more neutral oil when pan frying mild fish? Would this be an instance for canola oil?

 

Mark

post #2 of 17

I use Canola oil for mostly everything except pasta then I switch to Olive oil. It all comes down to taste and preference really. You could use peanut oil, sesame oil, sunflower oil, etc. The amount you use will also make a difference. The chinese like to use sesame oil but in very small amounts because it's very strong. Put about 3-4 oz of canola oil in a pan and let it get smoking hot so your fish doesn't stick and put it in until golden brown on each side and at minimum 140 degrees f 

post #3 of 17

I rarely use olive oil to fry fish or meat. Indeed, it leaves a flavor you may not want and imo, it takes a lot longer to fry in than in other "vegetal" oil. I prefer sunflower oil; it can take a very high temperature, it has a neutral taste and works really well.

post #4 of 17

I always use olive oil, and I don't ever go near canola oil.  There are other more neutral oils you can use like peanut oil or safflower oil, but I don't have much experience with other oils being a mediterranean gal myself.  So you can see it's all a matter of preference, your best bet is to experiment with other oils of higher smoke point.  When it comes most fish I sear it in olive oil then add some butter and baste baste baste. 

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply
post #5 of 17

Have a read of this post if you get a chance.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/17/dining/17curious.html?pagewanted=1&ref=dining

 

I tend to use canola and peanut oil a lot at home (the Chinese style peanut oil with a bit stronger peanut flavor). Sometimes I use coconut oil based shortening when I am doing something for which a solid fat seems to help (frying eggs without sticking, for example).

 

One thing to keep in mind is to try and use oils which have a good ratio of omega-6 to omega-3. Canola is one of the best in common use (3:1), Olive is not bad (12:1), but some of the more shelf stable fats have no omega-3 EFAs at all; taking in too much omega-6 makes it difficult to get the benefits of omega-3, even if you're mainlining flaxseed oil or fish oil.

post #6 of 17

Budget is something to consider.

 

If I'm doing a deep fry, I usually use canola because it's price is reasonable for a quantity of oil without saturated fats. Though peanut oil would do a better job of it if price is no object.

 

For small amounts of neutral oil, I like grapeseed. It's expensive, but has excellent cooking characteristics as well as being very good for your. I also use this a lot in my woks for stir frying. Corn oil is also well behaved. Peanut oil is often recommended for stir fry, but I like grapeseed better.

post #7 of 17

Oh another thing - I try to use mechanically (vs. chemically) extracted oils when I can. However, in reference to the budget comment above, this can get quite expensive, especially when you're deep frying.

post #8 of 17

I usually use sunflower for frying and deep frying (as well as "fondue"). Olive oil has such a plain strong flavor which is wasted by too much heat in my opinion. For sauteeing or searing I can mix various oils: a main base with sunflower with olive oil or grapeseeds oil. Mixing sunflower with sesame is ok too, but must be carefull as sesame doesn't go well with heat as said before. I also mix oil with butter when I want a round flavor, without having something too heavy.

post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the Times link--

 

I will test canola and sunflower. I've read that a high oleic acid version (80-85%) is important in choosing a sunflower oil. Anyone know how you determine this from the label?

 

Mark

post #10 of 17

Depends on what you are frying. For actual prep or making the dish in a pan I like a light olive oil. For fish or seafood sauteing I prefer soy bean or safflower as little imparted taste either way.  Some dishes require a hi temp therefore an oil with high smoke point. For deep fat frying a silicone treated soy or canola. And then there is butter which if I do not saute in I will finish dish with.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #11 of 17

What do you mean by mild fish? I deep fry fish fingers in beef dripping, makes for a good crispy snack

post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 

I'm curious (for fish in a pan) why either soy bean or safflower oil to the exclusion of canola and sunflower?

post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 

Taste test done--hands down, IMHO, canola oil is vastly superior to olive for the fish. The canola oil does not bring 'another' taste to that of the lightly herbed fish. No reason to bother with sunflower.

 

Thanks,

 

Mark

post #14 of 17

Mild fish is sole, flounder,turbot usually a low oil white fish.  Salmon, tuna, mahi, jack, skate are heavier tasting fish.

 

 I will not use canola oil or any other genericaly modified oil or chemicaly altered.oil  for anything. Thats me everyone is different

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefedb View Post

 I will not use canola oil or any other genericaly modified oil or chemicaly altered.oil  for anything. Thats me everyone is different


Canola oil, generally speaking, is not GMO in the sense I think you mean - it was bred from other varieties of rapeseed using standard plant breeding / hybridization. That's the case for virtually all plants we eat. There may be some GMO canola now, but I don't think in the type used for human consumption, and, at the least, it is not difficult to find non-GMO canola. On the flip side of things, a lot of corn and soybean products (which you pretty much cannot avoid if you ever eat outside of your own home) are often from genetically modified crops.

 

As far as chemicals, canola oil can be (and, in fact, I think often is) mechanically extracted.

post #16 of 17

It is a combo of mechanicly and chemicaly extracted . In the beginning, before water based paint became so popular it was used as a base for most paints and was primeraly imported from Canad (therefore the name Can-ola) The Canadian government paid our government millions to be able to export it to us, (the payment was under the guise of testing)  just check it's history.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #17 of 17

Yes, I've read about its history.

 

Rapeseed oil has also been (safely) consumed by humans for a long time, even in the high-euric acid varieties, both in Europe and in Asia.

 

Also, it's possible to buy purely mechanically extracted Canola oil.

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