Fritto Misto di Pesce (Mixed Fish Fry)

Serves 6–8

Fritto misto di pesce—a dish that’s made up of several types of fish, clams, shrimp, squid and smelts—was always the last dish to be served on Christmas Eve. Any firm fish is well suited to this cooking method. To make a successful fritto misto, remember the cardinal rules: maintain the cooking oil at a constant temperature to ensure even browning, and fry pieces of fish or shellfish of the same size together to ensure even cooking.


4 cups or more of vegetable oil for deep-frying

About 1 cup flour

Fine sea salt, for dredging and to taste when finished

3 pounds assorted firm fish fillets (cut into uniform pieces)and shellfish

Chopped parlsey

1 lemon cut into wedges


1. In a deep-fryer or large heavy pot, heat the oil to 375°F.

2. Mix the flour and salt on a plate. Dredge the fish and shellfish in the flour, shaking off the excess. Fry in batches until golden brown, and remove to brown paper to drain.

3. Place the fish and shellfish on a platter, sprinkle with salt and parsley, and squeeze the lemon wedges over. Serve immediately.

More of Mary Ann Esposito's recipes you may be interested in

Vegetable Chowder

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Neapolitan Fish Chowder

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Scallop Chowder

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Corn and Bok Choy Chowder

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Chowders and Bisques— Simple and Elegant

Add bread and salad, and you have a perfect winter meal.
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