The Secret Ingredient (Chipotle): Smoking Hot Chipotle Fried Fish Recipe

The Secret Ingredient

Every month we highlight a different ingredient and share weekly recipes that showcase its uses.

The Secret Ingredient (Chipotle): Smoking Hot Chipotle Fried Fish Recipe

[Photographs: Kerry Saretsky]

As a London resident, I have become a fried fish fanatic. The juxtaposition of that crispy exterior with a soft and steaming interior of flaky fish is so scrumptious.

I use a po' boy preparation on these mahi mahi fillets. Usually, I soak oysters in buttermilk, then coat them in a flour-cornmeal mixture before frying and stuffing them into soft French bread. For this fish, I whiz the buttermilk up with smoky, spicy chipotle in adobo, which infuses the fish with all that charred, vinegary heat. Only then do I coat it in that crispy cornmeal coating. Pile this hot, crispy, spicy fish onto a hoagie roll with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and mayo for a New Orleans-style po' boy. Or slice it and bury it into the Chipotle Slaw tacos from a few weeks ago. Or serve it on a charred bun with some of next week's Chipotle Ketchup. It's simple, inexpensive, a little bit special, and seriously good.

  • Yield:4
  • Active time: 5 minutes
  • Total time:1 hour and 5 mintues


  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk
  • 4 chipotle peppers (packed in a can with adobo)
  • 8 teaspoons of adobo
  • 4 6-ounce fillets of mahi mahi
  • Canola oil for frying
  • 4 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal


  1. 1.

    In a blender, whiz together the buttermilk, chipotles, and adobo. Place in a large sealable plastic bag with the fish, and marinate for 1 hour.

  2. 2.

    Heat 1 inch of oil in a cast iron skillet until it reaches 375°F. Mix together the salt, flour, and cornmeal. Dredge the fish in the coating, and then fry, two at a time, for 3 minutes, until golden brown. Serve with lemon wedges, or on a bun with chipotle cole slaw.