Breaded King Fish (Surmai)

In Mumbai, the fisherwomen would bring different types of fresh fish for us every day. at our doorstep. It was another thing that mother had to bargain very hard for the price but it was always worth it in the end. You can either fry it as a simple fish with masala or as breaded fish. Alternatively, you can also cook with coconut based curry which has its own unique taste. The taste is just awesome in any form and yet we never get tired to eating it.

After arriving in Canada, the first thing we inquired with our relatives on the availability  of fish. We were pleasantly surprised to know that this fish was found in different stores. So here is one version of this fish. Hope you all enjoy it too.

Ingredients for the marination:

  • 2 lbs king fish steaks
  • 2 tsp bafat powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp yogurt
  • salt to taste

Ingredients for the breaded fish*

  • 6 tbsp semolina (cream of wheat)
  • 3 tbsp rice flour
  • 1 tsp black pepper powder
  • salt to taste
  • 6-8 tbsp cooking oil for frying

Direction for frying:

  • Clean and wash the fish thoroughly. Keep aside in a strainer for around 15 minutes so that the water is drained out. Do not pat dry the fish as it will make it very dry;
  • Mix all the ingredients for marination and marinate the fish. Keep it aside for minimum 1/2 an hour *;
  • Prepare the breaded portion by mixing all the ingredients mentioned above for breaded fish;
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil on a skillet or pan* and when it is heated, take one piece at a time, dip in the breaded mixture on both side and put it in the skillet or pan;

  • Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side;
  • Transfer the fried fish from the pan to a plate and the fish is now ready to be served.


  • Make similar preparation of lesser quantity if the mix is over and you still have more fish to bread.
  • I marinate the fish and keep it in the fridge overnight. The longer you marinate, the better it will taste. However, do not keep for more than a day in the fridge. You can keep it in the freezer and then thaw at room temperature when you want to fry it.
  • Begin with heating 2 tbsp of oil for each batch and if you feel it has become dry when you turn the fish on the other side then just pour around 1 tbsp oil on the fish.

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