Dad loved fishing. He was never happier than when he was in a boat, on a lake, with a fishing rod in his hand and a fish on the hook! This is his recipe for cooking all of those fish that he caught. I rarely ever fry fish any other way. The mustard may seem like an odd ingredient, but it works, even if you don't like mustard; you really don't even realize it's in there.
1Gather ingredients and thaw fish, if using frozen.
2Pour oil into large skillet (I like cast iron or non-stick.)
3Pour cornmeal and salt into plastic food bag; close opening & shake to mix.
4Pour yellow mustard into shallow dish or pan that is at least the size of the filets.
5One at a time, dip fish into mustard, coating both sides lightly; drop fish into bag with cornmeal & shake bag to coat filet with cornmeal; leave fish in bag.
6Repeat with remaining filets, leaving all the filets in the meal.
7Place skillet with oil over medium-high heat; when oil is hot (almost "shimmering," but NOT smoking) carefully add as many filets as will fit without touching.
8Fry about 2 1/2 minutes, until light golden brown; carefully turn filet over and fry on other side about 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown and fish flakes easily; remove cooked filets to paper towel.
9(Note: A long fish turner/spatula is the best utensil/tool for turning fish. If fish turner is not available, use two egg turners. Photo of Dad's, which I still use.)
10Repeat frying until all filets are cooked.
11Garnish as desired; serve immediately.
Cover and refrigerate leftovers.
12Photo of my father holding two monster smallmouth bass he caught at Dale Hollow Lake, Kentucky, circa 1950ish.