A saltwater fish, the croaker is small, typically no longer than 1 ½ feet and less than 2 lbs. in weight. This bottom feeder can be found in coastal waters in spring, making it a popular catch for anglers of all skill levels. You can prepare croaker in a number of ways, a popular choice being fried. Use a thin breading for fried croaker as a thick batter can easily cover up the taste of the thin fillets.
Cut the fish into pieces of the desired size. Croaker may also be fried whole, according to chef John Maxwell. In the case of a whole fish, scale, gut and rinse the cavity thoroughly to ensure you completely remove the organs and blood.
Combine 1 cup flour, 2 tsp. allspice, 2 tbsp. coriander and 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper in a bowl. Mix the ingredients until thoroughly combined.
Coat the bottom of a fry pan with canola oil and put it on the stove at medium heat. Allow the oil to heat up to 350 F, about the same time the oil begins to let off light smoke.
Dredge the fish in the flour mixture until thoroughly coated. The moisture on the fish should be enough to cause the flour mixture to stick.
Drop the fish in the oil and let it cook until the flour turns brown, about three to five minutes. Flip the fish over and cook for an additional three to five minutes. The internal temperature must be 145 F, according to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service.
Fry the fish in batches if necessary. Do not overcrowd the pan as it may cause uneven cooking.