Fritto Misto with Basil Aioli

posted: 06/30/10


For the fritto misto:

  • 1/4 bunch fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 habanero chili peppers, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons/10 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 limes, zested
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 uncooked lobster tail, shelled, meat sliced crosswise into 6 medallions
  • Two 4-ounce/120-g tilapia fillets, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 4 jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined and cut in half lengthwise
  • 4 jumbo sea scallops, cut in half horizontally
  • 4 baby calamari, tubes halved lengthwise, tentacles cut in half
  • 1/2 head of broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 2 small zucchini, cut in half lengthwise then cut crosswise into 2-inch/5-cm pieces
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 2x1-inch/5x2.5-cm pieces
  • 1 cup/150 g cornstarch
  • 1 large egg
  • Peanut oil, for deep-frying
  • Salt
  • Dried parsley, for garnish

For the basil aioli:

  • 1/4 cup/50 ml white wine vinegar
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon/5 g Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 cups/300 ml peanut oil or sunflower oil
  • 1/2 lightly packed cup/15 g fresh basil leaves
  • Salt


To marinate the seafood:

  1. In a large bowl, mix the fresh parsley, chili peppers, olive oil, lime zest and garlic. A
  2. Add the lobster, tilapia, shrimp, scallops and calamari, and toss to coat the seafood with the parsley mixture. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour.

To make the basil aioli:

  1. Place the vinegar, egg yolks, garlic and mustard in a blender and blend for 30 seconds. Slowly add the oil in a steady stream until the mixture thickens and resembles a mayonnaise.
  2. Add the basil leaves and blend until the aioli is pale green. Season the aioli to taste with salt. Transfer the aioli to a small bowl and set aside.

To coat and fry the seafood and vegetables:

  1. Add the broccoli, zucchini and bell pepper to the seafood mixture and toss to combine and coat the vegetables with the marinade. Sprinkle 1/3 cup/50 g of the cornstarch over the seafood and vegetable mixture, and toss well to coat.
  2. Whisk the egg with fork in a small bowl to blend. Drizzle the egg over the seafood and vegetable mixture and toss to coat. Dust again lightly with the remaining cornstarch.
  3. Fill a large wok three-fourths full with the peanut oil and heat the oil to 350?F/180?C over high heat. Working in batches, carefully add the seafood and vegetables to the hot oil and deep-fry for about 2 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. Using a meshed or slotted spoon, remove the fried seafood and vegetables from the hot oil and place them on paper towels to absorb the excess oil. Sprinkle the hot fritto misto with a little salt and place on a large serving platter. Garnish with dried parsley leaves and serve the basil aioli alongside.
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