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Fish fry batter

This is my favorite recipe for fish fry batter. Inspired by my trip to “England” in Epcot, this really hits the mark! Crispy and so flavorful. You’ll think you are in an English Pub. Serve with fries and plenty of tartar sauce or malt vinegar!

plate of fish fry with lemon wedges ready to eat

This is another one of those recipes that I’ve wanted to post for a while now. We’ve made it a few times, always with great results. My husband grew up eating fish fry in upstate (central?) NY, which is another version of frying fish. But this recipe is the British version – think fish and chips – and it uses a fish fry batter, not breading.

tray of fish fry hot from the fryer

I used some very fresh fish, which was amazing. Thick fish fillets are necessary. Cod or haddock work best, but I used what I had on hand.

raw fish for fish fry

Cut the fish like so (or even smaller) because when you batter and fry it, it will just about double in volume!

The batter is made from 4 simple ingredients: flour, beer, baking powder, and salt. You can combine the flour, baking powder, and salt ahead of time in a bowl, and then leave the bowl in the refrigerator until you are ready to fry.

bowl of fish fry batter ready for dipping

Dip in your fish

pieces of fish in batter to be mixed and fried

When your oil is hot enough, add your very cold beer to the flour and stir to combine.

fish fry recipe

Drop the fish in the batter and then fry away! You need to work in small batches or you run the risk of having the fish stick together. 

Outside you will have a very crisp and lovely coating while inside is perfectly moist tender fish. So good. I ate mine with malt vinegar and my husband opted for tarter sauce.

fish fry inside

📖 Recipe

plate of fish fry with lemon wedges ready to eat

Fish fry batter

Easy and authentic fish fry batter to make fried fish – just add chips!
4.94 from 15 votes
Author: Marie
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Meal
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 563 kcal


  • 400 grams all purpose flour (about 3 1/4 cups)
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 550 ml very cold beer (about 2 1/3 cups; you’ll need 2 bottles but will have some leftover)
  • Oil for frying
  • 2 pounds fish thick cut into 1.5 inch strips


  • Combine flour, baking powder, and salt and place bowl in fridge for at least 15 minutes.
  • Heat oil to 365 degrees F (165 C)
  • Just before you are ready to fry, pour cold beer into flour mixture, and whisk the mixture.
  • Add fish, a few (2 to 4) pieces at a time (depending on how large your cooking vessel is) and coat well in the batter. Allow the batter to drip off a bit before placing the fish in the fryer.
  • If using a deep fryer, add the fish when the basket is in the lower position or else it will stick to the basket. After adding fish, immediately shake the fryer basket a bit so the fish doesn’t stick to the basket.
  • Fry for 4 to 6 minutes watching carefully for a golden brown color, and then transfer the fish to a plate lined with paper towels.
  • Enjoy!


Cooking time is 4 to 6 minutes per batch = about 15 mins to finish cooking all fish


Calories: 563kcalCarbohydrates: 55gProtein: 38gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 76mgSodium: 279mgPotassium: 755mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gCalcium: 115mgIron: 4.1mg
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Source: Thanks to The Guardian for teaching me how to cook perfect battered fish. It’s easy!


  1. 5 stars
    My husband (a picky eater who never likes anything new) liked it better than cornmeal breading. He ate till he was stuffed, which never happens. I mixed the dry ingredients as you called for but I saved half for another time and only used 1 can of beer because we do not like leftover fish. I loved the crumbles and used the leftover batter and fried it up in little drops of fried batter, just like in your frier basket photo. Thanks.

  2. 5 stars

    Made fish and chips with this recipe tonight. It is seriously the best one I’ve ever used. Added paprika for color and used crisco. Save this one!!!


  3. 5 stars
    The best recepie I’ve ever seen. We loved it!
    For those who don’t want to use beer can use mineral water instead.

  4. At first it called for baking Soda which I thought was different but my attention was grabbed. However when I read the recipe it indeed called for baking powder. Almost the same as mine except I add lemon pepper and paprika if using new oil. Helps it go golden. A new trick I just learned and tried. It was also very tasty. I love trying new ways to do fish. This recipe other than cook times worked out very well.

    1. Thanks! I’ve corrected that…as far as cooking times, it will depend on size and thickness of the fish so it is hard to say. I’ll make a note of that as well. Glad you enjoyed!

  5. Sounds great I use the same thing except I add a half cup of corn meal adds to the crisp texture of the batter

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