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.
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.
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 soda, and salt. You can combine the flour, baking soda, and salt ahead of time in a bowl, and then leave the bowl in the refrigerator until you are ready to fry.
When your oil is hot enough, add your very cold beer to the flour and stir to combine.
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.
Source: Thanks to The Guardian for teaching me how to cook perfect battered fish. It’s easy!
Fish fry batter
- 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 of thick fish 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.
Cooking time is 4 to 6 minutes per batch = about 15 mins to finish cooking all fish