This crispy beer battered fish has just two ingredients in addition to the fish. No other seasonings or special spices. Just mix these two ingredients together, dip the fish and fry to a golden crisp, and enjoy with your favorite tartar sauce.
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I cooked in restaurants for years and I have made hundreds of pieces of beer battered fish. It is a classic pub food on Friday evenings in Wisconsin. Serve this with tartar sauce, French fries or potato salad, Southern style potato salad, coleslaw, and rye bread. If you visit Wisconsin, you can find a fish fry at many local establishments.
Fish for Battering and Frying
White Fish is a great choice. White fish does not necessarily mean that the fish itself is while in color; rather, it means that the fish has a mild flavor and it cools quickly and seasons well.
For this baked fish recipe, you will want to use a flaky white fish such as haddock, cod, which are the two most popular choices.
Some restaurants make their Friday Night Fish Fry with Cod, while others use Haddock. I assume to many consumers of the fish fries; they would not know the difference between the two unless they did a side-by-side taste testing. Both cod and haddock can be used for this recipe, as well as other delicious mild fish fillets.
My husband’s favorite battered fish is fresh perch. If we can get that, he is so happy. This batter is very tasty and would work well on just about any fish that you choose to use with this batter.
If you use this recipe for different kinds of fish, use about 10 minutes per inch of thickness until the flesh is white and flaky.
Beer Battered Food
First and foremost, we use this batter for cheese curds. Well, we are from Wisconsin, which is known for our award-winning cheeses. Cheese curds dipped in this batter and fried are so delectable.
Additionally, this crispy beer batter can be used for chicken tenders, onion rings, pickle slices, green beans, and zucchini spears. Be creative and see what you can find to use with this batter.
There is nothing hard about this recipe. When it is done right, it is absolutely amazing!
Here are a few tips for optimal crispiness.
Let the batter sit 5 minutes before using. The beer seems to activate the ingredients a bit more.
Pat the fish pieces dry before dredging in the beer batter. Make sure that the fish is thawed completely before frying.
Make sure not to overcrowd the frying pan. I generally fry 4 or 5 pieces at once.
Fry until golden and fish is cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes, flipping fish halfway through. Remove and place on a plate lined with paper towels.
If you will be making a large amount of fish, make sure to continue frying in batches. To keep the outside coating crisp, put on a baking sheet that has a wire rack. Place in an oven that is set on warm 180-200 degrees Fahrenheit.
Make sure that the oil is heated to 375 degrees Fahrenheit before beginning to fry. If you do not have a thermometer, you can check the oil by dropping a little batter into the oil. If the batter starts to bubble and rises to the top on contact, the oil is hot enough to start frying. The oil should continue to bubble when frying the fish. If it does, then you know that you have not overcrowded the container.
How can you Tell if the Beer Battered Fish is Done?
When you first add the fish to the oil, it will sink to the bottom of the pan. Once it has been frying a minute or two, the fish will start to float toward the top of the oil.
Turn the fish and let it continue to cook another few minutes. The batter should be crispy and golden in color. The fish should be floating on the top of the oil. That means the batter is done to perfection and the fish meat is cooked.
When you break the fish apart, you should see white flaky fish that breaks apart easily. If you see any opaque fish, it is not done yet.
Container for Frying
I like to use a 12-inch wide non-stick skillet. However, if you have a fryer, that is a wonderful choice. I used to use a fryer, but it was hard to clean. Therefore, I can clean the skillet with ease and put it in the dishwasher for even more cleaning.
Homemade Tartar Sauce
Make your own tartar sauce at home just like a restaurant would. I have little sauce cups that work perfectly for serving my homemade condiment. It is just perfect with this fish.
Secret Ingredients to This Delicious Crispy Beer Battered Fish
It is pancake mix. Yup, pair that with beer and you have a winning batter. While you can use any pancake mix, there is one particular mix that our family just loves for both pancakes and beer batter.
I have tried to duplicate this mix throughout the years, with no luck. It has a malted kind of vanilla taste and it is just wonderful. I have the link for the pancake batter included here if you want to try using the same mix that we like.
Easy, Simple and Delicious Recipe
Crispy Beer Battered Fish
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless White Fish, such as Cod or Haddock
- 1 Cup Pancake Mix Powder
- 1 Cup Pale Beer Light Beer Works Well
- 8 Cups Vegetable Oil Used for frying
- Begin heating the oil in a large skillet or fryer. I use a12-inch skillet. Heat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cut the fish into pieces, approximately 3-inch pieces.
- In a shallow dish or pie plate, mix the pancake mix
- Add the beer and stir with a whisk or a fork to incorporate.
- You should be able to see the fish through the batter after it has been dipped, but it should lightly coat the fish.
- Once the fish is dipped in the batter, carefully place in the hot oil. I use a tongs to help with this so I don’t splash the oil and burn myself.
- When you first add the fish to the oil, it will sink to the bottom of the pan. Once it has been frying a minute or two, the fish will start to float toward the top of the oil. Turn the fish and let it continue to cook another few minutes.
- The batter should be crispy and golden in color. The fish should be floating on the top of the oil. Total cooking time is 5-6 minutes per batch.
- I generally fry 3-4 pieces at once.
- Serve with lemon slice if desired and tartar sauce.
Best Fish to Deep FryIt is best to look for a fish that has a neutral flavor and is not too oily. Therefore, most fish that has white flesh is a good option for frying. Here are a few good choices; Cod, Haddock, Trout, Perch, or even Shrimp are great choices for deep frying using this beer batter. However, in my opinion, the cod is my first choice when looking for a fish to make this crispy beer battered fish.
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I hope that you liked this recipe. If you are looking for more ideas on what to make, here are a few other recipes that you may enjoy.