Very few recipes conjure up more memories from around the East Coast more than Beer Battered Fish. One of the worlds great comfort foods, the crunchy, crispy, oh so crave-able treat that is about as perfect of a meal as you can get.
For me one of life’s great pleasures is sharing a plate of fish and chips with someone you love after a beautiful maritime beach day. While our summer season isn’t long, when it is here, there is no other place on the planet that I would rather be. A good piece of battered fish just solidify’s that feeling that much more.
First time deep frying? Here is what you need to know.
Deep frying can be intimidating for first timers, but it really isn’t that scary as long as you follow some basic ground rules.
- Water and hot oil do NOT get along. Never put water, even a wet utensil in oil as it will start to splatter like crazy.
- Use a candy or digital thermometer to check the temp of the oil.
- Use a high smoke point oil such as canola, peanut, or vegetable oil. NOT OLIVE OIL.
- Use a high walled pot or dutch oven. This is to help prevent the unlikely event that the oil starts to bubble too aggressively. Having a high-walled pot will keep the oil contained.
- Don’t overcrowd the pot. This is important in maintaining the temperature of the oil. If you overcrowd, this will cause the temperature of the oil to drop which will result in soggy, oil soaked fish. Not what we are looking for.
- Place a wire cooling rack or paper towel beside your pot so that you can drain whatever it is you are frying when it comes out of the oil.
- If the absolutely worst case scenario was to occur and the oil some how caught fire, stay calm and sprinkle baking soda over the pot or use a fire extinguisher to exterminate the flames. I have never seen this happen, but it’s sometimes good to know your worst case outcome!
Let’s fry some fish! Here is the process!
Making beer battered fish is a bit of a multistep process. Nothing to get intimidated by though as I am going to walk you through step by step. First things first before you get started, get organized. Here is what you are going to need;
- One bowl or try of flour
- One large bowl for mixing the batter in
- 1 large pot filled with about 1.5-2 litres of high smoke point oil (canola, vegetable, peanut)
- 1 large slotted for flipping fish and removing from oil
- 1 baking sheet lined with paper towel
- 1 digital thermometer or candy thermometer
Step 1: Battering the fish
Let’s do this. First thing you want to do is lightly season your haddock with salt. Then we are going to drop your filet for white fish into some all purpose flour. Make sure all parts of the fish are covered in the flour. This is a crucial step as it ensures that the wet batter will stick to the fish properly. If you skip this step, the wet batter will slip right off during frying.
Next step if we are going to dip the fish into the wet batter. Make sure it is totally coated. Before dropping into the oil allow the excess batter to run off of the fish.
Frying the fish
The type of fish you fry is really up to you and based on what is available. Here in Nova Scotia, Haddock reigns supreme and that is what I always use. Really any white fish will work just fine.
Once you have the fish covered in the wet batter and the oil has reach 375F, gently lay the fish into the oil. Always lay the fish away from you so that the oil doesn’t splash on you! Once the fish is in the oil you will see the batter puff up. It’s very exciting. Let the fish fry for about 6-7 minutes and be sure to turn it over about every 2 minutes to ensure both sides turn golden brown.
Once crust is a deep golden, remove the fish from the oil and allow to drain on a piece of paper towel or wire cooling rack. Be sure to season with salt while the fish is still hot.
Hand cut French Fries
If you are looking for the best hand cut french fries to serve the fish with, look no further. Check out my recipe here to learn the step by step process for nailing the perfect french fry.
Beer Battered FishPrint Recipe
- 4 Pieces Fresh Haddock Any white fish will work
- 1 3/4 cup All purpose flour
- 1 1/3 cup Beer (1 tall boy)
- 1 tbs baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup flour used to dust fish prior to wet batter
- 2 litres canola oil for frying
- 1 tsp Salt seasoning fish when removed from oil
- Pour oil into large pot and bring temperature of oil to 375F
- In a large bowl mix together all of the ingredients for the wet batter. Flour, beer, baking powder, baking soda, paprika, garlic powder, salt. You want the batter to look similar to pancake batter.
- While oil is heating prep the fish. Drop the fish into a try or bowl of flour. Make sure the entirety of the fish is coated. Shake off excess flour.
- Once oil has reached temperature, Drop the floured fish into the the batter and make sure it's totally coated. Remove from batter and allow the excess batter to drip off the fish prior to dropping into the oil.
- Frying time! Gently lay the battered fish into the oil. Be sure to lay the fish away from you so that the hot oil doesn't splash towards you. Let the fish bubble and fry away for around 6-7 minutes total. Be sure to flip multiple times to ensure even browning. After the fish is golden, remove from oil and allow to drain on piece of paper towel or cooling rack. Immediately season with salt.
- Serve with hand cut french fries, link for my recipe above!