Beer Battered Fish
Who said fish-fry? What? You didn’t say “anything”? Yeah, okay, whatever; you can’t just blame “EVERYTHING” on the voices in my head! Heh. Heh. Heh. Why were we here again? OH YEAH, FRIED FISH! Not just any fried fish either! Beer battered; fried fish is more like it! Not only is that “time of year” in the States, but May-September actually marks the “blue water” fishing season in Australia, too! I don’t know about you, but that’s enough justifiable excuses for me. So, without further delay, grab that apron, and let’s make some, BEER BATTERED FISH!
What you will need:
Approx. 1.4 Lbs.- White fish fillets (make sure they are boneless/skinless. This could be varieties such as flathead, snapper, whiting, cod, tilapia, or flathead) Make sure it dried off very well or it will not crisp well, and the coating will fall off.
¼ Cup rice flour for dusting
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup rice flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt PLUS extra for sprinkling onto fish
8 oz COLD, bottle conditioned “homebrew”. (Yes, it needs to be carbonated and cold. You can use just about any variety you would like but I would not recommend using dark beers like stouts or porters, including anything super “hoppy”)
4-5 cups of canola or vegetable oil for frying (If you would like, you can also use peanut oil. This also provides a nice flavor just make sure none of your diners have peanut allergies!)
Tartar sauce for dipping
Lemon wedges for squeezing!
How to make it:
Pat fish dry using paper towels. Cut into 7 x 3cm / 3 x 1¼" batons, or larger fillets if you prefer. If you have very thick fillets, cut them in half horizontally. Depending on where you get your fish, you may also be able to have someone from the shop cut them for you.
Next, in a medium to a large bowl, add ¼ cup rice flour and set aside. This will serve as your “dusting bowl”.
After that, it’s typically a good time to start heating your oil. Heat about 2" – 3" of oil in a large heavy-based pot over medium-high heat to 190°C/375°F.
While the oil is getting hot, sprinkle 3 or 4 pieces of fish with a pinch of salt, then coat in rice flour and shake off excess. You can leave them like this for up to 10 minutes before you run the risk of soggy breading!
Once your filets are dusted and prepared and your oil is hot, whisk together the flour, wet mix allocated rice flour, baking powder, and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Add cold beer into the batter and whisk just until incorporated evenly into the flour. Do not over-mix, do not worry about flour lumps. It should be a fairly thin batter but fully coat the back of a spoon. If it is too thick add a little beer 1 tsp at a time. Keep checking it with the spoon.
Now, it’s time to dredge your dusted filets! Dunk a piece of fish in the batter, then let the excess drip off very briefly into the dredging bowl.
Carefully lower into oil, dropping it in away from you, one piece at a time. Don't crowd the pot or those little fishes won’t brown! I recommend frying them in batches.
Fry for 3 minutes, flipping after about 2 minutes, until deep golden.
Make sure to have a paper towel-lined plate ready to receive those delicious, and now super crispy, aquatic critters!
Serve them HOT with a side of tartar sauce and a couple of wedges of lemon!
Note: These little morsels are at their pinnacle of “crisp” when eaten within 10-15 minutes of being cooked, so get ready to eat!
I also recommend pairing your fried fish with a mug of the beer you used in the batter! It’s like a “Beer circle of life” HA!
Alright folks, as always, I hope you enjoy this recipe, and feel free to let us know if you have any questions or suggestions!