Crispy Beer Batter Fish & Homemade Tartare served with crunchy fries (aka – chips), lemon wedges and an abundance of malt vinegar is one of those old-fashioned pleasures to be savored. Memories of the corner milk bar selling fish and chips doused in vinegar and wrapped in newspaper; fish and chips overlooking the beach in England with my aunt and uncle; sitting in front of a roaring fire in a 15th century pub in a little village in the UK or, for stark contrast – sitting on a beach in Sydney trying to fight off the seagulls; all wonderful memories. But mostly, my beer batter fish memories were made at my childhood home. Friday night was always fish night. Not that we ate battered fish every Friday. Regardless of how it was cooked fish was always served with a huge bowl of salad and, for a treat once in awhile, there’d be fries (chips as Aussies and Brits call them). I used to relish those Friday nights.Jump to Recipe
Done well, battered fish with fries and a good tartare sauce is hard to pass up. Here in Indiana it’s hard to find fresh fish so mostly we have to settle for frozen. There’s a lot I could write about this but in a nutshell: most supermarket packaged fish has been frozen and thawed more than once. The ice crystals cut the delicate flesh turning it to a sponge. Find fresh, never frozen fish if you can or consider buying from a reputable seafood subscription company in your country. Here in the US Sitka Salmon Shares is a good one but there are several so do your research.
Use whatever beer you fancy. I like to use an amber larger but I’m a fan of drinking dark beer and have used a darker, more robust flavored beer. Of course that flavor will be prevalent in the batter. As for the type of fish: select something that is white-fleshed – catfish, halibut, cod all would be good options. Halibut is always my fish of choice although in this recipe I used a kodiak cod because that’s what I received in my fish subscription. If you’d prefer to have this beerless, then use soda water/club soda. And really, if you feel you just don’t have it in you to make the tartare sauce, then use store-bought or none at all. For me Beer Batter Fish is at its best with nothing more than a sprinkling of salt and glugs of malt vinegar. Until next time, Lovoni xo
FISH IN BEER BATTER AND HOMEMADE TARTARE SAUCE
HOMEMADE TARTARE SAUCE
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped dill pickles, plus 2 tablespoons of the pickle liquid
- 2 tablespoon finely chopped shallot or green onion
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- A pinch of sea salt
FISH IN BEER BATTER
- Canola or peanut oil for deep-frying
- 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 lbs cod or halibut I used Kodiak cod in this recipe
- 1 cup all-purpose flour plain
- 1/3 cup cornstarch cornflour
- 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 cup beer, such as a pale larger
- Crispy fries, flaked sea salt and lemon wedges for serving
- Combine all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Cover and set aside in the fridge until ready to use.
BEER BATTER FISH
- Line a baking sheet with a wire rack and preheat the oven to ‘keep warm’ or if you’re serving fries with the fish then the temp of the oven from cooking the fries will be fine to keep the fish warm, just don’t leave the fish in a hot oven too long or you’ll overcook it.
- Heat 2 to 3 inches of oil in a wok or large saucepan to 350°F (180°C). Pat the fish dry using some paper towel; set aside.
- Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, seasoning and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Remove 1/3 a cup of the mixture to a plate or a resealable bag and add the fish, one or two pieces at a time; shake or turn to coat in flour shaking off any excess.
- Add the beer to remaining flour mixture, whisking to remove any lumps. Try a couple of drops of batter into the oil to make sure it’s hot enough if you don’t have a candy/oil thermometer. Add the fish to the batter, one piece at a time and turn until well coated; let excess batter drain off. Carefully place the fish into the hot oil being careful not to add too much at once or you’ll reduce the temperature of the oil. Cook the fish for about 5 minutes or until golden-brown. Transfer the fish the wire rack. Sprinkle with sea salt. Keep warm in the oven while you finish cooking the fish.
- Serve the fish sprinkled with sea salt, tartare sauce, fries and lemon wedges.