Puffy. Crispy. Tender. Vibrant flavor. Those words sum up this beer-battered fish and chips recipe. The most pleasing fried fish dish is one that stays crispy beyond the cooking and serving time. So what are my tricks to make it so good?
Basically, you’re starting with something akin to tempura, which is known for having a fluffy crunch. The yeast in the cold beer helps make the batter expand a bit (kind of like bread rising). Additionally, this recipe includes rice flour, which doesn’t get soggy as easily.
Choosing your Beer
In making your batter, avoid dark beer. It changes the color of the batter and the flavor profile. Instead, look to pale ales, any you prefer. The beer isn’t there for flavor, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy one while cooking!
Tip: Beer must be cooled for at least two hours in the refrigerator before using it to obtain the crispiest batter.
Choosing your Fish
Not all fish is cut out to be frying fish. For example, oily fish like salmon or trout is too rich for battering. Thin fish filets may work fine, but it’s easy to overcook or have the fish fall apart during the frying. Also, fish that dries out easily like tuna will fry up, but the inside won’t remain juicy.
Beer Battered Fish and Chips Ingredients
1 ¼ pounds white fish
¾ cup white flour
¼ cup rice flour
1 tsp. Cuso’s Hot Honey BBQ Rub
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp sea salt
1 cup cold pale ale
- Pat the fish dry.
- Using a Chef Knife, cut it into 3” pieces, 1” thick, which are easier to turn in the oil.
- Mix up the batter ingredients using a whisk.
- Place the fish into the batter and soak for four hours.
- After the four hours, heat your oil using a deep fryer or an iron skillet pan to 375 degrees F.
- Fry for 3 minutes until golden brown. The interior should be 145F.
- Drain on a mesh rack while you prepare a serving platter.
- These will stay crispy for about 15 minutes, so get them out to hungry eaters quickly.
About those Fries
So what about the chip portion of the equation? Well, you can make them yourself, slicing them into the style you prefer. If you do this route, put the potatoes into an ice bath before frying, then pat dry. Dip them into the hot oil for four minutes, and remove. Wait a minute, then return them again for four minutes. Drain thoroughly and salt.
On the other hand, if your time is running short, just grab a bag of frozen ones and cook them up instead.
You can serve your fried fish with lemon wedges to keep it simple. There is also traditional tartare sauce, garlic aioli, malt vinegar & salt, or plain old ketchup you can offer as condiments.
It’s interesting to notice that various regions in the world use slightly different fishes for their batter fried recipes. In the US, haddock, catfish, and halibut are common. In Australia, they use basa, snapper, and hoki. And, in the UK, they like pollock, cod, and haddock.
You’ve probably never heard of basa or Hoki. Hoki are sleek fish whose meat is delicate, mild-tasting, and flaky. Basa comes from Southeast Asia as an inexpensive substitute for haddock, with a similar flavor and texture.
Mac n’ cheese
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From the Bar
Iced Tea (any flavor)