Thursday, May 26, 2011

Beer Battered Fish

Fish and chips is a classic English pub meal that has made it's way across the pond to achieve the same popularity in the states.  I love fried fish, and beer battered fish is just that much better.  I love the airy batter that covers the fish; it is breaded just a little more than the typical fried fish but it's not too much bread and the flavor; the flavor of beer battered fish is just incredible.  The texture and consistency of the batter is like no other and can only be achieved with the carbination from the beer, or soda water, and it is absolutely fabulous. 

I had always wondered how the airy battered was achieved and when I saw Anne Burrell making fish and chips on an episode of "Secrets of a Restaurant Chef " I was glued to the t.v. because I knew she would reveal this secret.  I'm sure it's not a secret to a lot of people but for some reason I wasn't sure how this was done and I was so excited to learn how to make this batter at home.  This recipe immediately went on my menu for the next week.  I was so excited to finally know how to make this for myself and couldn't wait to try it out.  For supper one night it was like being in an English Pub; we had beer battered fish, chips, red cabbage slaw, and home made tartar sauce and it was all wonderful.  I was so pleased with how the fish turned out and I'm so excited to try other recipes using this beer batter.  If you've never attempted to make beer battered fish now is the time to try, it's super easy  and a pretty fast process and the end result is incredible.   

Beer Battered Fish


2 Pound haddock filets
3 Quarts peanut or vegetable oil, for frying
2 Cups all-purpose flour
2 Teaspoons seafood seasoning (recommended: Old Bay)
1 Teaspoon baking soda
Kosher salt
1 Bottle cold beer


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F and heat the cooking oil to 375 degrees F.  Place a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, seafood seasoning, baking soda and pinch of salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and gently stir in the cold beer. Mix until just combined. When the oil has reached the correct temperature, dip the fish fillets in the batter and coat generously.

When adding the fish to the oil, dip about 1/3 to 1/2 of the fillet into the oil and allow the batter to start puffing and then gently slide it into the oil.  This will eliminate the fish sinking and sticking to the bottom. Fry the fish until they are golden brown and crispy, about 5 minutes turning the fish half way through the cooking time.

When the fish are done, remove from the oil and immediately place on paper towels to blot the excess oil. Arrange the fish on prepared baking sheet and place in the preheated oven until ready to serve.  Work in batches and be sure not to crowd the oil.

Tartar Sauce


3 Egg yolks
1/4 Cup malt vinegar
1 1/2 Cups peanut or vegetable oil
2 Shallots, finely diced
3/4 Cup finely chopped cornichons
1/2 Cup whole-grain mustard
1 Teaspoon celery salt
Pinch cayenne pepper
Kosher salt


In the food processor combine the egg yolks and malt vinegar. With the machine running, add the oil, a drop at a time, until the mixture starts to come together and looks thick and silky. When the mixture looks like it has come together and is beginning to thicken, the oil can be added a little bit faster until all the oil is added. Add the remaining ingredients and taste for seasoning. Season with salt, if needed. 

Transfer the sauce to a sealed container and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Recipe Source: Anne Burrell, Secrets of a Restaurant Chef

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