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Crispy Beer Battered Fish and Chips Recipe

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Bring some classic golden crispy British cuisine into your own home with my mouthwatering beer-battered fish and chips recipe. It’s a great way to serve white fish, and with lots of dip-worthy sides, the perfect dish to bring friends and family together at any time of year.

Beer Battered Fish and Chips Recipe

For so many Brits, like my husband, just the sight of beer-battered fish and a portion of chips bring back memories of hot summer days at the beach or late-night celebrations in the city.

Fish and chips are very much a bedrock dish of British cuisine. Trips to Brighton, Bournemouth, Cornwall, or any stretch of coast in the UK simply aren’t complete with an order of hot fish and chips, wrapped in grease-proof paper, with a park bench and a view of the sea to eat it on.

What I wanted to do with this recipe is bring that magic of the fish and chip shop experience into your own home. So if you’re hosting British friends, or you’ve just always wanted to take a trip to the British coast, you can ignite plenty of that feel-good factor by making this at home.

What is Beer Battered Fish and Chips?

While it may look a little complicated, beer-battered fish and chips is relatively straightforward to make. It is a dish of white fish, coated in batter, which typically includes beer, fried in oil until the fish is flaky and buttery soft, and the batter is golden and crispy.

The beer used in the batter is not for taste but for texture. The use of beer helps give the batter a crispy and fluffy texture.

The chips are also fried, which are typically sliced potatoes with a little seasoning. Once both are ready, they are served together with various condiments. When ordered from a fish and chip shop, you’ll typically get them either wrapped in grease-proof paper or in a cardboard box.

What types of fish can you use?

For fish and chips, the most popular choice by some distance is cod. However, other types of white fish can be used, including haddock, pollock, and skate. My recipe calls for cod, so if this is your first time making it, I would recommend sticking to cod so that you can follow along.

What types of beer can you use?

With the beer, you can be more liberal. Avoid rich, dark beers, like stouts, and simply stick to any pale beer or lager. We’ve used a local Cornish lager in our recipe, but head down to your local supermarket and see what you can find.

Recipe Ingredients

Let’s get started with my beer-battered fish and chips recipe. First, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Fish – 2 large cod fillets (or 4 smaller ones)
  • Flour – 1 cup self-raising flour (or 1 cup all-purpose/plain flour and 1 tsp baking powder)
  • Corn starch – 1/2 cup corn starch (in the UK, this will be called cornflour)
  • Salt – 1 tsp kosher salt
  • Beer – approximately 1 cup of beer (we used lager but any beer will work)
  • Potatoes – about 4 medium potatoes
  • Oil – about 4.5 cups (or 1 liter) of a neutral oil with a high smoke point (for example, sunflower oil or vegetable oil), we used sunflower oil

Step-by-Step Instructions

Note – Set aside 3 tbsp of flour (for dredging the fish in flour later on).

Step 1 – Mix the remaining flour and corn starch and 1/2 tsp kosher salt, and then pour in the beer while whisking. If you’re using all-purpose/plain flour instead of self-raising flour, don’t forget to add the baking powder.

You should have a batter with a ribbon-like consistency (falling like thick ribbons, leaving a trail on the batter for a couple seconds before disappearing).

Step 2 – Peel and slice the potatoes into thick (1/2 inch-wide) strips.

Step 3 – To a deep-fryer or large pot, add the oil and bring it to a temperature of 300°F (150°C).

Step 4 – Lower the chips in (a few at a time) (using a strainer/skimmer spoon or something similar) and blanch/cook for about 3-4 minutes. If not using a deep fryer, you may have to do this in batches (we did this in 2 batches).

Step 5 – Remove and transfer to a wire rack to dry.

If you have time, you can wait for the chips to cool down and dry and they’ll be crispier. Otherwise, you can proceed straight to the next step (and they’ll still be delicious and crispy).

Step 6 – Bring the oil temperature up to 380°F (190°C).

Step 7 – Lower in the fries (a few at a time) for a second frying and cook until golden. Again, you may have to do this in batches (we did it in two batches).

Step 8 – Sprinkle some salt on them as soon as you remove them from the fryer.

Step 9 – Place them on a wire rack.

Step 10 – Pat dry the fish fillets.

Step 11 – Season them with some salt.

Step 12 – Dredge the fish fillets in seasoned flour (flour with a sprinkle of salt).

Step 13 – Batter the fish.

Step 14 – Bring the oil up to 385°F (195°C).

Step 15 – Add the battered fish to the hot oil (carefully), laying the fish away from you so the oil doesn’t splatter.

Note that the oil will bubble up, so it’s important your pot is large enough so that the oil doesn’t overflow and splash everywhere!

Step 16 – Fry the fish until cooked and browned (about 5-8 minutes, 5 for small fillets and 8 for large fillets).

Using an oil splashguard is very helpful if you don’t have a deep fryer.

Step 17 – Once the fish is cooked, place it on a wire rack (or paper towels) and sprinkle with salt as soon as you get them out of the oil and onto the wire rack.

Step 18 – Serve with chips and tartar sauce on the side. A homemade tartar sauce really ties this recipe together!

Serving Suggestions

Tartar Sauce – Known as tartare sauce in the UK, this mayo-based condiment has a rich, tangy flavor, and pairs wonderfully with beer-battered fish. Tartar/tartare sauce is seen as the classic pairing with fish and chips, and if you can get any store-bought versions, you can use my tartar sauce recipe to make your own at home.

Salt and Vinegar – When you order fish and chips at a chip shop, at the checkout, you’ll always be asked if you want salt, vinegar, or both (or none). This is an age-old debate amongst Brits, and whatever you request it will be applied liberally on both the fish and chips by the person at the serving desk.

If you’re serving this at home, bring both salt and malt vinegar to the table, and let everyone decide what they want.

Mushy Peas – Another classic side for fish and chips, you can use frozen garden peas for a quick and simple side of mushy peas to serve.

Lemon Wedges – A lemon wedge, or several, is also common to ask for. Your guests can squeeze the lemon juice over the fish for a little zest and acidity.

Tomato Ketchup and Mayonnaise – When it comes to the chips, ketchup vs mayo is another hotly contested debate among the British. Bring a bottle of both to the table, and as with salt and vinegar, let your guests decide.

Bread and Butter – What many Brits love to do is take one or two slices of bread, slather them with butter, top the bread with chips, and fold in half/place together to make what’s known as a ‘chip butty.’

Pickles/Pickled Onion – You’ll notice several of these sides, like malt vinegar and tartar, bring acidic and tart notes to the palate. Hence pickles or pickled onion can make for another welcome side to fish and chips.

There you have it. Some classic British cooking, from the comfort of your own home. If you make this, I would love to know what you thought of it in the comments, and also what you decided to serve it with.

Beer Battered Fish and Chips Recipe Card

Beer-Battered Fish and Chips

5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Author: Nomad Paradise
Course: Mains
Cuisine: British
Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 2 large cod fillets or 4 smaller ones
  • 1 cup self-raising flour or 1 cup all-purpose/plain flour and 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup corn starch in the UK, this will be called cornflour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ~ 1 cup of beer we used lager but any beer will work
  • ~ 4 medium potatoes
  • ~ 4.5 cups or 1 liter of a neutral oil with a high smoke point (for example, sunflower oil or vegetable oil), we used sunflower oil

Instructions

  • Note – Set aside 3 tbsp of flour (for dredging the fish in flour later on).
  • Mix the remaining flour and corn starch and 1/2 tsp kosher salt, and then pour in the beer while whisking. If you’re using all-purpose/plain flour instead of self-raising flour, don’t forget to add the baking powder. You should have a batter with a ribbon-like consistency (falling like thick ribbons, leaving a trail on the batter for a couple of seconds before disappearing).
  • Peel and slice the potatoes into thick (1/2 inch-wide) strips.
  • To a deep-fryer or large pot, add the oil and bring it to a temperature of 300°F (150°C).
  • Lower the chips in (a few at a time) (using a strainer/skimmer spoon or something similar) and blanch/cook for about 3-4 minutes. If not using a deep fryer, you may have to do this in batches (we did this in 2 batches).
  • Remove and transfer to a wire rack to dry. If you have time, you can wait for the chips to cool down and dry, and they’ll be crispier. Otherwise, you can proceed straight to the next step (and they’ll still be delicious and crispy).
  • Bring the oil temperature up to 380°F (190°C).
  • Lower in the fries (a few at a time) for a second frying and cook until golden. Again, you may have to do this in batches (we did it in two batches).
  • Sprinkle some salt on them as soon as you remove them from the fryer.
  • Place them on a wire rack.
  • Pat dry the fish fillets with paper towels.
  • Season them with some salt.
  • Dredge the fish fillets in seasoned flour (flour with a sprinkle of salt).
  • Batter the fish.
  • Bring the oil up to 385°F (195°C).
  • Add the battered fish to the hot oil (carefully), laying the fish away from you so the oil doesn’t splatter. Note that the oil will bubble up, so it’s important your pot is large
    enough so that the oil doesn’t overflow and splash everywhere!
  • Fry the fish until cooked and browned (about 5-8 minutes, 5 for small fillets and 8 for large fillets). Using an oil splashguard is very helpful if you don’t have a deep fryer.
  • Once the fish is cooked, place it on a wire rack (or paper towels) and sprinkle it with salt as soon as you get them out of the oil and onto the wire rack.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nomadparadisefood or tag #nomadparadisefood!

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Authors

  • Doina Johnson is a recipe developer and writer. Doina has been cooking for most of her life, and her style draws from many different influences. She cooked with her mother and grandma growing up in Eastern Europe, before adding modern, western influences to her style when living in the United States for about a decade. Then, she traveled full-time for several years, trying food in Europe, Asia, and South America, and bringing those influences into her own cooking. She strives to introduce passionate homecooks to world cuisine, generally by trying the food herself abroad and then recreating it at home and, at times, enlisting the help of local foodies and chefs.

  • Hey there! We are Dale and Doina, the founders of Nomad Paradise. We traveled full-time for over three years, and while we now have a home base in the U.K., continue to take trips abroad to visit new places and try new cuisines and foods. Our food guides are curated with the guidance of local foodies, and their contribution is indicated under each article. We also cook the foods we try abroad, and you can discover how to make them in our 'recipes from around the world' category.

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Recipe Rating




baltisraul

Wednesday 24th of January 2024

Perfect fish frying recipe. I would suggest leaving the fried fish on the rack and not paper towels. Towel drying does lessen the crispness of the fish.