Beer Battered Fish

This is my favorite way to deep-fry fish. It produces an extremely crispy exterior and a tender, flakey interior. It is typically served with “chips” (french fries), and the frying oil may be used for both. When doing so, it is recommended to do the final fry of the fries after the fish as the fish can stay crispy in a warming drawer for a while and the fries usually do not hold up as well.


  • 2 thick cod or other white fish fillets, thick and cut lengthwise (optionally diagonally)
  • 1t kosher salt
  • 1/2t pepper
  • 2T rice flour
  • Enough oil to deep fry the fish. I usually use a large wok and 1qt of a neutral oil with a high smoke point such as peanut oil.


  • 1/4C flour
  • 1/4C rice flour
  • 1/2t baking powder
  • 1/2t salt
  • 3/4C beer, lager


  1. Sprinkle the salt all over the fish and put in the refrigerator uncovered for an hour.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients of the batter and put in the freezer.
  3. Pat the fish dry and sprinkle pepper on all sides.
  4. Dredge the fish in the rice flower making sure it is completely coated. Shake gently to remove any loose bits.
  5. Whisk the beer into the dry batter ingredients a little at a time until it is the consistency of paint or a slightly runny pancake batter. Return to the freezer until ready to fry the fish.
  6. Bring the oil up to 385°F / 196°C. Submerge the fish in the batter then pull out and let the batter drip off for about 15 seconds. Carefully lower the end of the fish into the oil and swirl it slightly for about three seconds to help prevent if from sticking to the pan. Then, carefully lay the fish in the oil making sure that the end drops into the pan away from you to avoid splashing hot oil on yourself. Repeat with the rest of the fish.
  7. Optionally drizzle some of the batter on top of the fish in the pan.
  8. Fry for about three minutes or until the exterior is a deep, golden brown, flipping halfway through. If the fish does not stay flipped over that is not an issue, but you may want to baste the top with some oil several times using a large spoon.
  9. Remove the fish and place on a wire rack over a sheet pan to allow excess oil to drip off the fish. Sprinkle the top with some salt.


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