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Beer Battered Fish

I wasn't kidding yesterday morning when I said that fish and chips were one of my absolute favourite dishes. When I first came to the UK, nine years ago now, that was one of the top things on my list of things to eat. After having eaten quasi "English" fish and chips in Canadian restaurants my whole lifetime, I really wanted to experience the real thing.

I was here, visiting for three weeks, and it was not until the last week of my visit that I was able to do so. I can remember it was bucketing down rain (how typically English and NORTHERN English) and Todd rode to the shop on his bicycle to pick them up, as he didn't have a car back them. I was so excited as I waited back at the flat . . . finally I was going to be eating the meal of my dreams. They would all be so jealous back home!

He arrived home at the flat with a filmsy blue plastic bag filled with plain newspaper (no print allowed anymore, I'm afraid) stogged full of beautiful hand cut and fried chips and two gorgeous big battered filets of Cod, so big that they hung off the sides of our plates. Oh, they smelled so good . . . and the taste . . . well, it was everything I had dreamt of, and more.

Back then you could get a cone of chips (a little styrofoam cone shaped cup) for about 60p and a portion, which was enough to feed two people more than amply, was £1. A lovely HUGE piece of cod cost £2 and so we could get ourselves fish and chips of a Friday night for a fiver, which wasn't bad. The only hard part was waiting in the queue at the local chippies which always went around the corner of a Friday evening!

Nowadays the same meal would cost you in access of 12 to 15 pounds and I have to say it . . . the fish and chips down here in the South just cannot compare to the ones up North, at least thus far in my experience. If anyone knows any different then let me know!

Anyways, after all that talk about fish and chips yesterday morning, and, even though we'd had fish for dinner the night before, my taste buds were tingling for some lovely battered fish, and what can you do when that happens, I ask?

Why . . . you must have what you must have!!

And we did. I made my own though, coz, well . . . it's better than the fish in the chippies down here . . . and alot cheaper too. (No fried chips this time though. I only had new potatoes in the house and they make rotten chips)

*Beer Battered Fish*
serves 4
Printable Recipe

This is the best battered fish you could ever want to eat. Light and crisp and the fish is beautifully flakey inside. Make sure your oil is hot before you start frying the fish. Also make sure your fish is well coated with flour before you dip it into the batter. If you follow these two rules you will be rewarded with delicious crisp battered fish, perfectly moist on the inside.

4 cod or haddock fish fillets
(I like the thick ones myself)
6 ounces flour
1 tsp baking soda
8 ounces of beer
the juice of half a lemon
salt to taste
Flour for dredging the fish in
Oil for frying
To serve:
Malt Vinegar, Lemon Slices, tartar sauce

Place about an inch and a half of sunflower oil into a deep skillet. Heat over medium high heat until hot. A cube of bread should brown in the hot oil in about 10 seconds. While the oil is heating get the fish ready.

Place the flour, soda and salt in a large bowl. Whisk in the beer and lemon juice to make a thick batter. Set aside.

Season your fish pieces with a bit of salt and then dredge completely in the flour, shaking off any excess. Dip into the batter and then carefully tease it into the hot oil. Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes perside, until nicely browned and crispy. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon to drain on some kitchen paper. Serve immediately with some chips if desired, and salt and vinegar. Lemon Slices and tartar sauce are optional!
Marie Rayner
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  1. I've been wanting a good Beer Battered Fish recipe like this...thanks

  2. Wonderful!!! :-) Mmm I adore fish & chips!

  3. Oh how I remember the fish and chips of my childhood. You are right, they are uniquely British and I have never tasted any around the world that compare. Thank you for the recipe for the beer batter. I shall give it a try. Linda :-)

  4. Thanks for this one, Marie! Even the kids will love it, I'm sure.

  5. Oh Marie..I love this dish.. Your photos are very appetizing and thanks for sharing your touch!

  6. This is really delicious! Have tried this in Singapore.

  7. Marie is there something you can substitute for the beer? Just curious....

  8. Your pictures are fantastic, I love fry fish is lovely and when I saw your pictures feel me hungry, really yummy.huggs! gloria

  9. This is wonderful Marie, I'm going to try this, my family loves your recipes!

  10. Bonnie, You could try using soda water instead of the beer. That should give you a nice light batter.

  11. We don't have haddock here Marie, but I reckon a big fat juicy piece of Barramundi from the rivers up near Darwin will do the job beautifully!
    Millie ^_^

  12. Worst batter recipe I've ever tried. A waste of good fish.

  13. Sorry this didn't work out for you Jim. In my experience it's always worked very well and come up crisp and light. As you can clearly see from my pictures. without knowing exactly what you did, I can't really comment on your experience, except to say that one man's meat is another man's poison. ☺ Hope you find what you are looking for, and have a great day!

  14. This is the best beer battered fish recipe ever!!!

  15. I made the fish tonight, and it was divine.

  16. I tried this and it tasted wonderful! Can you tell me what I did wrong, as my first couple pieces of fish broke up into tiny pieces, floating around in the oil. The batter didn't hold it together. For the next pieces, I added more flour after the batter as well as before, and the fish stayed together. Maybe the oil wasn't hot enough???

    We had mushy peas with dinner. I first had them while visiting the Lake District and bought them in an international food store here in the US.

  17. made this today using my home brew (a ruby bitter). was beautiful.

    also served it with a sauce. 4 spoons of mayonaise, half squeezed lemon, chopped chives, fresh parsley and coriander, chopped. mixed together, and served at the side of the fish. beaut

  18. Just made this and it worked perfectly, thanks! Much better than the chippie, and fresher. Plus you can make it with any white fish that isn't too delicate, so it's much cheaper and probably more eco-friendly than using cod. Perfect :-)

  19. When we travel to the UK, the first thing we look for is a good chippy man. This recipe sounds fantastic! I am a new follower! I love English food! Patsy

  20. So glad I found this site!!

  21. Love this recipe. I needed to add just a little bit more flour however. What kind of beer did you use in your recipe?? I used a Hef when doing this.

    1. Thanks OM89! I use Stella Artois. I am not up on beers over here as I don't drink but that I recognised!

  22. This one harks back the nights on the streets of London and that crispy taste of fish found with street vendors. Best by far and none of that heavy coating with egg in it.

    1. Oh, this is a winner Anonymous! Light and crisp!


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