Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Crispy Beer Batter Fish & Chips – Sorry, I Meant Fish & Crisps

Virtually every beer batter fish recipe looks crispy coming out of the fryer, and some even stay crispy for a few minutes, but then the inevitable sogginess sets in, and by the time you take that last bite, you’re wondering why you just didn’t bake it. Well, with this simple formula, and a few easy tricks, you can achieve what many think impossible; a fried fish where the last bite is as crisp as the first.

The keys here are keeping your batter really cold, and your fish really dry. If you use frozen fish, make sure it’s fully thawed, and you’ve carefully blotted off any excess moisture, before giving it a light coating of starch. I like rice flour for this, but as I said in the video cornstarch, or potato starch will also work.

If you do want to season yours differently, you can apply whatever you want directly to the fish before it goes in the beer batter. Keep in mind that salt draws out water, so don’t go too heavy, and make sure your fish is as dry as possible before it gets dunked into your ice-cold batter. I generally keep things very simple, but the occasional spoon of Indian spice, or chili powder makes for a nice change of pace.

If you make your batter ahead, which is fine, be sure to keep it in the fridge, and if you’re doing a large number of portions, maybe place the batter over a bowl of ice, so it stays cold as you fry. Other than keeping things cold and dry, not much can go wrong, except maybe calling your “crisps” chips, which will definitely trigger your British friends. Anyway, they’ll be fine, and so will you after making this easy, and crispy-to-the-last-bite beer batter fish. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 4 portions Fish & Chips:

For the fish:
4 (six-ounce) pieces of boneless white fish, such as cod, haddock, etc., cut in half lengthwise into 8 strips
salt to taste
enough rice flour to lightly coat

For the batter:
1 cup self-rising flour (or all-purpose flour mixed with 1 tsp baking powder, and 1/2 tsp fine salt)
2 tablespoons rice flour, or cornstarch or potato starch
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
about 1 cup lager-style beer, plus more as needed to adjust
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27 comments:

Heidi said...

whooeee, I get the first comment!!
Thank you chef John for using tartar sauce! I have had people roll their eyes at me for that. I also like lemon but don't want to squirt it on the fish so I just squirt it in the tartar and mix it in so get lemon and tartar in one bite!
Have loved your videos for a long time....
.....ennnnnjoyyyyy

Jeff in Philly said...

What kind of oil, John?

ScottW said...

Just wondering what brand of deep fat fryer was used and what temperature is optimal. Thank you for a method I have been trying to perfect for years.

Unknown said...

can not find it on allrecipe

kc said...

You should probably know that whatever service is providing your subtitles may need some help. I watched your video on youtube, and when you said "crispiness," it came out as "Chris penis." And "fishstick" became "fish dick." While I enjoy body-based humor, others may not. But I totally laughed when I saw those!

Spades said...

Hi John,

You should have linked in your blog post & video for Remoulade (fancy tartar) sauce In this article!

https://foodwishes.blogspot.com/2014/09/remoulade-sauce-20.html?m=1

https://youtu.be/77k7xrm9BoY

arthwollipot said...

Mate. You know there’s a reason we send all that stuff in the blue can overseas, right? :D

Don said...

Rice flour can be substituted with corn starch in the flour mixture, but what about the second application calling for rice flour?

Can corn starch be used for the "enough rice flour to lightly coat"?

I hate to buy rice flour just to use 2 tablespoons.

Matt W. said...

Chef John,

My food wish is to see how either the THRICE COOKED BACON & RICE CAKES or the CHONGQING CHICKEN WINGS from Mission Chinese Food are made. (https://www.missionchinesefood.com/menu) Lots of numbing spice. They have a cookbook, but I'd like to see the steps. Or maybe a crossover episode with Kenji López-Alt.

Thanks for your great work and comedic genius!

Matt

Matt W. said...

Chef John,

My food wish is to see how either the THRICE COOKED BACON & RICE CAKES or the CHONGQING CHICKEN WINGS from Mission Chinese Food are made. (https://www.missionchinesefood.com/menu) Lots of numbing spice. They have a cookbook, but I'd like to see the steps. Or maybe a crossover episode with Kenji López-Alt.

Thanks for your great work and comedic genius!

Matt

Matt W. said...

Chef John,

My food wish is to see how either the THRICE COOKED BACON & RICE CAKES or the CHONGQING CHICKEN WINGS from Mission Chinese Food are made. (https://www.missionchinesefood.com/menu) Lots of numbing spice. They have a cookbook, but I'd like to see the steps. Or maybe a crossover episode with Kenji López-Alt.

Thanks for your great work and comedic genius!

Matt

Kennapop3 said...

Fish and crisps.

Babe3Ruth said...

Chef John,
What kind of oil do you suggest? Also because I don't have a fryer could this be done in a wok or case iron pan?

Babe3Ruth said...

Chef John,
What kind of oil do you suggest using? Also, since I don't have a fryer, can I use a wok or a cast iron pan?

Robinson said...

WOW! Its looks delicious as well as healthy! I will try this lip smacking, restaurant style crispy beer batter fish to surprise everyone. You can one more mouth watering recipe to your list . “amritsari fish”

H J Patterson said...

Chef John, you might want to check out this video at the 6:03 mark with the closed captioning on. Not your fault at all but I thought it was funny. Can't wait to try this.

Rasin said...

what tartar sauce did you use? And what was sprinkled on top? Was it homemade? thanks!

CamRuiz said...

These fish sticks turned out to be delicious and so simple to make. I did not even use the flour blend that Chef John recommends, not for lack of trying but because I was not able to buy it. So, recipe semi modified, it is bullet proof. So good.
Thank You Chef John, who after all is the champion of this marathon.

Daley said...

So, one has to watch the video for instructions? No written instructions?

Chris K. said...

Arthur Treacher (1894–1975): an English character actor typecast as "the perfect butler" for his performances as Jeeves, as a butler in several Shirley Temple films, and the role of Constable Jones in Walt Disney Productions' Mary Poppins.

At the time the chain was founded, Treacher was best known as the announcer and sidekick on the popular The Merv Griffin Show. Whether Treacher actually had a financial involvement in the restaurants is unknown (in interviews he refused to say), but he "served as a spokesman for the restaurant chain in its early years, underscoring the British character of its food." In a 1975 interview, New England franchise vice president M. John Elliott claimed the fish recipe to be the actor's own, brought over from the United Kingdom.

Unknown said...

Tartar sauce recipe? :)

Jimmy & Joan said...

Looks delicious! What kind of oil did you use ?

Lisa said...

Yooohoo Chef—- are you there to answer your ppl?

ty

MTaylor said...

Tried this tonight, we had some frozen catfish and were looking for a way to make a light and crispy batter that lasted more than 3 minutes. Chef, this turned out amazing - I was impressed that "I" was able to make something this tasty! Used corn starch instead of rice flour, and fried it in the super cheap veggie oil, and it came out perfect! Picture perfect for the social media bragging and tastier than anything I've had at a fish and chips joint or any pub - and this is one of my favorite dishes! An excellent post, thank you for doing what you do. Enjoy!

rodentraiser said...

I remember getting fish and chips at Arthur Treacher's in San Jose many moons ago. Up here in the PNW, though, all we have is either "healthy" baked fish *rolls eyes* or Long John Silver's. Awesome to have a real fried fish recipe to use!

Tim said...

Made it and the texture was absolutely perfect! A tip for everyone else, make sure you season it very generously. I didn't add enough salt when I did it, and you need to add a lot more than you think to balance it with all the flour and beer.

Jeannie said...

Just wondering if you used Rice Flour or Glutinous Rice Flour?