Good fish (with chips) are crunchy, not soggy, and have just the right amount of batter coating the fish to keep the fish moist but well-cooked. ‘Just the right amount,’ of course, is completely subjective, but I think the proportions here are a great jumping off point for anyone wanting to tweak this recipe a bit to make it their own. It’s actually pretty quick to make, just assemble everything and make sure you have an oil thermometer — temperature is everything!
- 1 c flour
- 2 t baking powder
- 1/2 t salt
- 1 c cold beer, preferably dark
- 1 lb. white fish (cod, halibut, etc.), cut into 1” pieces
- 1 quart peanut oil
- An oil thermometer
- A pair of tongs
- A small flat strainer or slotted spoon
- Paper towels or grocery bags
- Pour the peanut oil into a deep, heavy saucepan and heat to between 350 and 375 degrees.
- While the oil is heating, prepare the batter: combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium-sized mixing bowl and whisk to blend well.
- Add the beer, whisking until smooth, to a consistency similar to pancake batter. You want the batter to be fairly thick, but not gloppy. (How’s that for descriptive?!) The exact amount of beer is subjective. If it seems too thick, add more a little at a time. If it’s too runny you added too much, so remember to add slowly, just a little at a time!
- When the oil is at the proper temperature, you are ready to fry. Drop a few pieces of the fish into the batter and pull them out one by one, letting excess batter drip back into the bowl. Tongs work really well for this job. Fry only about 4 or 5 pieces of fish at a time so that each piece can float freely in the oil and they don’t stick together.
- Let the fish cook, turning occasionally, until the pieces are golden brown on both sides, 1 – 2 minutes total.
- When they are ready, scoop them out with a strainer or slotted spoon and put them onto several layers of paper towels or a grocery bag to drain.
- Continue cooking the fish in batches until it’s all golden brown and crispy. The oil will drop in temperature while you fry, so allow enough time between batches for it to get back up to 350 or 375 degrees. Serve this fish with malt vinegar, tartar sauce, Perfect French Fries
and coleslaw or green salad for a fantastic treat.