This Beer Battered Fish Is Light, Flaky, and Crispy Golden


With a crisp coating and a tender, flaky texture, this beer battered fish is a deep-fried masterpiece. Served with an easy homemade tartar sauce, this is one of our favorite . Beer battered fish is perfect for any day of the week from Meatless Monday to Fish Friday. Enjoy this dish as one of many in the spring or over a summer weekend  with and . Serve the fish with a basket of Ree Drummond's perfect  for a real "fish 'n chips" experience. You can't go wrong with this fish on the menu!

What kind of fish is used for fish and chips? 

This recipe uses easy-to-find, thick filets of cod cut into 3-inch pieces.


Save the rich and delicate sole for another day. One of the best parts of this dish is the flaky interior, so any thick white fish filet will do, such as haddock, halibut, hake, or pollock. 

How do you get a crispy coating for beer battered fish?

There are a few standout ingredients that are essential to the success of this recipe: First, dredging the fish in seasoned cornstarch ensures that the batter will stick and mixing more cornstarch into the batter yields that light, crispy coating. If the goal is a crunchy exterior, why not use all cornstarch? Cornstarch does not brown very well. It needs to be mixed with toasty wheat flour or the result will be pale, sad fish.


The combination of uplifting baking powder and cold carbonated beer makes the batter puffy—the fish almost doubles in size!

Why is the batter falling off my fish?

Having your oil at the correct temperature is crucial for frying fish—or almost anything! If the oil isn't hot enough, the batter may fall off the fish. On the contrary, if the oil is too hot, it may brown the exterior of the fish before the center is fully cooked. Use an to heat the oil to 375 degrees Fahrenheit for the best results. It's also important that the fish be dry when dipped in the beer batter. For extra insurance, this recipe calls for dredging the fish in cornstarch before dunking it in the beer batter.


This provides a dry surface so the batter clings to the fish.

What type of beer is best for a beer batter?

A light lager or pale ale is best for this type of batter. The beer should lend a subtle, malty flavor; so avoid bitter IPAs, heavy stouts, and sharp sours. 

Why does the beer have to be cold?

Let the fish enjoy a nice cold one! The introduction of ice-cold batter to super hot makes the shell puff up almost instantly. If the beer or the batter is room-temperature, the fish won't be as crisp and puffy. 

How do you keep from splashing hot oil when frying fish?

Here's an idea: Rather than haphazardly tossing large chunks of fish in the hot oil, hold the tip of each piece of fish in the oil for a few seconds before dropping it in.


This will reduce dangerous hot oil splashes!

1 1/2 c.

cornstarch, divided

4 tsp.

kosher salt, divided, plus more for sprinkling

2 tsp.

ground black pepper, divided

1 c.

all-purpose flour

1 tsp.

baking powder

1 tsp.



(12-oz.) bottle lager beer, cold

Vegetable oil, for frying

3 lb.

1-in. thick skinless cod filets

Lemon wedges, for serving

Malt vinegar, for serving

1 c.


1/3 c.

dill pickle relish

1 tsp.

lemon zest

2 tbsp.

lemon juice

1 tbsp.

chopped fresh dill

1/4 tsp.

kosher salt

1/4 tsp.

ground black pepper

Step  1 For the fish: In a shallow dish, combine 1/2 cup of cornstarch with 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper.


Set aside. Step  2 In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, paprika, remaining 1 cup of cornstarch, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Gently stir in the cold beer until just combined. Cover and refrigerate the batter until ready to use. Step  3 For the tartar sauce: In a medium bowl, combine the mayonnaise, relish, lemon zest, lemon juice, dill, salt, and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Step  4 In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 inches of oil to 375°F. Place a wire rack over a baking sheet. Step  5 Pat the fish dry with paper towels. Cut the fish into 10 to 12 (3-inch) pieces. Dredge the fish in the cornstarch mixture, shaking off the excess. Working in 3 to 4 batches, coat the fish in the chilled batter. Immediately transfer the battered fish to the hot oil and cook until golden and crispy, 2 to 3 minutes, turning as needed. Transfer the fish to the wire rack and sprinkle with salt. Step  6 Serve the fish with the tartar sauce, lemon wedges, and malt vinegar. 


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