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Beer Batter Fish

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Last Updated on March 10, 2023 by Lisa Johnson

Beer batter fish is a classic pub food that has been around for centuries. It’s a simple yet delicious dish made with cod, beer, and a light batter that is fried to golden perfection, just like the ones served in Irish pubs.

This comforting meal is usually served in newspaper and paired with french fries for an unbeatable combination!

Check out this Irish Pub Food page for even more delicious Irish recipes.

Beer Batter Fish on a bed of French fries in a newspaper lined basket.

I remember how excited I used to get when my dad would make this meal for dinner. Okay, I may have been more excited when we went to the Fish ‘n Chip shop in Westlake, CA for lunch. They served their beer battered cod and chips wrapped in real newspaper! I thought that was the coolest thing ever!

Crispy traditional-style Beer Batter Fish and Chips | cookingwithcurls.com_

This recipe is getting pulled out of the vault for St. Patrick’s Day, which may seem kind of odd since I used Newcastle Brown Ale in the recipe. I have tried making this batter with Guinness, and Corona, which is delicious, but it just didn’t taste like the traditional pub-style fish ‘n chips that I remember.

Blue Outline of a Taco.

Note: This beer battered fish recipe would make delicious Fish Tacos! Substitute Corona for the beer and serve with lime wedges.

What you will need:

  • Rice flour to dredge the fish and all-purpose flour to make the batter.
  • Sea salt and white pepper to flavor the flour and batter mixture.
  • Cod filets cut into 2-inch strips are the perfect size for eating with your fingers.
  • Ice cold ale beer of your choice. I used Newcastle dark, but honestly any ale will work.
  • Eggs and baking powder help to create a puffy, delicious batter.

Be sure to check out the detailed printable recipe card below

How to make Beer Battered Fish

Heat about one-third gallon of peanut oil in a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven until it reaches 375°F.

Mix 1 cup of rice flour with salt and white pepper on a large plate, and set aside.

Flour, salt and pepper on a plate.

Whisk 2 cups of all-purpose flour with salt, baking powder, pepper, and sugar in a large bowl. Add the eggs and beer, and whisk just until combined.

Batter whisked together in a large bowl.

I made my Homemade French Fries first, so my oil was ready to go. Dredge the cod pieces in the rice flour mixture.

Fish laying in the flour mixture on a plate.

Coating all sides. Then dip cod into the batter making sure to completely coat.

Flour covered cod in a bowl of batter.

Carefully slide the battered cod into the heated oil.

Battered fish in hot oil with a thermometer on the side of a large pot.

The fish like to sink to the bottom, so use a pair of tongs or a wire scoop to keep the fish floating. Continue with the remaining fish, cooking until the fish is golden brown. Drain on a paper towels or wire mesh rack over a baking sheet.

Serve immediately with Homemade “Chips”, lemon wedges, malt vinegar and salt, or garlic aioli.

A broken piece of beer batter fish resting on a pile of fish and French fries.

I personally do not dip my fish into any kind of sauce. Nor do I use the lemon or vinegar, but it’s the traditional way to serve authentic beer batter fish. That bottle of vinegar will remain unopened until my dad shows up to use it, or it goes out of date and I toss it in the trash, LOL

Light, crispy coating surrounding flaky, tender white fish is absolute perfection! It tastes just like I remember from my childhood.

Two pieces of Beer Batter Fish on a pile of chips in a newspaper lined basket.

I originally shared this recipe February 2015. Updated March 2023.

Recipe Tips

  • Make sure to dry the cod filets before dredging in the rice flour to keep them from getting soggy.
  • Using a candy/oil thermometer is the best way to keep your oil at the optimum temperature. If the oil is not hot enough the batter will absorb too much oil. If the oil is too hot you run the risk of overcooking the batter before the cod is cooked all the way through.
  • Do not overcrowd the pan. Place the battered fish into the hot oil one at a time to prevent the temperature from dropping too much. Pull the cooked fish out and continue adding more until all of the fish has been fried.

Tools used to create this recipe

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Enjoy!!

Beer Batter Fish on a bed of French fries in a newspaper lined basket.

Beer Batter Fish

Beer batter cod is simple and delicious classic pub food made with tender cod, beer, and a light batter that is fried to golden perfection.
5 from 1 vote
Print Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: British
Keyword: fish, cod, fried, british, recipe
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 438kcal
Author: Lisa Johnson

Ingredients

For Dredging:

  • 1 cup white rice flour or all-purpose
  • 0.5 teaspoon sea salt
  • .25 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 pounds Alaskan cod cut into 2-inch strips

For the Batter:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 0.5 teaspoon sea salt
  • .25 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 cups dark ale beer I used Newcastle
  • 2 large eggs
  • peanut oil for frying or canola oil

Instructions

  • Heat about one-third gallon of peanut oil in a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven until it reaches 375°F.
  • Mix 1 cup of rice flour with salt and white pepper on a large plate, and set aside.
  • Whisk 2 cups of all-purpose flour with salt, baking powder, pepper, and sugar in a large bowl. Add the eggs and beer, and whisk just until combined.
  • Dredge cod in the rice flour mixture, coating all sides, then dip in the batter. Turn to completely cover.
  • Gently place the battered cod in the hot oil. Use tongs or spider strainer to keep fish from sticking to the bottom. Continue with additional pieces of fish.
  • Cook until golden brown. Remove from oil and drain on a paper towel or wire rack lined baking sheet.
  • Serve with homemade "chips", lemon wedges, malt vinegar and sea salt.

Notes

  • Peanut Oil is not included in the total nutrition count since you will not be consuming the entire amount of oil used.
  • Make sure to dry the cod filets before dredging in the rice flour to keep them from getting soggy.
  • Using a candy/oil thermometer is the best way to keep your oil at the optimum temperature. If the oil is not hot enough the batter will absorb too much oil. If the oil is too hot you run the risk of overcooking the batter before the cod is cooked all the way through.
  • Do not overcrowd the pan. Place the battered fish into the hot oil one at a time to prevent the temperature from dropping too much. Pull the cooked fish out and continue adding more until all of the fish has been fried.

Nutrition

Calories: 438kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 127mg | Sodium: 498mg | Potassium: 835mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 150IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 90mg | Iron: 3mg

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29 Comments

  1. That batter looks perfect …. and I’m a malt vinegar kinda gal! I love it on fish! Too funny about the wax paper – I never would have noticed had you not mentioned it! 😉

  2. I LOVE fish and chips – but I’m quite frightened of the deep frying part – did it make a huge mess?
    Found you through Made from Pinterest – thanks for sharing!

    1. Yes Shelly, it does make a mess. The oil will bubble and splatter, but it’s really easy to clean up. Deep frying is something that I only do once or twice a year, but this fish is worth it!! 🙂

  3. Lisa- WOW this looks fantastic. Man do I love a good fish fry (and beer for that matter). I’m always a little hesitant to try frying things at home because it seems to always come out soggy? *sigh* I’d love for you to share a post at my Tuesday link party today, if you’re interested!

    xoxo K
    http://peeledwellness.com

    1. Thank you K. Is your oil hot enough? If not your food takes longer to cook and soaks up more oil. If you keep it at 350 you should end up with nice, crispy fish. 🙂

  4. I love fish and chips! This is perfect for me right now with Lent going on (fish on Fridays!)- I think it’s awesome that you chose a dark ale. It seems like everyone goes for lighter beers for a dish like this, but I love dark beer, so this is a recipe after my heart. Thanks for sharing!

    I stopped by from Wow Me Wednesday.

  5. I’m loving this! You always bring such amazing things to our party. Pinned and tweeted. I hope to see you tonight at 7. I can’t wait! Lou Lou Girls

  6. Hi. Glad you posted this recipe. I hope it will encourage folks to make this at home. I HAD to resort to making my own fish & chips ever since “fear of fat” has gripped this nation. We used to have at least a couple of fish & chips shops around town, but not anymore. There’s not a one left. And I live in a big city! About once a year I fire up my cast iron dutch oven and treat us to crispy, beer battered fish. Such a treat! I strain and filter the oil and keep it in the fridge for any future frying. If you do this you can re-use it 3 or 4 times. Just be careful not to burn food in it. What stops most of us from doing an occasional deep fry is the fact that we just don’t happen to have a large quantity of oil just hanging around. Keeping and re-using a special stash for just that purpose makes it easier. Oh, and I make my own blend of Old Bay Seasoning and add a pinch of it to the flour. Delish! Glad I found you. Thanks!

  7. When I had fish and chips in England, I was served an enormous amount of fish. More fish than chips often. The portion of fish I was served was a good 8 to 10 inches long and wonderfully battered. It is not fish and chips unless there is malt vinegar handy. I douse mine so that it is virtually swimming in it. Hubby just salts his , ick. He is a picky eater and does not like anything acidic.
    If you don’t want to use the traditional beer, soda water works very well. It is important to use the batter right away before the bubbles dissipate. Beer keeps the bubbles longer and this is what makes your batter crispy and fluffy.
    Instead of baking powder alone, I would add some baking soda too. It has a tendency to bubble up better. : )

  8. I love fish and chips as long as the fish is mild, which I think cod is! I have always been afraid to cook it but you make is sound easy so maybe I will try it soon. Pinning it also!! Thanks for the recipe!!

  9. THE PERFECT FISH BATTER. I SHOULD NO I’VE COME FROM A COUNTRY WHERE FISH AND CHIPS ARE THE FAVORITe . London ENGLAND.

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