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Beer Battered Fish – Nicky’s Kitchen Sanctuary

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Beautiful, tender, creamy white fish in the crispiest golden batter. This chip-shop style fish is ridiculously tasty, and surprisingly easy to make yourself at home.Go to your fishmonger to get some extra-large fish fillets (the supermarket portions sizes are far too stingy) for that proper chippy-fish feel.

Now that we live in a seaside town in the south of England, we’ve found fish and chips are, quite literally the lifeblood of the area around us.

Our local fishmonger is brilliant (shout out to Darren at High Tide Fisheries), so we’re lucky enough to get amazing fresh fish in nice big portions – perfect for this chip-shop style fish!

That golden, crunchy, salty coating and tender flakes of fish are a match made in heaven! Pair it with a dollop of mushy peas, chippy chips and lashings of tartar sauce and I’m in my element!

📋 Beer Batter Ingredients

Beer – It’s best if you use a lighter beer/ale or lager for a light, crispy batter. It must be COLD. You can also swap out for soda water, sparkling water or alcohol-free lager for a no-alcohol version.

Fish – We use large fillets of fish from our fishmonger, which are about 250g/8.8oz each. You can use smaller fillets if you prefer. The ready-packed stuff in the refrigerator aisle of UK supermarkets are usually about 130g/4.4oz each. Using smaller fillets doesn’t give it that chip-shop feel – hence why we used the large ones – but they will still taste good. They’ll cook in about 3 minutes.

Overview of recipe steps

Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.

First, you want to mix the beer batter ingredients together, start with the dry ingredients then stir in the beer until the mixture is smooth.

Place the batter in the fridge to keep it cool until you’re ready to use (up to 3 hours).

Take the fish filets and pat them down with kitchen roll until they are as dry as possible then we dredge in seasoned cornflour (cornstarch in USA) – this helps the batter to adhere to the fish better.

Dip the fish in the beer batter until completely covered, then carefully place in the hot oil and leave to fry for 3-4 minutes until golden, and repeat with your other fillets.

Place on a wire rack to drain any excess oil, then serve.

**Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.**

Pro Tip

Draining on a rack allows airflow all around the fish, so as it drains, it stays really crispy. Draining it on kitchen roll/paper is ok, but it traps steam, which can soften the batter a little.

A wonderful summer dinner, ready in less than half an hour!

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🍽️ What to serve it with

A classic combination of fish and Chippy Chips.

This combination is pretty normal for the north of England, we don’t see it much down south but Fish, Chips and Gravy is still a classic!

Mushy peas, tartare sauce and curry sauce are also firm favourites!

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First make the beef batter. Place the flour, cornflour and baking powder in a large bowl and stir together to combine.120 g (1 cup) self-raising flour, 2 tbsp cornflour, ½ tsp baking powderStir in the pale ale until no lumps remain. Place the batter in the refrigerator while you’re prepping the fish (the batter can be made ahead and refrigerate for 2-3 hours if you like).240 ml (1 cup) refrigerated pale ale (it MUST be cold)Take a wire rack and place it on a tray or chopping board. Place a couple of pieces of kitchen roll underneath the rack. We’re going to be draining the fish on the rack once cooked.We’re going to cook the fish in two batches. They only take a few minutes to cook, so you don’t really need to keep the first batch warm. If you wanted to keep them warm in the oven (especially if you’re cooking more than four fillets,) you can heat the oven to low and place the cooked fish in the low oven on the wire rack.Heat the frying oil to 180C/350F in a large heavy-based pan. The oil needs to be at least 7.5cm/3 inches deep.Oil for deep fryingNow we’re going to prep the fish. Mix the cornflour, salt and pepper together on a plate.4 tbsp cornflour, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp black pepperTake the fish fillets and pat them dry using paper towels. They need to be as dry as possible for the crispiest fish.4 extra large white skinless fish filletsTake the beer batter out of the fridge and give it a quick stir.Dredge the fish fillets in dry the cornflour mixture to coat on both sides. Then dip in the beer batter (be sure to thoroughly coat it – you can use tongs if you like). Allow any excess to drip off, then carefully lower the fish into the hot oil.Repeat with the second fish fillet.Allow the two fillets to fry for 3-4 minutes, until golden and crisp, then remove from the oil and place on the wire rack to drain.Repeat with the two remaining fish fillets.I love to serve mine with homemade chippy chips and mushy peas.

Note 1 – fish size:
We used large fillets of fish from our fishmonger, which were about 250g/8.8oz each. You can use smaller fillets if you prefer. The ready-packed stuff in the refrigerator aisle of UK supermarkets are usually about 130g/4.4oz each. Using smaller fillets doesn’t give it that chip-shop feel – hence why we used the large ones – but they will still taste good. They’ll cook in about 3 minutes.
Using a frying basket?
If you’re using a frying basket you my find the fish sticks to the bottom of the basket. To prevent this, use a long set of tongs to lower the fish into the oil and hold the fish in the oil for 20-30 seconds to seal the coating, before carefully releasing the tongs.
Flour
If you haven’t got self-raising flour, replace with the same amount of plain (all-purpose_ flour PLUS 1 tsp of baking powder (you’ll also still need to add the additional ½ tsp baking powder to the batter).
Swaps for the pale ale (including no-alcohol)
If you don’t want to use pale ale, you can use lager, or for a non-alcohol version, replace the pale ale with soda water or non-alcohol lager/beer (remember it needs to be COLD).
Why are we draining on a wire rack?
Draining on a rack allows airflow all around the fish, so as it drains, it stays really crispy.Draining it on kitchen roll/paper is ok, but it traps steam, which can soften the batter a little.
Can you make it ahead? 
I wouldn’t recommend making this ahead or freezing as the reheating process can make the coating lose its crispiness. You can, however, make the beer batter a few hours ahead of time and refrigerate!
Nutritional information is approximate, per fish (for a 250g (8.8oz fish). I’ve estimated that 100ml (a little under half a cup) of oil will be absorbed for all four fish, but this can vary.
Calories: 595kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 48g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 108mg | Sodium: 430mg | Potassium: 1133mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 102IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 1mgNutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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