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Mar 20, 2012 06:52 AM

Tired of being disappointed with fish and chips - time to make my own!

My husband and I love fish and chips (more the fish than the chips). We are tired of doing eat in or take out and being disappointed with tiny pces of fish in either greasy or thick batter.
I bought some nice pieces of halibut and cod and am having a fish fry next Friday for 10. I have a couple of questions and then have picked some recipes based on people who can be trustworthy. Looking for any advice!

Some questions:
1. Do you half the fish on the "equator" to make two thinner pces because the halibut can be thick?
2. What is a good recipe for batter?
I have read some..with beer, without beer, flour, cornstarch, etc (This one is from A Salt and Battery supposedly, but I remember them putting some orange food colouring in the batter to make it golden
2 cups or 8 ounces all-purpose flour plus 1 cup extra for dusting fish
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
5 fluid ounces seltzer (half a can) 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons
5 fluid ounces beer (I like Boddingtons ale) 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil for the fryer
4 filets of cod or pollock 6 ounces each

Preheat fryer 375 degrees.

Combine 2 cups flour, pinch of salt, and 1 teaspoon of baking powder in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, combine seltzer and beer and start with one cup liquid, whisk into dry ingredients. Batter should be the consistency of heavy cream, add more beer seltzer mixture until you get the right consistency, keep batter chilled until use. Put 1 cup flour in a shallow bowl or plate and coat your fish completely in flour, then dip fish in batter allowing the excess to drip back into the bowl. Fry fish in the fryer until done. Serve with malt vinegar.
This is Bobby Flay's:

Fried Fish:
Canola or Peanut oil
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1 cup for dredging
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups beer
3 large egg whites, beaten to stiff peaks
3 pounds cod or haddock, cut into 6-ounce pieces
Lemon-Habanero Tartar Sauce, recipe follows

Then, there's Alton Brown

America's Test Kitchen

Cook's Illustrated


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  1. i'm anxious to follow this thread, because i love fried fish. that being said, i don't like the batter-dipped stuff (classic "fish and chips" style) so much as the simply dredged….and growing up in south florida, we always included some fine cornmeal in the dredge. is see that paula deen uses one cup cornmeal to four cups flour.

    the problem i've found with so many battered fish recipes (or preparations) is that the batter is goopy and not fully cooked next to the fish, or it falls off the fish!

    try making some hushpuppies in addition to the "chips" -- much tastier. ;-)).

    this john folse recipe sounds good
    and it reminds me that old community cookbooks from the south (and one i was just looking at from texas) says to brush french's yellow mustard on the filets before dredging -- giving a good savory flavor but no mustard flavor.

    1. This is a great resource on how to make fish and chips.

      1. When we fry lake smelts or calamari, we use only flour with a little cornstarch. Salt liberally once it comes out.
        My parents use cornmeal with pickerel.
        I am curious, too, to see what happens.
        What is the cause of the batter falling off. I wonder if dredging in flour first, then batter is better.

        1. I (We in the Deep Southern USA) fry lots of fish...Mostly fresh water varieties...Catfish, bream, bass, sac a lait/crappie/white perch and a few others in the Sunfish family....Some salt water varieties...Specked trout being my favorite. ~~ Cornmeal products rule here... batters (beer) or reserved for fried dill pickle slices!! :) ~~ I personally use Cream meal..a very fine grind of corn ~ Salt, & pepper the fish...and put some in the coating too. Sometimes just a touch of garlic is nice. Coat the fish and deep fry in hot peanut oil....generally until it floats! ~~ Yellow mustard can be brushed on before coating...keep it thin or the coating will be too thick. ~ Also fish can be coated with Louisiana type hot sauce prior to coating...The mustard nor the hot sauce is very pronounced in the finished product. I have even mixed the two together at times. ~~ I second the motion to toss the "Chips" for a change, and explore the world of Hush puppies....

          Have Fun & Enjoy!

          3 Replies
          1. re: Uncle Bob

            i love you uncle bob!

            are you my uncle? ;-))

            1. re: alkapal

              Aw Shucks ma'am....I'm kinda sweet on you too!! ;)

              1. re: Uncle Bob

                hey uncle bob, if you are ever in lake jackson, texas, do go and visit "sea center texas" --the largest saltwater fish hatchery in the free world. it is a great place to tour.

                i learned so much there, and one neat thing (among zillions of neat things) is that drums get their name from making a booming bass drum sound underwater in their schools. i also learned how whelks cut their way into oysters using the sharp edge of their shells.

                ps. i tried my first fried pickles in a seafood joint there in lake jackson, too! their cole slaw was excellent, and i aim to work out their recipe. it has mayo and sugar but no vinegar (lemon juice instead), and a great depth of flavor from cajun/creole seasoning, carrots, green onion, bell pepper, yellow onion (all onion/peppers ground in the blender) ;-).

          2. Just made fried fish tonight, with Cape Cod scrod that was on sale. It couldn't have tasted better, if I do say so myself.

            And I just happened to say to my husband, one thing I've learned, fish with egg wash and then just plain old bread crumbs strike me as the way to go. I've tried them all: batter, panko, pancake mix, whatever, but when I go back to breadcrumbs; it's always the winner. I clearly remember the moment I tasted some after a long abstinance and had an ephipany, as they say.

            I was getting ready to throw some fries in and remembered I had a bunch of spaghetti and clam sauce left over, so an easy meal overall. I would do fries with the leftovers, but there weren't any.

            1 Reply
            1. re: coll

              That tends to be the way I cook with egg wash and bread crumbs. Chicken fingers, veal scallopinne, eggplant. I was hoping for a battery type. HOWEVER, I will sacrifice a few pces to go that way and maybe do a taste test!