Crispy Beer Battered Fish Recipe

Crispy Beer Battered Fish

Crispy Beer Battered Fish

Beer Battered Fish is a delicious simple recipe of fish fried in beer flavoured batter. Fish and chips are a traditional comforting British dish we all can’t help but love. In Britain, a trip to the seaside is never complete without eating fish and chips on the seafront. No matter the weather – rain, cloud or shine, grabbing a portion of fish and chips and then sitting along the promenade and watching the tide come in or out is a must!

Perfect flaky fish with crispy golden batter with a side of chips and onions rings (for me) and a tub of tartare sauce and I am in food heaven.  

The success of this dish rests on the batter and every chippy, pub, restaurant, region have their own ‘secret’ recipe, for tasty, light and crispy batter. The classic recipe for batter is simply made up of flour, salt, water/beer or soda, salt and pepper. I enjoy experimenting with beer, ale or carbonated soda as the carbonation in these drinks creates tiny air bubbles in the batter, which in turn leads to the lightest, crispiest coating, while a touch of turmeric (just my own personal touch) provides a deep golden hue. For this recipe, I have used chilled beer which gives the fish extra flavour, and the fizz in the beer makes the batter light, crispy and golden.

I have used cod for this recipe but haddock, plaice, halibut or pollock all work fine in this recipe- basically any ‘meaty’ thick filleted white fish is good.  This recipe is super simple and results in the best tasting, most crispy coated fish! The best thing about this recipe is that they stay crispy and crunchy for a while, so you don’t have to worry about the fish being soggy by the time you’re finished frying. The secret behind the extra crispy coating is the blend of plain flour and cornflour. The corn flour prevents the glutens in flour from developing, resulting in a crispier coating as well.


4 cod filet (cut into 4-5 inch strips- about 2 inch wide and 2 cm thick)
1 cup plain flour
1-2 teaspoons corn flour
Salt to taste
Pinch of turmeric powder (optional)
¼ teaspoon black pepper powder
200 ml cold beer
¼ teaspoon baking powder
Oil for deep frying

For Dusting
1-2 tablespoons plain flour
Salt to taste
Pinch of black pepper powder



Combine the flour, cornflour, salt, pepper, turmeric powder. Whisk in beer slowly to make a smooth paste, then continue adding beer, gradually, until the batter is smooth and creamy (pancake batter consistency- Don’t beat the batter too vigorously or the bubbles from the beer will burst. Whisk until just combined).


Mix the flour, salt and pepper for dusting.

Pat the fish really dry with an absorbent paper towel. Sprinkle some salt and black pepper. Dredge the fish in the flour to make sure it coats the fish well, shaking off any excess (This is an important step as the flour helps to absorb excess moisture from the fish).


Heat oil for frying. To test the temperature of the oil, using a teaspoon drop few drops of batter in the oil and if it rises to the top quickly then the oil is ready.

Add the baking powder in the batter and mix. Dip the fish in the batter, shaking off any excess. Fry the fish, flipping once and adjusting the heat as necessary, until golden brown and cooked through, about, 3-4 minutes. Remove from oil and drain on a kitchen towel or a cooling wire rack.

Serve immediately.

Tips & Variations

  1. Make sure to pat the fish dry as the batter will stick better.
  2. Scoop out any floating crumbs between frying the fish so you don’t end up with black bits stuck to the batter.
  3. If you have added extra beer, then just another couple of teaspoons of plain flour and vice versa with the beer. The batter should be somewhat thin, but thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  4. Instead of beer one can use any other carbonated drink like sparkling water, ginger ale, soda water or any other fizzy drink.
  5. I always use cold beer as it causes more of a reaction when the batter hits the hot oil, which in turn contributes to extra crispiness.
  6. Sometimes I add ¼ teaspoon of paprika for an extra flavouring in the batter. Dried/finely chopped herbs like rosemary, thyme, chives can also be added in the batter.

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