Beer-Battered Fish – Hugh Fearnely-Whittingstall

A good beer is said to be the best secret ingredient in creating a nice crispy batter. Alcohol, carbon dioxide, and foaming agents are the three components which make beer better than water or milk to make the crust light and crispy. Beer also adds flavor and gives a nice golden-brown to the fried food. Although the origins of beer batter are unknown, beer battered fish is said to be a traditional Scottish recipe. Beer batter is widely used in Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Britain, Ireland, Germany, Iceland, and Russia.

This recipe gives you a very simple beer batter seasoned with just salt and pepper. The oil added to the batter makes it stick well to the fish since it is not coated with flour. The crust is light and crispy while the fish stays moist and tender. This dish is perfect for parties, snacks or just having friends over for a catch-up session.


• 8 tbsp plain flour
• 2 tbsp groundnut oil
• 1 bottle (250 ml) beer
• ½ tsp salt
• ¼ tsp ground black pepper
• 2 cups of oil
• 1 lb squid rings
• 1 lb fish goujons


This recipe takes about 45 minutes to make. Serves 4 to 6.

Place flour in a large mixing bowl.
Pour in 1 tbsp oil.
Pour batter in 2 or 3 additions while stirring constantly.
Vigorously whisk until the batter is smooth and free of lumps.
Season with salt and pepper.
Let the batter rest for 30 minutes.
Heat the oil in a pan over high heat until it reaches 175°C.
Dip each piece of fish in the batter making sure it is well coated.
Gently drop battered fish into the oil.
Fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown.
Fry in batches so the temperature of the oil does not go down.

Ideas And Tips:

• If you are hesitant to add beer to your batter, you can still get a light crispy crust by using cold soda water or seltzer.

• You can also use the batter for shrimps, mussels, oysters, scallops, crab-sticks or onions.

• You may squeeze a lemon wedge on the fish or serve with any dipping sauce like tartare sauce, garlic aioli sauce, honey mustard sauce, ranch dip, blue cheese dressing, thousand island, sriracha sauce, Asian soy-based dip, teriyaki sauce or tempura sauce.

• Goujons are strips of 2″ x ¼” cut from fish fillets.

Beer-Battered Fish - Hugh Fearnely-Whittingstall
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