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Beer Battered Fish


Main Ingredients

  • Boneless Skinless Fish Fillets
  • 1 Lemon
  • Malt Vinegar
  • Canola Oil


  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Dill
  • 1 Bottle of Cold Beer (dark like Guinness is best)
  • 1/2 Cup of Cold Milk
  • 2 Eggs

Tartar Sauce

  • 1 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp Diced Dill Pickle (or Dill Relish)
  • 2 Tbsp Dill Pickle Juice
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Minced Onion
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste


Mix tartar sauce with a whisk at least one hour in advance, preferable a day in advance to marry the ingredients.  Allow it to sit in the refrigerator to marry the ingredients.  Whisk it again prior to serving.

Rinse fish in cold water and pat dry with paper towels to remove any water from the fish.  Cut each piece of the fish to the same thickness.

In a large bowl mix the batter, slowly whisking in the beer until you have a thick consistency.  It should take about 1/3 of a bottle of beer.  Mix the fillets in the batter and let them sit in the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes.


Deep Fryer

Heat your oil a deep fryer to 350 or 375 degrees.  Slowly lower the fish into the oil in batches so the fish doesn't drop the temperature too much.  Fry until golden brown, usually about 8-9 minutes.  Check for doneness.

Frying Pan

If using a stovetop pan you can fry the fish in about a half of an inch of oil on medium-high.  Fry until golden brown.  You have to flip the fish half-way through.  Check for doneness.

Serve with lemon wedges, tartar sauce, and malt vinegar.  Traditionally served with fries (fish 'n' chips).


Folks traditionally beer batter flaky white fish like cod or haddock.  I've tried just about everything including trout, kokanee, mackinaw striped bass, salmon and sturgeon.  Pretty much any kind of fish tastes great beer battered.  Don't use bitter beer like pale ale.  Stick with sweet stuff like brown ales or stouts.

When using a deep fryer, shake the basket right after adding the fillets so the batter doesn't stick.  You can also move each piece with tongs a few seconds after dropping them in to keep them from sticking.  Better yet, leave the basket out.  Another technique is to use a pair of tongs to transfer each piece into the hot oil.  Hold it and swish it back and forth a few times before you let go.  This forms a crispy skin that keeps it from sticking to the bottom of the fryer.

Some folks roll the fillets in flour before adding to the batter so it sticks better.  You shouldn't need to do this if your batter is thick and your fillets are patted nice and dry.

The trick to getting really crispy fillets is making sure the batter is really cold before adding the fish to the oil.  Don't let the batter sit at room temperature - make sure it is chilled.  You can make the batter a day in advance if needed (some folks prefer this).  If you are really prepared, you will mix up the batter and tartar sauce a day early, making the night of the fish fry a little easier.