Do you want to know the secret to a light, super-crispy beer batter? Well, here it is and it’s simple. I’ve used this secret for a recipe for Beer Batter Fish, but this batter can be used for anything you want to fry with a light, crispy coating.
Lately, I’ve been on a Fish ‘n Chips kick and that lead me to come up with a beer batter that is super light and very crispy. And even though I’ve used this batter for fish, it can be used for anything you want to fry; it would be perfect for vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, onions, mushrooms, asparagus, green beans, squash…you get the idea) and even little nuggets of chicken.
The oil you use to fry is the first consideration. A clear, relatively flavorless oil that can be heated to a high temperature without smoking is best for frying (peanut oil, cottonseed oil, vegetable oils all work well).
Of course, when you’re frying anything, the temperature of the oil is very important. If the oil is too hot, the batter will burn before the food is cooked properly. If the oil is not hot enough, your batter and the food will absorb the oil. For that reason, I always use a thermometer to ensure the proper oil temperature. I fried this fish at 375°F for 4-5 minutes.
What made the real difference for this recipe was the flour I used. For this extremely simple batter, I used rice flour and a lager-style beer. The rice flour makes such a crispy difference! The batter ratio is four parts flour to three parts beer, then add salt, pepper, and any seasoning you like. Just add the ingredients to a bowl and whisk until smooth.
In order to get the batter to hold to the fish, you want to dredge it in a bit of the rice flour before dipping it into the batter. Then, you’re set to fry.
You won’t believe the difference using rice flour makes in creating a really crispy, very light crust. I hope you’ll try it.
ps: Rice flour can be found in most major grocery stores. You can also look for “gluten-free” flour mixtures that will work also (since they are combinations of rice flour and other ingredients).
- Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- 2 cups rice flour
- 3 teaspoons salt, plus more for seasoning
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (12-ounce) can lager-style beer (or beer of your choice)
- 1 pound cod or haddock fillets, cut in ½ on an angle
- ½ cup rice flour, for dredging
- Malt vinegar, for serving
- In a large heavy-bottomed pan, or kettle, heat oil to 375°F.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt and pepper and stir to mix.
- Add the beer and whisk to a smooth batter.
- Spread the remaining rice flour on a plate.
- Dredge the fish pieces in the rice flour and then dip them into the batter, letting the excess drip off.
- Carefully lower the battered fish into the hot oil.
- Fry the fish for 4 to 5 minutes until crispy and brown.
- Using a slotted metal spatula, remove the fish from the hot oil and allow to drain on paper towels.
- Sprinkle with salt.
- Serve hot with malt vinegar or tartar sauce.