Posted by: gbdub | March 10, 2010

Friday Fry-Up… Beer Battered Cod

This recipe is the result of the harmonious convergence if two entirely unrelated forces in my culinary habits. Force the first: I’m using Lent as an excuse to build up a repertoire of vegetarian and fish recipes. Force the second: I have been addicted to fish and chips since visiting Australia a couple years ago and yet have never attempted to make them.

Deep fried beer batter is sort of like bacon in that it greatly improves essentially any food item you add it to. Including bacon. Anyway, here we apply it to some flaky, mildly flavored cod. Add a little lemon and some fried taters, and you’re in greasy nirvana. If you haven’t deep fried anything before, don’t be too afraid. Just don’t stick your hand in there, wear a shirt, be willing to clean up afterward, and get used to your kitchen smelling like a chip shop for a day or so.

Ingredients. Anytime a bottle of beer is an ingredient, you know you’re eating well.

Whip up an egg.

Add some flour, beer, and spices, and stir to a thinnish, very boozy-scented pancake batter

Cut your cod into manageable chunks.

Dust with flour…

… and ready your batter.

Get your oil nice and toasty (about 375°). This is almost ready.

Roiling pot of scalding goodness.

Holy crap that looks tasty. I mean, seriously, holy crap.

You can’t have fish without chips. Why not make them purple? Consider this a bonus recipe: Chop your taters into fry shaped pieces (bonus points for using purple potatoes). Soak in cold water for an hour (or more).  Deep fry at 325° for 6-8 minutes until soft and limp (Emeril’s word choice, not mine). Remove from oil, drain, and let rest for 10 minutes to 2 hours. Just before serving, heat oil to 350° and fry potatoes for another minute. They should get crisp and a bit puffy. Remove from oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

For you non-traditionalists, how about some onion rings? Use the same beer batter recipe. Soak sliced onions in buttermilk for at least an hour. Dredge in flour. Dip in batter, and deep fry at 375° for a minute or two until golden brown.

Whatever your choice of side, slap a lemon wedge on your fish and go to town.

Flaky. Crispy. Delicate. Drool-inducing.  You’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven (note 1: if you eat nothing but fish and chips, you likely will in fact die and go to heaven or whatever afterlife your religion or non-religion of choice dictates. Sibling Cutlery absolves itself of liability for any such results. note 2: if you NEVER eat fish and chips, you might as well be dead, because you haven’t lived).

Beer Battered Cod:


  1. 1 egg, beaten
  2. 1 cup flour
  3. 1 cup beer
  4. 1 tsp. garlic powder
  5. ½ tsp. fresh black pepper
  6. ½ tsp. ground cayenne pepper
  7. ~1-1.5 lbs. fillet of fresh cod or other white-fleshed fish (actually you could probably use salmon too. Just get some fish you like).
  8. flour, for dredging
  9. vegetable oil, for frying

In a medium bowl, combine egg, 1 cup flour, beer, and spices. Mix together until smooth. It should resemble a relatively thin pancake batter. Thicken with additional flour (1 Tbl. at a time) or thin with additional beer as necessary. Drink the remaining beer.

Heat oil to 375°. You need enough oil to completely cover the fish – more will hold a more consistent heat. Make sure you pot has a few inches of space above the top of the oil, as there will be some bubbling and splashing when you add the fish. Cut the cod into pieces of whatever size you like. I cut a 1.3 lb fillet into 6 pieces (1 cut lengthwise, 2 cuts crosswise). Pat dry with a paper towel. Dredge each piece in flour to coat. Dunk each piece in batter and transfer to the hot oil. Cook in a single layer (you may need to work in batches) for about 3 minutes, or until fish is a deep golden brown and cooked through.

Unused beer batter can be kept refrigerated for several days (as long as it doesn’t have raw fish in it). It will separate, so stir occasionally.

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  1. I am drooling and it is only 7:00 am. This looks great.

  2. I have found that Coopers Pale Ale is particularly nice but any slightly cloudy pale ale will do.

  3. I do intend to experiment with the beers – though Coopers is a bit precious over here to throw in batter. One of my favorite fish and chips, at Grizzly Peak in AA, is actually made with a very dark porter. Pale ale is also a natural choice. Actually, if you like pale ales, you need to visit the States – we make some wild ones over here, especially some of the west coast micros.

  4. Looks awesome. Gotta get Mom to try this!

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