Beer Battered Fish

, from Issue #40. February, 2016
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Beer Battered Fish

We tend not to deep-fry food very often these days, but properly cooked, battered fish is one of life’s pleasures. The crucial point is to have the oil at the correct temperature; if it isn’t hot enough the batter will be soggy and oily. What you want is a crisp, golden coating that seals in all the moisture of the fish.

Serves: 4


500 grams small fillets of gurnard

1 ¼ cups plain flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 x 330 ml bottle dark beer, (I used Guinness)
1 tablespoon canola oil

To cook
½ cup plain flour
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
canola oil


Batter: Put the flour and salt in a large bowl and gradually whisk in the beer and oil to make a smooth batter.

To cook: Put 6 cm of canola oil in a heavy-based, medium-sized saucepan and heat to 180˚C on a sugar thermometer or until a piece of bread dropped into the oil turns golden within 30 seconds.

Cut the fish into 10 cm pieces and dry with kitchen towels. Put the flour in a shallow dish and season well. Working with 2-3 pieces of fish at a time, coat in the flour, shaking off the excess then dip into the batter letting the excess drip back into the bowl. Carefully place in the oil and cook for 2-3 minutes turning once during cooking. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of the fish. Drain on kitchen towels and sprinkle with a little sea salt. Place on a wire rack in a warm oven while you cook the remaining fish. Serve with the Green Goddess Sauce  or Lemon and Harissa Aioli