25 January 2010

Perfect Fried Fish

On the one hand, it's kind of difficult to screw up fried food: delicious fatty hot oil goes a long way towards ameliorating what might lack. But a truly perfect fry-job is a real joy, producing food that is hot, flaky, and really does melt in your mouth. Such is the case with this preparation, courtesy of Alton Brown.


  • 1.5 lb. fish, cut into 1-ounce strips [cod is of course the best; also haddock and similar are good]
  • 12 oz. dark, malty (not hoppy) beer, cold [I used Duck Rabbit Wee Heavy Scotch Ale]
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 tbs. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne powder
  • cornstarch for dredging
  • lotsa vegetable oil for frying


  1. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cayenne pepper
  2. Whisk in the beer until the batter is completely smooth and free of any lumps
  3. Refrigerate for 15 minutes (the batter can be made up to 1 hour ahead of time)
  4. Heat vegetable oil in large cast-iron skillet to 350 degrees 
  5. Lightly dredge fish strips in cornstarch
  6. Dip the fish into batter, covering completely and immerse into hot oil
  7. When the batter is set, turn the pieces of fish over and cook until golden brown, ~2 min.
  8. Drain the fish on a rack
  9. Serve and enjoy (preferably with fries and malt vinegar)


Just perfect; the last fish-and-chips recipe I'll ever need.

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