Growing up in New England, beer battered fish has always been an absolute staple. Being such a short drive from Maine, Coastal New Hampshire, and Boston has spoiled me. I have fond childhood memories of grabbing lunch at some of the most unassuming beach restaurants in Rye, NH, with some of the freshest fried fish platters I’ve EVER had. So good, it’s worth the hour drive. The closer to the ocean, the better it gets.
Beer battered fish has always been one of my favorite recipes to cook. I’ve experimented over the years with different beers and different methods, however I think I’ve honed in on the perfect combination/recipe.
Made with a hoppy, citrusy New England style IPA, this beer battered cod/haddock will literally melt in your mouth. The beer batter is incredibly light and simple, getting all of its flavor from a blend of malt and fruity hops.
The batter itself is only made with two ingredients (plus some spices for extra flavor). Beer and flour, whisked together to form a creamy and thick batter. Yes, no egg required. Thinner pieces of cod or haddock make for the best results, as it fries quickly and makes more room for the crunchy exterior in every bite. Also, smaller pieces are easier to manage and flip in the pan without falling apart. I’d stick to about 6-8 ounce portions.
How to Cook Beer Battered Fish
There are a few ways you can pan-fry beer battered fish. You can use a gallon of vegetable/canola oil and deep fry the fish filets, or you can use roughly 1 inch of oil in a cast iron skillet or dutch oven and flip halfway through. I personally like the latter approach—it conserves oil and makes cleanup easier (plus it renders the same result).
Season the filets with salt and pepper, dredge in flour, and then dip in the beer batter, transferring directly to the hot oil. It’s as simple as that, and even more delicious. This wouldn’t be your traditional New England beer battered fish and chips without a side of homemade rosemary fries. Don’t forget the ketchup and tarter sauce!Print
- 1 pound cod or haddock filet
- 12 ounce IPA or pale ale of your choice (citrusy, fruity, hoppy IPAs are best)
- 2 cups flour (plus 1/2 cup for dredging)
- 2–3 cups vegetable or canola oil (1/2 – 1 inch of oil in pan for frying)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- pinch of paprika
- salt and pepper to taste
- lemon wedges, for serving
- Pour 12 ounce IPA into a medium bowl, whisk in 2 cups of flour, one cup at a time, until smooth. Add garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. Whisk and let sit for 10 minutes while prepping the fish. Place 1/2 cup of flour on a plate. Set aside.
- In a large dutch oven or cast iron skillet, bring 1/2 – 1 inch of oil to 365° F. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, place on medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes until oil is hot (you can test by adding a small sliver of fish, you want it to simmer vigorously when fish is added).
- Meanwhile, cut the cod filet into 4 equal pieces, pat dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper.
- Dredge cod filets in flour, and then submerge in the beer batter. Let excess drip off and then immediately transfer to the oil. Fry each piece for 3-4 minutes per side, flipping once until golden brown.
- Place cod filets on a paper towel lined plate to drain for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with lemon wedges, ketchup, tarter sauce, and rosemary fries.