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.
Simple Beer Batter
The batter itself is only made with two ingredients (plus some spices for extra flavor). Beer and all-purpose flour, whisked together to form a creamy and thick batter. Yes, no egg required. The only tip is to get all the lumps out and let the batter rest for 10 minutes before battering fish so the air bubbles can settle out.
Made with a hoppy, citrusy New England style IPA, this beer-battered cod/haddock will literally melt in your mouth. Pale ales and traditional IPAs work just as well. Just remember, deeper colored and more hoppy beers add more body and flavor!
Preparing the Fish
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 of fish.
Cod or haddock is usually sold in large, long fillets. This is perfectly fine and actually better. You can easily slice a large filet across several times into smaller individual portions ideal for frying.
How to Fry Beer Battered Fish
There are a few ways you can pan-fry beer-battered fish. You can use A LOT of vegetable or 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 results).
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 fries. Don’t forget the ketchup and tarter sauce!
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Simple and delicious beer battered cod or haddock made with a juicy, New England Style IPA.
- 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.
- Serving Size: About 1/2 lb piece of fish
- Calories: 366
- Sugar: 0.4g
- Sodium: 119mg
- Fat: 1.6g
- Saturated Fat: 0.1g
- Carbohydrates: 51.2g
- Fiber: 1.7g
- Protein: 28g
- Cholesterol: 65mg
Keywords: Beer battered fish, cod recipes, haddock recipes, fried fish