This week, we have a guest spot for my oft-mentioned friend Ginny — she did so much of the work for these, it’s only fair she should get to gush about them.  :-)  Here she is!

 

Hey everybody.  It’s become sort of common practice for Jennifer to pick my brain on cooking matters.  Now, I spent three and a half years working in restaurant kitchens, and that’s not the kind of work you do if you don’t honestly love it, so I am always happy to help.  So when she came to me looking for a new way to cook fish, I suggested batter-frying them, anticipating that she would merely say “Ah, OK” and make the suggestion into what she wanted.  When I was just met with an expectant look, I gleefully realized that here was an opportunity to teach.

Fish batter is exceedingly easy to make, and highly variable depending on what you want it to taste like.  Really, the only thing that must be worried about is the consistency of the batter.  Too thin and it will just run right off the fillets when frying; too thick and it won’t coat properly.  So my measurement for the egg and water mix is more of a guideline than anything else.  I suggest mixing in a little at a time until the batter looks like the proper consistency.

Another variation is to use beer instead of water.  Beer-battered fish is a classic thing, and quite delicious in my personal opinion.  (Though be sure to get the gluten-free variety!  GF beer is quite nasty to drink but the flavors lend themselves to cooking quite well.)  Perhaps Jennifer will let me do a post in the future on fish and chips for a true classic dish.

Finally, the spices and seasonings I have included in the recipe are simply guidelines.  Feel free to omit them or add as you please, though I recommend leaving in at least some salt.  We found the fish to be truly bland without it.

This will coat approximately 20 pollock fillets.  If fish is frozen, I recommend placing it in a ziploc bag, squeezing the excess air out, and placing it under cold running water.  They should thaw in no time.

Batter-Fried Fish

Yield:  20 fillets

  • 20 fish fillets or so, thawed
  • 1 c sweet rice mix
  • 2 1/8 t garlic powder
  • 2/3 t black pepper
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 t onion powder
  • 1/8 t red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 c water
  • 1 egg
  • oil for frying

Directions:

1.  Combine all dry ingredients in bowl and mix well together.
2.  Whisk together water and egg.  The egg should be well blended through the water.
3.  Add wet mixture to dry until desired consistency (thin pancake batter).  It is likely that you will not use all the wet mix.  This is fine.
4.  Add enough oil to a frying pan to cover half the fish and heat the pan on high heat.  The fillets should not float in the oil.  The oil is ready when a droplet of batter placed in it sizzles well.
5.  Cut fillets to desired size.  Make sure to cut the fillets against the grain.  We cut them on a diagonal but you don’t have to.  Pat the fillets dry.  This will become VERY important when frying.
6.  Coat the fillets in batter, allowing excess batter to drip off.  A little extra is fine, but you don’t want too much.
7.  Place battered fillets in the hot oil.  Here is where you will be very glad you dried them off.  I forgot to on the first batch and when the moisture on the fillet began to leak out through to cooking batter, the oil tried to spatter and burned me.  I dried the next fillets and the spatter was reduced to almost nothing.
8.  Fry until golden brown on one side.  This is something of a matter of taste.  It is difficult to burn these so long as you as paying attention, so it’s a matter of how crispy you want your fish.
9.  Turn fillets and fry till golden brown on other side.  Again, this is a matter of taste.  Once fillets have been turned, the fish should be mostly done, as long as the fillets aren’t too thick.
10.  Remove from oil and drain.  To check if fish is done, it should flake easily when fillet is broken.  Again, unless the fillet is very thick, enough time to cook the batter properly should be more than enough time to cook the fish.

Once again, with pictures:

Batter-Fried Fish

Yield:  20 fillets

  • 20 fish fillets or so, thawed
  • 1 c sweet rice mix
  • 2 1/8 t garlic powder
  • 2/3 t black pepper
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 t onion powder
  • 1/8 t red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 c water
  • 1 egg
  • oil for frying

Directions:

1.  Combine all dry ingredients in bowl and mix well together.
2.  Whisk together water and egg.  The egg should be well blended through the water.
3.  Add wet mixture to dry until desired consistency (thin pancake batter).  It is likely that you will not use all the wet mix.  This is fine.
4.  Add enough oil to a frying pan to cover half the fish and heat the pan on high heat.  The fillets should not float in the oil.  The oil is ready when a droplet of batter placed in it sizzles well.
5.  Cut fillets to desired size.  Make sure to cut the fillets against the grain.  We cut them on a diagonal but you don’t have to.  Pat the fillets dry.  This will become VERY important when frying.
6.  Coat the fillets in batter, allowing excess batter to drip off.  A little extra is fine, but you don’t want too much.
7.  Place battered fillets in the hot oil.  Here is where you will be very glad you dried them off.  I forgot to on the first batch and when the moisture on the fillet began to leak out through to cooking batter, the oil tried to spatter and burned me.  I dried the next fillets and the spatter was reduced to almost nothing.
8.  Fry until golden brown on one side.  This is something of a matter of taste.  It is difficult to burn these so long as you as paying attention, so it’s a matter of how crispy you want your fish.
9.  Turn fillets and fry till golden brown on other side.  Again, this is a matter of taste.  Once fillets have been turned, the fish should be mostly done, as long as the fillets aren’t too thick.
10.  Remove from oil and drain.  To check if fish is done, it should flake easily when fillet is broken.  Again, unless the fillet is very thick, enough time to cook the batter properly should be more than enough time to cook the fish.