Beer battered fish is definitely one of my all-time favourite once in a while treats. Delicate, moist, and flaky white fish found in the centre of a crispy golden batter – sounds pretty hard to pass up!
Now, I know the old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. And there was never anything wrong with a plain ol’ classic beer batter, but I have a hard time resisting temptation to try new things.
I’m not sure where I got the idea for this, but I thought spicing the batter up with some cumin might work well. And, my stars, it’s a hit!
The cumin is the reason the batter is darker than usual, so when you’re deep frying, don’t panic and think you’ve burnt the batter. The deep brown hue is perfectly normal.
For the fish
- Vegetable oil for frying (the amount depends on your fryer, but have enough to fill your fryer half way)
- 1 cup of flour
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 cup of beer
- 2 lbs. of white fish fillets (here I used haddock, but you could also use cod or hake)
- 1 heaping tbsp of cumin
- 1/2 tsp of paprika
- 1/2 tsp of sea salt
- 1 cup of mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 full scallion, chopped
- 1.5 tsp of lemon juice
- 2 tbsp chopped dill gherkins
- 1 tbsp capers, rinsed and chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Combine the tartar sauce ingredients and set aside. The tartar sauce still tastes great with the cumin batter! Then again, I could find any reason to dip something into tartar sauce, so maybe that’s just me.
Fill your deep fryer half-way with vegetable oil and heat to 375 degrees F. Next, set a strainer over a pan. Place 2 or 3 sheets of paper towels on a plate to further remove excess grease.
Mix the flour with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Whisk in the egg. Slowly add the beer while whisking. Finally, add the cumin and the paprika.
Bring the batter and the fillets to the deep fryer.
Dunk the fish through the prepared batter and very carefully drop a small amount of battered fish pieces into the deep fryer. If too many fish are cooked at once the batter won’t crisp properly. Then everything is ruined!
If you don’t want to use a basket when cooking fish in the deep fryer (since the batter may stick to the basket) you don’t have to. I do, because the last thing I want to do is fish around for my food in hot oil. No thanks. However, I have found that if you set your basket so that it is partially in the oil, if the batter hits the oil before the basket, sometimes it cooks enough to not stick before it even hits the basket. That’s how hot deep fryer oil is, ladies and gents. Remember that any time you are near that thing. (In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a little afraid of deep fryers).
Fry the fish for approx. 4 -5 minutes, or until the fish pieces float to the top/are golden brown. It’s harder to recognize a ‘golden’ colour with the cumin batter, so aim for more of a bronze colour. If you aren’t utilizing a basket, use a slotted spoon or tongs to remove the fish from the hot oil (and be extremely careful!), and place them in the strainer. Continue to fry the rest of the fish the same way until you are done.
Move the drained fish from the strainer to the paper towel covered plate. When all the fish pieces have finished cooking, serve with your choice of chips and enjoy!