Food/ Main Dishes/ Pescetarian

Cumin Beer Battered Fish With Jalapeño Tartar Sauce

This post is sponsored by Orca Bay Seafoods | Opinions are my own


Fish and chips always seemed like a “restaurant only” type of meal. Sure, my mum used to serve us breaded fish and fries straight from the freezer—complete with a farting bottle of ketchup—but that doesn’t count as fish and chips in my mind.

Crumby breading is not batter, and mushy “white fish” is not flaky halibut.

Luckily, fulfilling your fish and chips craving isn’t a difficult task, and as daunting of a task as deep frying may seem, it doesn’t take much time.

Confession: Until this recipe, I’d never deep fried fish before. Or anything for that matter. Vats of scalding oil have always terrified me with their deep abyss of golden sizzling hell. The mention of bringing such a thing to my stovetop always resulted in a resounding NO.

That is until I realized that if I ever wanted to crank out a solid fish and chips recipe, I’d have to get over it.

So here we are. These Cumin Beer Battered Fish and Chips forced me to put my big girl pants on, and friends, it was *so* sososo worth it.

I urge you to give this recipe a go! Y’know, just for the halibut.


PERKS: Get 15% off of Orca Bay products by purchasing online. Use perk code “KillingThyme” prior to checkout.
I receive commission for purchases made through links in this post.


Cumin Beer Battered Fish With Jalapeño Tartar Sauce.

Though the technique in this recipe stays true to tradition, the flavors clearly don’t. This is what happens when the Orca “baes” and I get excited about a recipe—we get brainstorming and end up taking things to a whole new level of awesome.

Adding cumin to the beer batter brings warm notes to the dish, and since I was using cumin, I figured I’d switch things up and replace the usual ketchup and tartar sauce with salsa and a kicked up tartar sauce that brings punchy and briny pickled jalapeños to the mix.

It. was. awesome.

The jalapeño tartar sauce was my creation, but the salsa pictured is Kelp Salsa from Barnacle, a company based in Juneau, Alaska.

Just imagine a wholesome, textured, and flavorful salsa made with fresh bull kelp harvested from the pristine waters of Southeast Alaska. Pretty nifty, amirite?

This salsa is available at Orca Direct along with other specialty goodies!

As for the beer batter, I used a wit. But any pilsner or lager will do.


Orca Bay’s Wild-Caught Halibut.

When choosing fillets for your fish and chips, you want a species that provides a mild and clean flavor with a moist and flaky texture.

Orca Bay’s wild-caught halibut is perfect for this. The portions are robust, skinless, and boneless, so the tedious work is already done. All you have to do is dip those bad boys in batter and (carefully!) place them in your fryer.

These sustainable fillets are harvested from the Northeast Pacific, so you can eat well and help the environment at the same time.

If you can’t find Orca Bay’s products at your local supermarket, don’t fret. You can purchase them at Orca Bay’s online store and get 15% off by using my perk code (KillingThyme) on any $50+ order you make.

If that doesn’t make your fish-eating easier, I don’t know what will!

If you make this dish, snap a photo and tag me on the Insta @killing__thyme! I love seeing your creations.

5 from 20 votes
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Cumin Beer Battered Fish With Jalapeño Tartar Sauce

Cumin is added to beer batter for a fun twist on a classic. To add to it, the golden crisp fish is served with salsa and a mouthwatering jalapeño tartar sauce.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Comfort Food
Servings 2
Author Dana Sandonato

Ingredients

  • 2 6 oz fillets of halibut
  • kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1-2 tsp cumin adjust to your taste
  • 6 oz wit beer can use a pilsner or a lager

Jalapeño Tartar Sauce.

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 TBSP pickled jalapeños, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp pickled jalapeños brine
  • 2 TBSP diced dill pickles
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard

Extras.

  • Salsa
  • French fries

Deep frying.

  • 24 oz cooking oil with high smoke point, such as vegetable oil, safflower oil, grapeseed oil, etc.
  • 1 large dutch oven, wok, or deep saucepan
  • 1 skimmer or large slotted spoon
  • 1 thermometer

Instructions

Preparing your deep frying pot.

  1. Place your Dutch oven over a burner. Fill the Dutch oven with just enough oil so that your fillets will be fully submerge; don't fill it more than 2/3 of the way.

  2. Heat the oil over moderate heat until you reach 375° F (keep a close eye on it with the help of your thermometer). While the oil heats, prepare your fish. (Note: Stay in the kitchen the entire time you're heating and working with the oil; never leave it unattended.)

Preparing the fish.

  1. Take the fish out of the fridge and out of it's packaging. Set it down on a plate lined with paper towels and, with more paper towels, dab it until it's dry to remove excess moisture. Sprinkle a bit of kosher salt over top and let the filets come to room temperature.

Cumin Beer Batter.

  1. Place the flour in a large bowl. whisk in the black pepper and the cumin. Slowly but steadily pour the beer into the batter, whisking until cohesive. Set aside.

Jalapeño Tartar Sauce.

  1. Combine all of the ingredients for the tartar sauce into a bowl and mix until thoroughly combined; set aside.

Deep frying the fish.

  1. Once your oil has reached 375° F, dredge a fillet of fish into the batter and carefully place it into the hot oil and allow to cook for 2-4 minutes or until the batter is golden brown. When your fish is done, it should have an internal temperature of 145° F. If you have room in the pot, repeat with the other fillet, but don't crowd the pot. I cook my fillets one at a time. Once each fillet is done, carefully remove with a skimmer or large slotted spoon and transfer to a cooling rack or a plate lined with paper towels to rid of excess oil.

Serving.

  1. Serve with a pile of crispy fries, salsa, and jalapeño tartar sauce.

Recipe Notes

** Please check out my segment "How to Deep Fry Fish on the Stovetop" for some useful safety tips!

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39 Comments

  • Reply
    Moroccan-Spiced Rockfish With Couscous Salad | Killing Thyme
    March 7, 2018 at 9:48 pm […] few weeks ago, I posted this indulgent Cumin Beer Battered Fish With Jalapeño Tartar Sauce featuring Orca Bay’s flaky halibut. I figured I’d balance things out by bringing you a […]
  • Reply
    Amanda
    February 27, 2018 at 9:47 am First of all, I am loving your photos. You've styled and photographed this shoot beautifully! Secondly, jalapeno tartar sauce is brilliant, and I bet it pairs so well with the cumin in the beer batter. Third, I need that salsa in my life! How unique! I don't think I've ever had anything like it. I'll be heading over to Orca's website to order some this afternoon.
  • Reply
    Donna
    February 26, 2018 at 11:22 pm Ok I may have turned into a 5 year old for a second, but I totally just spat my wine out laughing at your first paragraph :) I grew up in Ireland and then lived in Australia for 12 years before moving to the US. One thing both places do REALLY well is fish and chips, and I miss them SOOO much! I think I need to join you in putting on some big girl pants and deep frying that fish myself, because this sounds AMAZING!!
  • Reply
    Amy Nash
    February 26, 2018 at 1:26 pm I remember getting fish and chips all the time as a kid when we went out to eat, but I haven't had it in ages and ages as an adult. But this version totally inspires me! And my kids love halibut so it's high time I introduce them to one of my childhood favorites! Thanks for sharing this recipe!
  • Reply
    Helen @ Fuss Free Flavours
    February 26, 2018 at 4:57 am I do love good fish and chips made with quality fish and this absolutely hits the spot. I need that seaweed salsa in my life right now. Fabulous idea to serve seaweed with this .
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      February 26, 2018 at 9:23 am Thanks, Helen! I was really pleased with how everything came together here. The seaweed salsa was so tasty!
  • Reply
    Tina
    February 26, 2018 at 1:36 am I so so love this tex mex twist on a British classic, definitely saving this. Glad you made the dive with the deep frying. It definitely is a commitment but so worth it. It's really a treat, and your fish and chips looks amazing!
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      February 26, 2018 at 9:24 am Thanks, Tina! I love me a classic British-style fish and chips, but sometimes it's fun to play around :)
  • Reply
    Megan Marlowe
    February 25, 2018 at 8:26 pm I'm not sure where to begin with this amazing recipe. I love the addition of the cumin, as it's one of my favorite spices. The beer batter looks like perfection and that jalapeno tartar sauce had me singing this recipe's praises. I cannot wait to make this for this for myself and for the family, but really, just for myself! ;)
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      February 26, 2018 at 9:27 am Thanks so much, Megan! Cumin is *such* a great spice. Actually, I think it's the spice I run out of most often. And yes! The jalapeno tartar was ridiculous in the best way. I'm so glad it worked out. It married so well with the cumin in the batter. Haha, please do let me know if you make this for the fam (or for just yourself ;) ) <3
  • Reply
    Tracy Koslicki
    February 25, 2018 at 7:04 pm WHOA! Cumin Beer Battered and Jalapeno tarter sauce! This is NOT your normal fish and chips and I LOVE it. My husband would flip over this - pinning!!
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      February 26, 2018 at 9:28 am I guess I should have named this something along the lines of "Not Yo Momma's Fish n' Chips"! Haha.
  • Reply
    Julia
    February 25, 2018 at 10:22 am Just like you, I am terrified of deep frying. To be honest, I don't think I'll start deep frying any time soon. But I so wish I had a chance to try this deliciousness. The flavours of the batter and the sauce sound amazing. And the kelp salsa sounds so interesting and so unique! Did you deep fry the fries as well?
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      February 26, 2018 at 9:30 am Thanks, Julia! I baked the fries, just to make things easy and to ensure things were ready around the same time. But if someone is super deep fryer savvy, they may want to go big and deep fry ALL the things. If you do find yourself in the mood to give stovetop deep frying a shot, check out my "How to" in the Cooking Fish 101 section of my blog. I have some tips and tricks there that might ease your mind :)
  • Reply
    Lisa | Garlic & Zest
    February 24, 2018 at 6:14 pm Be still my heart! I love fish and chips, but like you -- never wanted to pull out the deep fryer to make it. Your absolutely mouthwatering photos are nudging me into it. Actually, I just made some fried oysters today -- so the fryer is already out! I've never thought to use cumin in fish and chips, but I think you've just bumped up the flavor a notch with that ingredient. Beautifully done!
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      February 26, 2018 at 9:31 am Thanks, Lisa! Oh man, fried oysters sound delicious. I'm pretty sure we need to have a deep-fried seafood party ;)
  • Reply
    Patty
    February 24, 2018 at 10:53 am We are fish and chips lovers and your recipe sounds so awesome, I need to try it a.s.a.p.! Love that you served it with tartar sauce, adding jalapeno to it is a great idea.
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      February 26, 2018 at 9:31 am Thanks, Patty! I hope you love it as much as I did <3
  • Reply
    LEah
    February 24, 2018 at 10:25 am Fish is just something we don't do a lot of. I do love it, and this sounds like a recipe I need to start up with! I love the spicy tartar sauce, and might just make that to put on everything, LOL!
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      February 26, 2018 at 9:33 am I think a lot of people pass on fish, even if they do love it, because it can be intimidating to cook. It overcooks so easily, but when people are used to cooking poultry on the reg, the idea of making sure your meat is thoroughly cooked is ingrained into your brain so cooking fish for less time seems risky. And overcooked fish is pretty much the worst. Haha. And yes! I honestly just want to make this tartar on the reg and slather it over anything and everything because DAYUM.
  • Reply
    Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy
    February 21, 2018 at 10:23 pm Well this beats any fish and chip takeout hands down. Beer battered fish is the best, and I love the taste of cumin. Kelp salsa...now that is a new one for me. I will have to see if we have it around here in Ontario.
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      February 26, 2018 at 9:37 am Thanks, Gloria! The kelp salsa was definitely awesome. Let me know if you do manage to find something like that in Ontario!
  • Reply
    Jennifer
    February 21, 2018 at 10:27 am I absolutely love deep fried fish. This halibut is perfection. Add jalapeno tarter sauce to it and sweet potato fries and I am in foodie Heaven. Yum!!!
  • Reply
    Brandy
    February 20, 2018 at 1:58 pm I never thought about putting cumin in the batter. That is such a great idea. That has got to taste outrageously delicious. I will do that the next time I make a batter like this.
  • Reply
    Sarah
    February 19, 2018 at 5:35 pm I really am terrified of frying anything lol, but I'll take your word for it! Maybe you can just deliver these to mah belly :D (and fried halibut?!!? omggggg)
  • Reply
    Sean@Diversivore
    February 17, 2018 at 12:53 pm I lol'd at the 'farting bottle of ketchup.' Haha. Soooo true. I'm with you, I've kind of always thought of fish and chips as a restaurant meal. There are a handful of foods that have always seemed either too specialized to do at home, or too difficult. Deep frying has always felt a little too terrifying to me, but lately I've had some success with it. It's a lot easier than I imagined it to be! So I have to say, this post feels very timely! Love the addition of cumin to the batter too - it's one of my favourite spices, and I can practically taste how it would work with the beer batter, firm halibut, and that awesome sounding jalapeno tartar sauce. Yes. Please. Awesome work Dana.
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      February 26, 2018 at 9:39 am Thanks, Sean! Haha, in my mind, you're not eating frozen fish sticks until you've made your bottle of ketchup fart :) I'm glad you've had some success with deep frying! Look at us, being all growed up.
  • Reply
    Rebecca | Let's Eat Cake
    February 16, 2018 at 6:44 pm Fish and chips is one of my favorite dishes and I love this spicy approach to making it at home. I'll have to get some Orca fillets and try it!
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      February 26, 2018 at 9:40 am Orca's fillets are so so good. They really bring frozen fish to a whole new level and they destroy the notion that frozen fish is low quality. I'm always super excited when I get a shipment. If you order from them, make sure to use my coupon code so you can get a discount! <3
  • Reply
    Patty @ Spoonabilities
    February 16, 2018 at 6:43 pm This looks amazing! I'm not much into fish, but I do love it fried :) And the flavors here... so amazing!
  • Reply
    Mary
    February 16, 2018 at 4:12 pm I tend to reserve deep frying for special occasions (for the same reasons you've avoided it), but it's never as bad as I fear! This recipe looks totally worth hauling out the vat of hot oil for! I love the addition of cumin!
  • Reply
    Leanne | Crumb Top Baking
    February 16, 2018 at 3:46 pm I rarely go for battered fish, but when I do, it's a definite treat. And this recipe is absolutely treat worthy! Love the cumin (and the beer!) in the batter and the jalapeno tartar sauce sounds so perfect! Oh, and I love your reference to the farting ketchup bottle!! That's a childhood throwback for sure!
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      February 26, 2018 at 9:42 am Thanks, Leanne! I'm with you. When I was a kid, deep fried seafood was a favorite. But I guess my palate has matured as I've gotten older. Now it's a *sometimes* thing, but dang. So necessary once in a while. Haha, I still laugh at the farting ketchup bottle. I guess I haven't FULLY matured :)
  • Reply
    Katie | HealthySeasonalRecipes
    February 16, 2018 at 3:44 pm Until a year ago I had major fear of frying at home too. But it isn't as big a deal as I thought it was going to be. And you're right, so worth it! This recipe sounds amazing and I love halibut, so knowing about this source is helpful!
  • Reply
    Joyce
    February 16, 2018 at 3:34 pm Farting ketchup was and always will be awesome. haha! Fish and chips is one of my FAVE foods but I never think to make it at home - now that I found this recipe, I can't resist! I love that your flavour your batter with cumin and that tartar sauce - I love everything spicy!
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      February 26, 2018 at 9:44 am Right? I'm so glad I'm not the only grown adult who still giggles at a farting bottle of ketchup. Haha. I hope you love this! Definitely keep me posted :) Thanks, Joyce!
  • Reply
    Joyce
    February 16, 2018 at 2:58 pm Fish and chip is soooo satisfying! Can't wait to try this recipe! :)
  • Reply
    Diane Galambos
    February 16, 2018 at 2:08 pm Ok. I'm inspired. I don't mind eating something deep fried, but have always hated to stink up my kitchen making it - but cumin in a beer batter - I may have to make an exception... Thx for a great recipe idea! Diane | Kitchen Bliss | FBC
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      February 26, 2018 at 9:45 am Oh Diane, I hear you. After frying this up, as happy as I was with the outcome, I had to throw the windows open and jump in the shower. You just can't help but feel like a greaseball if you're not used to indoor frying! but it *IS* worth it every once in a while, I will say that ;)

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