Fried Fish Recipe

Beer Batter Fish Fry Recipe

Who doesn't like the crunchy, rich flavor of deep-fried fish? In this recipe, the beer batter puts a light, crisp coating over the moist fish. Try it with any firm, white-fleshed fish. Freshly caught lake trout are nice, too. In the field, a coffee can over a campfire works fine (see Fundamental Shorelunch).

To serve four . . .

11⁄2 lbs. firm white-fish fillets

3/4 c. flour

1 tsp. each salt and pepper

dash of cayenne pepper

The batter:

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1 c. milk

1 egg

2 tbsp. beer

6 c. oil for frying

2 tbsp. dark sesame oil (optional)

» Rinse the fillets, pat them dry, and cut them into finger shape, about 3 inches long and 1 inch wide. Keep them cold until ready to fry.

» Whisk together all the ingredients for the batter until smooth. Allow the batter to rest for about 15 minutes.

» Combine the flour with the salt, pepper, and cayenne. Lightly dust a fish finger in flour, immediately submerge it in the batter, shake off the excess, and lower it into the hot oil. Fry each batch 3 or 4 minutes until golden brown. Remove to a plate and let drain on paper towels.

» Serve this classic dish with tartar sauce along with fat wedges of lemon, or with malt vinegar.

Tartar Sauce (makes about 13⁄4 c.) . . .

Whisk together:

11⁄2 c. mayonnaise

1 dill pickle, minced

2 shallots, minced

1 tbsp. capers, chopped

1 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

1 tbsp. fresh chives, chopped

1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 tsp. lemon juice

lemon wedges for garnish

malt vinegar

Orange Rum Marinade . . .

2 c. freshly squeezed orange juice; zest of 2 oranges; 2 tbsp. chopped mint; 2 tbsp. Grand Marnier liqueur; 1/2 c. Myers' Rum; 1/4 c. soy sauce; 1 tbsp. chopped garlic.

Cook's Tip: A nice variation on this, especially for strongly flavored fish like white bass and sheepshead, is to marinate the fingers before deep-frying. Combine the marinade ingredients, pour over the fish portions, then let sit for an hour in the refrigerator. Drain off the marinade, pat the fish dry with a paper towel, dip in flour then batter, and deep-fry, as above. Substitute water or 7-Up instead of beer in the batter mix, as the taste of beer clashes with the marinade. This also is a fine marinade for grilling.

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