Crispy Beer Battered Fish

By Jeri Mobley-Arias
May 23, 2022 | Updated on March 8, 2024

This crispy beer battered fish recipe is one of my favorites. Made with flaky cod that is fried and wrapped in a flavorful, light and crispy beer batter. The best part? The delicious homemade dilly tartar sauce that really brings this crispy beer battered fish home.

If you are looking for more fried seafood recipes, then check out my Honey Walnut Shrimp, Beer Battered Fish Tacos and Crispy Fish Sandwich recipes, next!

crispy-beer-battered-fish

Crispy Beer Battered Fish

Sometimes we have fish Fridays at home, and when we do, I always go for this crispy beer battered fish recipe. The crunchy beer battered coating plus the flaky, tender cod really makes crunchy fillets of goodness irresistible.

Growing up, my mom would take me to Long John Silvers, an American seafood fast-food chain. I would always get the fish and chips basket with the hushpuppies.

Each visit was a special treat, and I especially loved dunking the fish into the sauces before taking a –I’m a sauce girl, what can I say?

Fast-forward to today, I still enjoy indulging in these crispy, tender and flaky pieces of fried goodness, but I prefer to make my own.

I’m excited to share this recipe because not only does it promise big on flavor, but the recipe is straightforward and easy to follow.

What Type of Fish Should You Use?

My go-to fish for making crispy beer battered fish will always be cod for its light and flaky texture that goes incredibly well with with the light and crispy beer batter.

Curious about other types of fish you can use? Cod, haddock and orange roughy are also great choices.

crispy-beer-battered-fish-tartar-sauce

What Type of Beer Should You Use For Crispy Beer Battered Fish?

Go for a Mexican lager or light lager. I typically go for a can of Modelo or Tecate. Whichever you choose, just make sure it’s cold. Bonus: you can treat yourself to what’s left in the can!

Oh, and if you’re worried about the alcohol content in the beer, don’t worry; it will cook off during the frying process.

Ingredients You Will Need

Making beer battered fish requires only a handful of ingredients-most of which are seasonings-and is a lot easier to whip up than you think. This section details what you will need to make this recipe, the use of each ingredient, and substitution options. For the exact measurements, see the recipe card below.

Now let’s talk about the crispy batter for the fish. The secret to getting light and crispy fried fish is the addition of baking powder.

beer-battered-fish

After adding and mixing the batter ingredients, tiny gas cells form which later expands and rise once added to the hot oil, creating a lighter and airy texture. The result is a light and airy texture that with the perfect amount of crunch.

Now for the sauce. This dill-and-caper-forward tartar sauce is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. It’s creamy, full of texture, herbaceous, and briny all at the same time and I absolutely love it! Try your hand at this tartar sauce recipe and you’ll never go for the store-bought bottle again.

Here’s what you will need:

Beer-Battered Fish

  • Flour
  • Baking powder
  • Paprika
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Old Bay seasoning
  • Kosher salt
  • Beer, preferably Mexican lager

Tartar Sauce

  • Good quality mayonnaise
  • Capers plus brine
  • Fresh dill
  • Shallots
  • Lemon
  • Sweet Relish
  • Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt
  • Garlic
crispy-beer-battered-fish-batter

How To Make Crispy Beer Battered Fish

You are just steps away from making the best beer battered fish. Now let’s get into the how-to:

Beer-Battered Fish

  1. To a mixing bowl, add flour, baking powder, paprika, old bay, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt. Whisk to combine ingredients. Next, add cold beer and mix smooth. Do not over-mix, small lumps in batter is okay. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare a baking rack on top of a rimmed baking sheet. Add oil to a dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot until it measures 1½ inches deep. Heat until oil reaches 375°F or when oil appears shimmery.
  3. Pat cod dry then season both sides with salt and pepper. Dip cod fillets into batter, one at a time, then use a fork to remove from batter, allowing excess batter to drip back into the bowl.
  4. Add cod to oil, a few pieces at a time. Careful to not overcrowd the dutch oven. Maintain a temperature of 350°-375°F.
  5. After 4-5 minutes or when batter is golden brown, use a spider strainer to remove pieces from oil and place on wire rack.
crispy-beer-battered-fish-frying

Tartar Sauce

  1. Simply add all ingredients to a bowl and mix until well combined.
  2. Place in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Best when made one hour before starting on the fish.
tartar-sauce

Watch How to Make It

What to Pair with Beer Battered Fish

What’s crispy fried fish without a solid dip? I always pair beer battered fish with my homemade, dill-forward tartar sauce (recipe below!), malt vinegar, and a squeeze of lemon.

If you have not had malt vinegar before, it is a type of vinegar that is made with malted grains of barley. It has a unique astringency, deep brown color and goes incredibly well with beer battered fish.

If you have had fish and chips before, you have probably tasted malt vinegar. Either way, when making this recipe, get your hands on a bottle and thank me later.

Another great and obvious pairing is french fries. I cut corners and go for frozen french fries and then toss them in the air fryer for a few minutes, and there you have it–fish-and-chips.

In a sandwich mood? Slap a fillet between two buns slathered with my homemade dilly tartar sauce and enjoy!

crispy-beer-battered-fish-recipe

Tips for Making the Best Crispy Beer Battered Fish

  • Place cooked cod on a wire rack to drain remaining oil. If you place cooked fillets on a paper towel, the batter will turn into a soggy mess.
  • Make sure the oil is hot. If the oil is not hot enough, you will end up with soggy pieces. If the oil is too hot, you will end up with crunchy and possibly overcooked batter and undercooked fish. I aim for 375°F then maintain a range between 350°F – 375°F while cooking.
  • Go for fresh, not frozen fish. If possible, visit your local fishmonger and go for the freshest fish you can get your hands on.
  • Cut cod into 3-inch long pieces. This will ensure even cooking and roughly 3-4 minutes cooking time for each fillet.
  • Do not to crowd or stack pieces of fish when frying. Fry only a few pieces at a time.
  • Pat fish dry prior to seasoning with salt and pepper to remove excess moisture.

Looking for More Seafood Recipes?

Try these favorites:

Loving This Recipe?

There’s a reason why we can’t get enough of this crispy, flaky goodness! Leave a comment below and share your love for this recipe on Instagram and Pinterest. We love to see you get down in the kitchen. Happy eating!

crispy-beer-battered-fish

Crispy Beer Battered Fish

5 from 10 votes
This crispy beer battered fish recipe is one of my favorites. Made with flaky cod that is fried and wrapped in a flavorful, light and crispy beer batter. The best part? The delicious homemade dilly tartar sauce that really brings this crispy beer battered fish home.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 people
Author Jeri Mobley-Arias
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Seafood

Equipment

  • Kitchen Thermometer
  • Dutch Oven
  • Wire Rack
  • Baking Sheet
  • Spider strainer

Ingredients

Tartar Sauce

  • ½ cup quality mayonnaise, I use Hellman's
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 2 tablespoons shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons capers coarsely chopped
  • tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped
  • teaspoons sweet relish
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • teaspoons caper brine
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt or to taste, I use Diamond Crystal
  • teaspoons lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

Crispy Beer Battered Fish

  • 1 pound cod fillet, cut into 3-inch long pieces
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon old bay seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • teaspoons kosher salt, Diamond Crystal brand, plus more for fish
  • 1 cup Mexican lager, I use Modelo plus more if you prefer a thinner batter
  • Oil for frying
  • freshly cracked black pepper, for fish

For Serving

  • Lemon wedges
  • Malt vinegar
  • French fries

Instructions

Tartar Sauce

  • Best if made one hour before frying fish. Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Crispy Beer Battered Fish

  • To a mixing bowl, add flour, baking powder, paprika, old bay, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt. Whisk to combine ingredients. Next, add cold beer and mix smooth. Do not over-mix, small lumps in batter is okay. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prepare a baking rack on top of a rimmed baking sheet. Add oil to a dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot until it measures 1½ inches deep. Heat until oil reaches 375°F or when oil appears shimmery.
  • Pat cod dry with a paper towel then generously season both sides with salt and pepper. Dip cod fillets into batter, one at a time, then use a fork to remove from batter, allowing excess batter to drip back into the bowl.
  • Add cod to oil, a few pieces at a time. Careful to not overcrowd the dutch oven. Maintain a temperature of 350°-375°F.
  • After ~5 minutes or when batter is golden brown, use a spider strainer to remove pieces from oil, place on wire rack and immediately finish fried fish with salt (optional).
  • Repeat until all pieces are fried.
  • To serve, plate fish and squeeze lemon juice over pieces. Enjoy with tartar sauce, malt vinegar and french fries (if so you choose to).
Did you make this recipe?Leave a comment below and tag @whisperofyum on Instagram and hashtag it #whisperofyum!
crispy-beer-battered-fish

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16 Comments

  1. Jimmy D says...

    5 stars
    We fried up some Redfish with the Beer Batter. My Grandmother, Mother, Sister, the Wife & Daughters all gave it a thumbs up.
    And I was able to make it Gluten Free!!!

  2. MerryChristmas Claus says...

    5 stars
    Tartar sauce was perfect. But the fish, omg. It was the best I have ever had. The batter was thin and light. I had to use Michelob ultra beer because it’s what I had so it took almost two cups instead of one. Also, I used self-rising flour and added the baking powder, etc.

    The only thing that I might mention is in the recipe it does not list paprika. However, in the instructions it says to add the paprika. So I did! It was perfect. I have never had such a light, crunchy, batter that stuck to my fish the way it’s supposed to. I didn’t just save the recipe, it’s on my phone main screen so I can get to it whatever I want it.
    My husband actually raved about how crispy, light, delicious the fish was. He’s not a tartar sauce person but said it was very good.

  3. Stacy says...

    5 stars
    Best Tartar sauce that I’ve ever had and the batter was delicious too! I’ve never made more moist or delicious fish. The batter was very light and crisp, similar to a tempura batter. Outstanding!

  4. Zoe says...

    5 stars
    Perfect light and crispy breading. I loved the flavor of the batter too. Your take or tartar sauce is my new favorite. Thanks for a great recipe.

  5. Patrice says...

    5 stars
    Loved it. The flavor of the batter was perfect and also light and crispy. I’ve made it three times already.

  6. James says...

    5 stars
    My new favorite beer battered fish recipe. Flavor of the batter is great and wow, the tartare sauce was excellent. 100% making again

  7. Kristin says...

    5 stars
    Excellent recipe and great tips. My husband and I loved this!!! The seasoning was spot on for the batter. I did use an Aussie beer instead of Mexican but it was still great.

  8. Cassandra says...

    5 stars
    I love your recipes and this one did not disappoint. I loved how light and crispy the batter was and your tips were very helpful. Can’t wait to make again.

  9. Jenna says...

    5 stars
    Yum! I saw your recipe featured on food52 and had to try it. The batter was light and crispy just as you described. The best part was dipping it into the dill tartar sauce. Superb. Thanks for this awesome recipe.

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jeri-mobley

Hey, I'm Jeri!

At Whisper of Yum, we explore ALL cuisines - comfort foods, classics, elevated originals. If you love food like me, I invite you to settle in to this place, where swoon-worthy food is attainable + inspo for your next meal awaits.

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