A year and a half ago, I discovered a local restaurant in Raleigh (part of a small chain) called Bartaco. Not only is it delicious, just about everything is gluten free, including the Baja (fried) fish tacos. I hadn’t had fried fish (or chicken) in nearly 8 years! It’s definitely my go-to place for lunch.
When I had my bakery, I made a pretty good number of donuts. They weren’t something I made all the time, because I didn’t have a fryer, but sometimes. I’d never fried much before, so this got me over the intimidation factor! (Hot oil + big pot = scary!) So when I saw this recipe for beer battered fish, I thought, “Ok, then! I can do that at home!” And I did.
- enough oil for deep frying, about 2″ in your pot/fryer
- 8 (4 ounce) cod or tilapia fillets
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour, for dusting the fish fillets*
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour*
- 1/4 cup potato starch*
- 1/4 cup tapioca starch*
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 bottle gluten free beer OR Club Soda (I used Omission Pale Ale)
- 1 large egg, beaten
* I used a cup4cup flour substitute rather than my own mix. I don’t keep a lot of GF flours around because they don’t last that long. The cup4cup type ones typically have xanthan gum, which mine did — I’ll use one without that next time, as it made the batter too thick. Trader Joes has a good one!
Add oil to a heavy pot to cover at least 2″. Heat to 350-365. (The original says 365, and that’s good if your fish isn’t too thick. If you have thick pieces, like cod can be, go in at about 350-355 so it will cook the fish without burning the batter.)
While the oil is heating, whisk your batter ingredients together. The recipe says the batter will be thin – mine wasn’t because of the xanthan gum.
Pat your fish dry, and cut into about 4″ portions.
Put the 1/2 cup of flour in a shallow dish.
When the oil has reached temperature, dredge your fish through the flour, then dip it into the batter, making sure it’s covered. Drop 2-3 at a time into the oil. Don’t crowd the pot! Even two pieces will drop the temperature of the oil 20 or more degrees. Too low a temp can give you greasy fish! If necessary, let the oil return to temperature before continuing the next batch.
Remove from the oil and set to drain on a paper towel lined baking sheet. Serve!
RP Servings: I had about 1.25 lb of cod, and we had enough for 3
RATING: 3 as written, 4 for method
First, let me say we ate it! We did have 2 pieces left, so we’ll see how that reheats tomorrow. But this was pretty easy, and the fish cooked nicely.
What we mostly didn’t like is that the spices were too heavy — the paprika made the batter so dark, it was hard to tell how cooked the pieces were, and while the flavor was ok initially, it got too strong the more we ate. The garlic was also too strong, but there wasn’t enough salt.
Secondly, we both felt that the batter was actually TOO light. The beer (or club soda) bubbles gives you a semi-tempura lightness, but putting a whole bottle of beer in made it kind of insubstantial (even though there was a good bit of batter on it). I will try maybe a half bottle of beer, and add some water or milk next time.
Once I get it tweaked, it will be a nice base batter for fish or chicken. Not that I fry often, but it’s sure nice to know I CAN!