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Old 04-30-2011, 01:36 PM   #1
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My "Perfect Fish Batter"

I've used dozens of recipes over the years, searching for the "perfect fish batter" for fried fish. The many variations of "beer batter" always fell short for me (kinda strange taste, but then, I don't like beer). Actual Tempura batter just didn't have quite the substance I wanted either, although it was closer to what I wanted. I can't even eat some of the gummy, nasty battered fish I've been served and have made. This is honestly the best fish I've ever eaten, bar none, and that includes everyplace on the Pacific coast I've paid to eat. This is light, puffy, delicate and sticks to the fish.
The fish must be very cold and very dry. This will batter about 1 1/3 lbs of fish fillets. It's wonderful for shrimp too.

My Perfect Fish Batter (IMHO) in my humble opinion

3/4 cup AP flour
2 Tbs. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. fresh snipped dill (optional)
3/4 cup ICE cold water
juice of half of a fresh juicy lemon (about 3 Tbs)

Use a med. bowl, and with a wire whisk, whisk dry ingredients to be sure they are well blended. Have a large skillet ready with and inch of veg. oil nearly smoking hot.
Squeeze half a juicy lemon into a measuring cup, and fill to the 3/4 line with ICE cold water. Mix quickly into the dry ingredients, till only small lumps remain. It does not need to be smooth. With tongs, drag each piece of fish through the batter till well coated on each side. Lay the piece in the hot oil, and continue.
Do not crowd the pieces. You can do this in batches, keeping cooked fish on a rack in a warm oven. It will take a very short time, depending on the thickness of the fish. Do not overcook. Serve with lemon slices

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Old 04-30-2011, 04:23 PM   #2
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Kayelle,
What kind of oil do you fry in?
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Old 04-30-2011, 04:36 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aunt Bea View Post
Kayelle,
What kind of oil do you fry in?
I like peanut oil the best Bea, but often have used just generic Wesson veg. oil.
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Old 04-30-2011, 04:37 PM   #4
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Got it copied... Thank You!
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Old 04-30-2011, 04:50 PM   #5
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I am going to give this a try minus the dill. In addition to the fish I have some bananas that may fall in.
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Old 04-30-2011, 05:01 PM   #6
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Thanks Kayelle! It sounds great. I also had the same problem with beer batters until I used "Wondra" and very cold, very dry fish. My husband is an Englishman so fish and chips along with Sunday Roast and Yorkshire Pudding are important -- LOL! Gosh, we continue to learn and create.

I grew up in Northern Michigan along Lake Superior (so you see the difference) where the basic fish batter for pan frying fish is 1/2 all-purpose flour -- 1/2 cornmeal plus your basic seasonings. Don't get me wrong it makes a light - crunchy fish batter and works great. Actually, some of the best fish I have ever eaten. I do believe it is due to the very cold water so the fish meat was always so firm.

Sometime just try a couple cups of Wondra with a light beer -- and a pinch of Kosher Salt until it is the thickness of cream. Refrigerate for 1 hour and then dip that very cold, very dry fish (Cod or Halibut) in and fry. I think you will be amazed at the difference in the light fluffy batter.
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Old 04-30-2011, 05:44 PM   #7
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You're very welcome Selkie.

Let us know how the bananas turn out Bea. Yep, dill would be weird with banana.

I like your batter ideas LindaLou. I soo agree that both the fish and the batter must be ice cold, and the fish very dry. However, the batter I posted shouldn't be refrigerated as it must be used as fast as you can get it mixed, the reason for having the pan ready to go before mixing. I bet you had some really nice lake fish in North Michigan.
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Old 04-30-2011, 06:37 PM   #8
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Kayelle;
If you use equal parts AP flour with cornstarch, and the remaining ingredients that you have, you'd have a dill-infused tempura batter. As is, I would thing your batter comes out very light. Good job.

Another trick I've used with fish, and chicken, is to combine 1 cup flour with 1/2 cup farina, then add salt, and pepper. Dip the fish in egg wash, then dredge in the flour/farina mix and pan fry in a couple inches of hot oil. The farina gives everything a light crunch.

Don't even get me started on usign panko bread crumbs. But you know the drill; cold-dry fish, flour, egg wash, panko, fry or bake. Yum.

Do I need to say that you can add shredded coconut to the breadcrumbs? (:-)>

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 04-30-2011, 07:14 PM   #9
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Gonna try this for sure! Thanks!!
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Old 04-30-2011, 07:14 PM   #10
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Thanks GW. A true tempura batter is too light for my liking however.
I also really enjoy a Panko breading as you described and that's a great idea about the coconut addition.....I'll keep that in mind. I see no reason why coconut couldn't be added, minus the dill, to my recipe. I bet it would be great with shrimp. Whatcha think?

You're welcome Hoot. Hope you like it.
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fish, recipe

My "Perfect Fish Batter" I've used dozens of recipes over the years, searching for the "perfect fish batter" for fried fish. The many variations of "beer batter" always fell short for me (kinda strange taste, but then, I don't like beer). Actual Tempura batter just didn't have quite the substance I wanted either, although it was closer to what I wanted. I can't even eat some of the gummy, nasty battered fish I've been served and have made. This is honestly the best fish I've ever eaten, bar none, and that includes everyplace on the Pacific coast I've paid to eat. This is light, puffy, delicate and sticks to the fish. The fish must be very [B]cold[/B] and very [B]dry[/B]. This will batter about 1 1/3 lbs of fish fillets. It's wonderful for shrimp too. My Perfect Fish Batter (IMHO) [SIZE=1]in my humble opinion[/SIZE] [SIZE=2]3/4 cup AP flour 2 Tbs. cornstarch 1/4 tsp. baking soda 1/4 tsp. baking powder 1/2 tsp. salt 1 Tbs. fresh snipped dill (optional) 3/4 cup ICE cold water juice of half of a [B]fresh[/B] juicy lemon (about 3 Tbs) Use a med. bowl, and with a wire whisk, whisk dry ingredients to be sure they are well blended. Have a large skillet ready with and inch of veg. oil nearly smoking hot. Squeeze half a juicy lemon into a measuring cup, and fill to the 3/4 line with ICE cold water. Mix quickly into the dry ingredients, till only small lumps remain. It does not need to be smooth. With tongs, drag each piece of fish through the batter till well coated on each side. Lay the piece in the hot oil, and continue. [B]Do not crowd the pieces. [/B]You can do this in batches, keeping cooked fish on a rack in a warm oven. It will take a very short time, depending on the thickness of the fish. Do not overcook. Serve with lemon slices [/SIZE] 3 stars 1 reviews
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