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Old 04-24-2015, 11:03 AM   #1
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Good batter.

Hello Chefs. I could use a bit of advice please. I live in France and was recently persuaded by some French friends to provide them with 'English fish and chips' My wife has recently bought me a fryer and I thought I should christen it. The chips and the onion rings were great but I need a tip or two regarding the battered fish. I made a guiness batter and all was fine, the batter was crisp and didn't stick to the pan but by the time it was ready tot be served the batter had gone a bit soft. Not a complete disaster by any means but not as crisp as I would have liked it. As I said, the chips were great and the onion rings stayed crisp throughout. The meal was a success and one of the guests is a restaurant chef who was most complimentary. Any advice and guidance on how to make the perfect beer batter would be most gratefully received. I did make a delicious sorrel sauce to replace my home made tartare sauce if anyone wants the details please let me know.

Thank you for taking the time to read this somewhat long-winded note.

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Old 04-24-2015, 11:45 AM   #2
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Try holding the finished pieces in a 200° F (93° to 94° C) oven until ready to serve. That should help keep them crisp without cooking them any further. Also be sure to drain them well after frying. This doesn't mean that you can keep them in the oven for 2 hours. If serving "chips" with the fish, you can keep the fries warm in the oven the same way. Most fish and chips recipes I've read say to do the fish last.
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Old 04-24-2015, 06:16 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Green-Gecko View Post
Hello Chefs. I could use a bit of advice please. I live in France and was recently persuaded by some French friends to provide them with 'English fish and chips' My wife has recently bought me a fryer and I thought I should christen it. The chips and the onion rings were great but I need a tip or two regarding the battered fish. I made a guiness batter and all was fine, the batter was crisp and didn't stick to the pan but by the time it was ready tot be served the batter had gone a bit soft. Not a complete disaster by any means but not as crisp as I would have liked it. As I said, the chips were great and the onion rings stayed crisp throughout. The meal was a success and one of the guests is a restaurant chef who was most complimentary. Any advice and guidance on how to make the perfect beer batter would be most gratefully received. I did make a delicious sorrel sauce to replace my home made tartare sauce if anyone wants the details please let me know.

Thank you for taking the time to read this somewhat long-winded note.
In an ideal world the fish would come out of the oil, onto kitchen paper to drain and then onto the plate within minutes, if not seconds. Trouble is the world isn't ideal.

The only thing I can suggest is that you get everything ready and the diners sitting at the table before you start cooking the fish and then drain it on absorbent paper and keep in the oven until ready to serve.
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Old 04-25-2015, 03:36 AM   #4
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Good Batter

Thanks very much for taking time to reply with your advice. I will certainly take it on board.

Have a nice day.
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Old 04-26-2015, 10:01 AM   #5
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Think about why the batter tends to go soggy after a while.
The moisture in the fish is what causes the batter to go soggy. There are no other sources of moisture. Certainly the relative humidity in the air isn't a large influence.
Anyway.
The trick is to insulate the moisture in the fish from the batter.
Here's how: Thoroughly pat dry the fillets. Then dredge the fish fillets in flour first. Then LET THE FILLETS REST for at least fifteen minutes. The flour will absorb even more surface moisture this way. You'll see the flour has become 'gummy/sticky' on the fillets. You may have to do this twice depending on how much moisture is in the fillets.This is what you want. Then deep fry as usual.
This trick works for any meat that is coated with batter/flour>egg>crumbs like veal cutlets etc.
It works a treat when frying up basic hamburgers too.
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Old 04-26-2015, 12:01 PM   #6
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I have never had any luck holding crispy anything, in a warm oven.
For this very reason, when we make fried chicken, the first pieces are not as warm as the last pieces we took out.
If I were to put the cooked pieces in the warm oven, I would ruin the crispness.
I don't know how they do it in restaurants, but would surely like to know.
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Old 04-26-2015, 12:43 PM   #7
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Puffin nailed it. If you want to add a little crunch, add some uncooked farina to the batter, or simply make a seasoned flour coating for the fish, using panko breadcrumbs, and a little salt and pepper. Dip the fish in flour, then in egg-wash, and then in the seasoned breadcrumbs. Let sit for five minutes to really glue the coating to the fish. Deep fry until golden brown.

If your fish is thick steaks, especially salmon or trout, and you want to try something different, leave the skin on and freeze the fish. Drop the frozen steaks into the hot oil, without coating them at all. Cook for ten minutes. The skin will be crispy and wonderful. The flesh will have a thin layer of crispyness, with the inside cooked all the way through and yummy. Season the fish with salt after it comes out of the fryer. I did this and it make some of the best steelhead trout I've ever eaten.

Lastly, cut the fish into inch thick cubes. Dip them into Tempura batter and deep fry until golden brown. Serve immediately with whatever sauce suits you taste. Might i suggest tomato catsup mixed with horseradish and powdered mustard, or a good sweet & sour sauce?

I am not a huge fan of beer batter as it can be soggy, and is so heavy as to disguise the fish flavor. Beer battered fish is a Friday night even where I live, served in nearly every restaurant and private club in town. As far as beer batters go, you won't find it more prevalent than in Sault Ste. Marie, MI.

Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North

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Old 04-26-2015, 01:18 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Chief Longwind Of The North View Post
Puffin nailed it. If you want to add a little crunch, add some uncooked farina to the batter, or simply make a seasoned flour coating for the fish, using panko breadcrumbs, and a little salt and pepper. Dip the fish in flour, then in egg-wash, and then in the seasoned breadcrumbs. Let sit for five minutes to really glue the coating to the fish. Deep fry until golden brown.

If your fish is thick steaks, especially salmon or trout, and you want to try something different, leave the skin on and freeze the fish. Drop the frozen steaks into the hot oil, without coating them at all. Cook for ten minutes. The skin will be crispy and wonderful. The flesh will have a thin layer of crispyness, with the inside cooked all the way through and yummy. Season the fish with salt after it comes out of the fryer. I did this and it make some of the best steelhead trout I've ever eaten.

Lastly, cut the fish into inch thick cubes. Dip them into Tempura batter and deep fry until golden brown. Serve immediately with whatever sauce suits you taste. Might i suggest tomato catsup mixed with horseradish and powdered mustard, or a good sweet & sour sauce?

I am not a huge fan of beer batter as it can be soggy, and is so heavy as to disguise the fish flavor. Beer battered fish is a Friday night even where I live, served in nearly every restaurant and private club in town. As far as beer batters go, you won't find it more prevalent than in Sault Ste. Marie, MI.

Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North

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MUCH better everything on the Canadian side of the river of course! LOLOL
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Old 04-26-2015, 01:21 PM   #9
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MUCH better everything on the Canadian side of the river of course! LOLOL
Unless you're eating at my house.

Seeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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Old 04-27-2015, 12:59 PM   #10
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Smile Good batter.

Hey you guys (gals?) thank you so much for all your suggestions I will definitely be trying Puffin's idea, great stuff. I can understand why this forum is so popular with help like this coming from arouns he world.
Thank you.
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