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Old 04-30-2011, 12:36 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, 03:23 PM   #2
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Kayelle,
What kind of oil do you fry in?
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Old 04-30-2011, 03:36 PM   #3
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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, 03:37 PM   #4
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Got it copied... Thank You!
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Old 04-30-2011, 03:50 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, 04:01 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, 04:44 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, 05:37 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? (:-)>

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Old 04-30-2011, 06:14 PM   #9
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Gonna try this for sure! Thanks!!
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Old 04-30-2011, 06:14 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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Old 04-30-2011, 07:32 PM   #11
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I copied, and will definitely try, too, Kayelle.
Cod, to start. Any other fish you recommend?
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Old 04-30-2011, 07:35 PM   #12
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[QUOTE=spork;995009]I copied, and will definitely try, too, Kayelle.
Cod, to start. Any other fish you recommend?[/QUOTE

Oh I love Cod, Spork!! Doing it with Orange Roughy tonight. Halibut is my all time favorite, but it's pretty spendy.
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Old 05-01-2011, 03:06 AM   #13
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Great batter recipe Kay, in north west yorkshire they traditionally fry fish and chips in beef dripping.I dont like it the Tykes have very strange taste the eat cows udder sarnies.
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Old 05-01-2011, 03:10 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaLou View Post
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.
Show your husband this pic Lou, it was taken in my Mums favorite chippyClick image for larger version

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Old 02-24-2020, 10:39 PM   #15
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It's been a very long time since I've fried fish, but this recipe is as good as it always was.

Thought I'd add this picture from dinner tonight.
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Old 02-25-2020, 03:52 AM   #16
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[QUOTE=Kayelle;995010]
Quote:
Originally Posted by spork View Post
I copied, and will definitely try, too, Kayelle.
Cod, to start. Any other fish you recommend?[/QUOTE

Oh I love Cod, Spork!! Doing it with Orange Roughy tonight. Halibut is my all time favorite, but it's pretty spendy.
My favorite fish for fish-n-chips is haddock, but I have a hard time getting it here.

Another way to get the benefits of beer, without the heavy flavor, is with club soda or sparkling water.

I use peanut oil, too, but it is pricey, so canola or corn oil works, too.

CD
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Old 02-25-2020, 11:22 AM   #17
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@Kayelle.
Your batter recipe is very close to the one I use. I do use beer but no lemon in the batter. Off the top of my head its 3/4 cup AP, 3/4 cup corn starch and around a cup of beer with a pinch of salt and baking powder.
This batter is very crisp (cornstarch) and works well with butterflied shrimp as well.
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Old 02-25-2020, 12:04 PM   #18
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Thanks, have to try this Kayelle
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Old 02-25-2020, 02:05 PM   #19
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My perfect fish batter was air. Let me explain. I was hingry for fish, but was tired from a long day of work. I went to the freezer and pulled out a beautiful, wild caught, steelhead fillet. I then heated my big wok with enough oil to deep fry it. I took tha fis, still frozen, and gently put it inro the hot oil. I deep fried it for ten minutes to allow thr fillet to thaw, and cook thrugh. I took it out of the oil and placed it onto a paper towel covered plate, and salted both sides. The texture and flavor was amazing.
The skin was crispy, like a crackling and was grand all by itself, not fishy tasting at all. The flesh had a very thin crispy surface that just enhanced the moist and firm flesh, with pure trout flavor. I have eatem lots of fish, dredged in flour, battered, coated, steamrd, poached, tempura, you name it.
But none were better than the straight, deep-fried fish, sans coating.

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Old 02-25-2020, 05:36 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayelle View Post
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

No soda water or beer? Sorry, but, I grew up with the best of the best fish batter and it always included either soda water or beer. And for pan frying, you gotta use 1/2 butter to 1/2 oil. The Lions, Rotary, the local electricity co-op all do fish fries and all their batter recipes include beer or soda water and a bit of corn meal. Most of us who grew up in MN don't need a recipe, we just need fresh fish! Sorry. I am being a snot today. A good friend's son died and my Dad won't pay to have all those bloody slides I had to go through digitized. But my Dad says "I'm loaded. I can pay for anything." Yeah, except my broken heart.

Okay. here's how we do it.

3 trays - pat the fish dry with paper towels.

Tray 1
Flour, corn starch, salt, pepper, dill, smoked paprika

Tray 2
Egg with beer or soda water, lemon juice

Tray 3
Crushed saltines, cornmeal, dill, grated lemon zest

On the stove

CI with equal parts butter and oil

Tray 1-Tray 2-Tray 3 back to Tray 2 to Tray 3. Let them sit for 10 minutes. Turn on the stove and heat the butter and oil. Drop the fish in, turn the stove down to medium. Cook for 5-6 minutes, flip, add more oil and butter if needed, cook another 4-5 minutes. Serve with fresh lemon. The fish should be golden brown and flake.
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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 [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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