By Andrea Buckett
There’s nothing that compares to a crispy beer battered piece of Canadian white fish. This is a dish that I crave and while it requires a few tricks to make it crunchy, it’s easy to pull off at home. The beer that works best is a light lager and any great Canadian one will do the trick. To get beautifully cooked fish with a crunchy exterior requires a couple of tips. First, use a combination of wheat flour and corn starch to help create a sturdier, crispier batter. Secondly, Canadian canola oil heated to the correct temperature 375°F (190°C) allows the fish to cook perfectly while the batter takes on a gorgeous golden-brown exterior. Finally, eat it straight away, you won’t want to wait anyway.
For the fish:
- 4 (6 oz) pieces of boneless, skinless white fish (cod, haddock etc…)
- 1 tsp (5 mL) salt
- 2 Tbsp (30 mL) cornstarch
For the batter:
- 1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 Tbsp (20 mL) baking powder
- 3 Tbsp (45 mL) cornstarch
- 1 – 1 1/4 cups (250 – 300 mL) lager-style beer
- 8 cups (2 L) of canola oil for frying
- Cut each piece of fish in half lengthwise, creating long finger like pieces. Season with salt and dredge in cornstarch. Keep chilled in the fridge while you heat the oil and prepare the batter.
- Add the oil to a large Dutch oven and place over medium-high heat. Using a thermometer, bring the temperature of the oil up to 375°F (190°C).
- Mix all the ingredients for the batter together until you have a thick, pancake like batter.
- Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
- Remove the fish from the fridge and dredge a couple fingers in the batter and carefully lower them into the hot oil. Cook for 6-8 minutes, turning occasionally until the batter is golden brown. Remove the cooked fish to a paper towel lined baking sheet and season lightly with salt.
- Serve immediately with your favourite tartar sauce and coleslaw.
Tip: Change up the flavour of your fish by seasoning it with different herbs and spices before you batter it. Chili powder, Italian seasoning or lemon-pepper, sprinkled on the fish before it hits the batter are all great options.