Crispy Beer Batter Fish & Chips


Virtually every beer-battered fish recipe looks crispy coming out of the fryer, and some even stay crispy for a few minutes, but then the inevitable sogginess sets in. Well, with this simple formula, and a few easy tricks, you can achieve a fried fish where the last bite is as crisp as the first. The keys are keeping your batter really cold and patting your fish really dry. Serve over a bed of salt 'n vinegar chips with tartar sauce and lemon.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
25 mins
4 servings


For the Batter:

  • 1 cup self-rising flour

  • 2 tablespoons rice flour

  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder

For the Fish:

  • 4 (6 ounce) cod fillets, fully thawed if frozen

  • 2 tablespoons rice flour, or as needed

  • salt to taste

  • 1 cup lager-style beer, or more as needed

  • vegetable oil for frying


  1. Whisk self-rising flour, rice flour, and baking powder together in a bowl. Freeze until ready to use.

  2. Pat fish as dry as possible. Cut pieces lengthwise to get eight 1-inch thick strips. Place rice flour on a plate and season with salt. Dust fish lightly with the mixture and shake off excess. Cover a plate with crinkled foil to make a quick drying rack; place fish on top.

  3. Heat oil in a deep-fryer to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

  4. Pour beer into the flour mixture and whisk, adding more as needed, until batter is the consistency of thick pancake batter. Dip fish pieces into the batter to coat; lift out and let excess drip off.

  5. Fry fish in batches until golden brown, dunking occasionally if needed, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Serve immediately.

    close up view of Crispy Beer Batter Fish & Chips with sauce in a bowl
    Chef John

Chef's Notes:

Use any white fish or any seafood you like; just make sure to pat it very dry especially, if it's thawed from frozen.

To make self-rising flour, just mix 1 cup all-purpose flour with 1 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp fine salt. Cornstarch or potato starch will also work in place of the rice flour.

If you do want to season yours differently, you can apply whatever you want directly to the fish before it goes in the beer batter. Keep in mind that salt draws out water, so don't go too heavy, and make sure your fish is as dry as possible before it gets dunked into your ice-cold batter.

If you make your batter ahead, which is fine, be sure to keep it in the fridge, and if you're making lots of portions, maybe place the batter over a bowl of ice, so it stays cold as you fry.

Editor's Note:

We have determined the nutritional value of oil for frying based on a retention value of 10% after cooking. Amount will vary depending on cooking time and temperature, ingredient density, and specific type of oil used.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

503 Calories
22g Fat
43g Carbs
27g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 503
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 22g 28%
Saturated Fat 4g 18%
Cholesterol 66mg 22%
Sodium 591mg 26%
Total Carbohydrate 43g 16%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 27g
Vitamin C 3mg 14%
Calcium 165mg 13%
Iron 3mg 14%
Potassium 576mg 12%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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