Summer fish fries. They’re as much a part of American culture as church potlucks and backyard barbecues. No matter what kind of fish we’re eating – bluegills, crappie, bass, catfish, walleye or others – we like it best when it’s deep-fried and served up crispy and hot with hushpuppies, coleslaw, thick-sliced onion and home-made pickles on the side.
Most times we opt for a simple batter recipe, usually some cornmeal seasoned with salt and pepper. But many cooks enjoy experimenting with new recipes as well, adding different spices, seasonings and other ingredients to produce new taste sensations that keep dinner guests coming back for more.
The following taste-tempters show the variety of ideas we can dream up. Use with any of your favorite fish, filleted or pan-dressed.
Golden Fish Fry Batter
- 1 cup flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 (12-ounce) can beer
- Extra flour
- Mix batter ingredients.
- Dip fish in flour, then in the batter. Shake off excess.
- Deep fry until done to taste.
Light Fish Batter
- 1 cup Bisquick
- Club soda
- 1 egg white
- Extra flour
- Put Bisquick in a bowl, then slowly pour in club soda, stirring with a fork until the mixture has the consistency of very heavy cream. Fold in egg white.
- Dredge fish in the extra flour, dip in batter then deep fry until golden brown.
Buttermilk Fry Batter
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- Several dashes Tabasco sauce
- 3 shakes Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons pepper
- Extra flour
- Combine all ingredients except flour; blend well.
- Dip fish in batter, then roll in flour.
- Fry until done to taste.
Dill Fish Batter
- 2 cups Bisquick
- 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups lemon-lime soda
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- Extra Bisquick
- In a large mixing bowl, combine dill weed, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Add soda and eggs, and mix well.
- Dredge fish fillets in the extra Bisquick, then immerse in the prepared batter.
- Refrigerate fillets in the batter for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Remove fillets from the batter one at a time, allowing excess batter to drip off.
- Deep fry until golden brown, and serve hot.
Parmesan-Bread Crumb Batter
- 3/4 cup dried bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 egg whites; lightly beaten
- Blend bread crumbs with cheese, parsley and paprika in a flat dish.
- Dip fish in beaten egg whites, then in bread crumb mixture.
- Place in a single layer on waxed paper and place in the freezer 1 hour.
- Spray a large skillet lightly with oil or Pam.
- Place skillet on medium high heat.
- Add fillets; cook, carefully turning once, until coating is brown and fish flakes easily with a fork.
Quick & Easy Beer Batter
- 1-1/2 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 cups of your favorite beer, ale or lager
- Use a fork to stir together the flour and salt in a large bowl.
- Then gently whisk in the beer until smooth.
- Use immediately.
Long John Silver’s Style Fish Batter
- 2 cups flour
- 1/4 cup corn starch
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon onion salt
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 16 ounces club soda
- Use a fork or whisk to combine the flour, corn starch, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, onion salt, paprika and ground black pepper in a large bowl. Stir thoroughly. Add the club soda to the dry ingredients. The batter will foam. Continue stirring.
- Coat fish pieces in the batter and drop in hot oil.
- Fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until the batter is golden and the fish pieces begin to float to the top of the oil.
- Drain the fish on a wire rack.
Tips for Tastier Battered Fish
- If you fry your battered fish properly, it won’t be greasy and full of extra calories. To do this, make sure to deep fry with the cooking oil at a temperature of 365 to 370 degrees F (use a thermometer!). That old “throw a match in the oil and when it lights the temperature is right” trick doesn’t work.
- Fry only two or three pieces of fish at a time. If you add too much, the temperature of the cooking oil will drop too far, making the fish greasy. Be sure to let the oil come back to the proper temperature before frying the next batch. With the proper oil temperature, the batter will seal immediately and your dinner will only absorb a minimal amount of oil.
- Don’t overcook fish coated in batter. The coating should be a nice golden color when the fish is done and ready to serve. Any darker and you risk burning the batter and turning it bitter.
- Drain the cooked fish on paper towels to soak up that last little bit of unwanted calories.