[[ recipeID=recipe-al3kjg4vo, title=CRISPY BEER BATTERED PACIFIC COD ]]
Pacific cod is ideal for frying due to its firm texture and mild flavor. Lingcod or pollock will also work in this recipe.
If you prefer not to cook with beer, use carbonated water instead. The bubbles are essential for achieving the light crispy texture.
4-quart saucepan: Four quarts is the perfect size to give the cod pieces enough space to cook and makes sure the oil is deep enough for frying.
Candy thermometer: Candy thermometers are ideal for frying at home because they clip to the side of the pot to allow for constant temperature monitoring. They can be found for a few dollars in most kitchen departments.
Cooling rack lined baking sheet: Using a cooling rack that fits nicely in a rimmed baking sheet is an ideal place to allow the cod to cool without becoming soggy. If you do not have one, a paper towel-lined plate can be used.
Shallow bowls: Wide and shallow bowls are perfect for mixing the breading ingredients. A pie plate is also excellent for this.
Spider strainer: When you don’t have a fry basket at home, a spider is the perfect substitute. It is a large and shallow wire spoon ideal for scooping the cod out of the frying oil.
What you Need
Canola oil: Canola oil has a high smoke point and affordable price point making it ideal for frying.
Pacific cod: Wild for Salmon Pacific cod portions are perfect for this recipe. Thaw them overnight in the fridge and cut them into 1-inch strips.
White rice flour: White rice flour helps the batter stick to the fish and achieve an ultra-crispy crust.
All-purpose flour: Adding all-purpose flour gives the batter structure.
Paprika: Paprika helps to achieve the perfect golden brown color and lends a subtle flavor.
Garlic powder: Garlic powder adds a touch of flavor to the batter.
Baking Powder: A little baking powder acts as a leavening agent to achieve a crispy crust.
Light beer: Beer adds a light flavor and lots of bubbles to help create the crispy crust. Choose a light or amber beer and stay away from anything dark that will overpower the flavors. Make sure it is chilled before you start cooking.
How to Make the Dish
Set up the frying station. Start heating the frying oil and attach the candy thermometer to the pot. Place a cooling rack on top of a rimmed baking sheet and set it directly next to the stove.
Mix the batter. Prepare the rice flour for dredging and whisk together the ingredients for the batter. Prepare the tartar sauce and set in the fridge to chill.
Fry the cod. Pat the cod dry, sprinkle on a little salt, and dip in the rice flour. Coat in the batter and carefully put in the hot oil, a few pieces at a time. Once cooked, use the spider strainer to transfer to the prepared cooling rack.
Deep frying at home feels intimidating to some but it doesn’t have to be! Setting yourself up with the correct tools is the ultimate way to succeed. If you plan to deep fry often, or even just a few times, investing in a candy thermometer and spider strainer is highly recommended.
Keep a close eye on the oil temperature. You may have to adjust the heat up and down slightly as you are cooking. Ideally, the temperature will stay between 350-375 degrees F. When you put a new batch of fish in the oil the temperature will drop and slowly come back up. Make sure it recovers fully before frying the next round. If the oil is too hot the fish will burn, and if it is too cool it will soak up oil and become greasy and soggy.
Make sure the pan is not overcrowded. Each piece of fish needs a little space to fry so that it does not become soggy or stuck. Once you place each piece in the oil give it a little nudge with the spider to make sure it is not sticking to anything.
There is a little bit of a timing game involved in this recipe. Make sure the oil is close to optimal temperature before you add the beer to the batter mixture. The longer the beer sits in the batter and warms up, the bubbles will dissipate which will lead to a less crispy crust.