Beer Battered Cod
Battered cod always reminds me of two things: (1) Lenten fish fries; and (2) my Grandma. I went to Catholic school growing up and like just about every other Catholic church, during Lent ours held a fish fry every Friday. Most parents volunteered, and my parents were among them. In grade school us kids would mill about, running around and playing in the gym, while our parents spent their Friday evenings making and serving food. And without fail, we would all return home smelling like fried fish. My Grandma absolutely adored battered cod sandwiches (which I could never understand as a kid – my seafood palate didn’t extend beyond fish sticks, which for some reason I loved). Anytime we went out to eat somewhere like Eat n’ Park or Kings (local chains), she always ordered a fried cod sandwich. Needless to say, it was her menu item of choice when it came to ordering from the local fish fry and will always remind me of her. Over last couple of years, my Chief Culinary Consultant and I have enjoyed some beer battered seafood while eating both locally and at the beach. I thought that Lent would be the perfect time to try my hand at it at home, so I bought a gorgeous piece of cod and we set about battering and frying it on Ash Wednesday.
I was pleased with how relatively quick and easy it was to make – the longest part was waiting for the oil to heat up in the pot! The batter has a lot of flavor thanks to the beer and a generous amount of seasoning, which complements the fish really well. We ate our cod with tartar sauce and French fries, but I would also love to try it on a hoagie roll with pickles and tartar sauce to mimic that quintessential fish fry sandwich.
This is definitely filed away under “never thought it would be so easy to make this at home!” Just make sure you have some candles to light – your kitchen will smell like fried fish! For me, it’s worth it to be able to make things like this at home, especially after my mom volunteered at the church fish fry last year and came home with some horror stories about the bulk packaged psuedo-food that they were using; a vast difference to how they did things when she volunteered some 20 to 25 years ago when we were in grade school. Such a shame, but I’m thrilled to be able to do it on my own now!
Beer Battered Cod
- 2 quarts (1.89 l) canola or vegetable oil
- 1½ cups (187.5 g) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (64 g) cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) paprika
- Pinch of ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1½ pounds (680.39 g) 1-inch-thick cod filet, cut into eight 3-ounce pieces
- 1½ cups (354 ml) beer, cold, (12 ounces )
- Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, salt, cayenne, paprika, and black pepper in a large mixing bowl; transfer ¾ cup of mixture to a rimmed baking sheet. Add baking powder to the bowl and whisk to combine.
- In a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat to 375 degrees. Meanwhile, thoroughly dry the fish with paper towels and dredge each piece in the flour mixture on the baking sheet; transfer the pieces to a wire rack, shaking off excess flour. Add 1¼ cups of beer to the flour mixture in the mixing bowl and stir until the mixture is just combined (the batter will be lumpy). Add the remaining beer as needed, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking after each addition, until the batter falls from the whisk in a thin, steady stream and leaves a faint trail across the surface of the batter. Using tons, dip 1 piece of fish in the batter and let the excess run off, shaking gently. Place the battered fish back onto the baking sheet with the flour mixture and turn to coat both sides. Repeat with the remaining fish, keeping the pieces in a single layer on the baking sheet.
- When the oil reaches 375 degrees, increase the heat to high and add the battered fish to the oil with tongs, gently shaking off any excess flour. Fry, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer the fish to a thick paper bag or paper towels to drain. Serve with your favorite French fries.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
Can this be baked?
I don’t do so well with hot oil (irritates my asthma).
Best fried cod I’ve ever had!
Thanks for publishing this awesome recipe. It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for. It made perfect fried cod. So light and crunchy, with the perfect seasonings! Yum!! My new go to recipe.
This is the first time I have successfully battered and fried anything!! Thank You! Thank You!! Thank You!!! I am fixing fish on Christmas Eve for my Italian mother in law. And this recipe is a godsend!!!
Directions not adjusted when changing servings. Changed servings to 2 and followed ingredients adjustment, then followed directions and realized not adjusted to 2 servings. Beer batter not lumpy when beer added. Fish was good but may have been better if directions reflected serving adjustments.
Absolutely perfect! Quick, easy but tasted restaurant worthy! I used cod and added Old Bay seasoning to the flour. Will make again for sure – thank you for sharing.
What an amazing recipe… will definitely try 😊
What type of beer is best to use for any beer battered cod?
Hi Elizabeth, Any type of lager will work!
This recipe is a keeper. Delicious. Perfect. Cooked as written in recipe. Thank you.
Made it exactly as the recipe said to and my oh my. YUM!!!!!!! Great recipe! Going in the box for sure. Thanks for sharing. We will make this again and again.
I’ve made this recipe twice now, and it’s soooo good! With oven-baked seasoned fries (chips), homemade tartar sauce, and a green veggie, it’s definitely one of my husband’s and my favorite meals! This was also my first experience with deep frying, and I found this recipe very easy to follow.
I made this last night at home (in Austin, TX) with fresh-caught cod (from off Iceland) bought at Whole Foods. It was wonderful, looked just like your photo, and tasted great. I used our local Firemans #4 beer. I used a Le Creuset round Dutch oven with a mixture of canola and olive oil about 2.5 inches deep. That was enough to get the “puffed up” effect mentioned above but I could only fry 1 or 2 pieces at a time. Another old man told me the best way to reheat left-over fried fish was to use a non-stick frying pan with a tight lid. Heat it up, put the fish in, and let it sit at medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes, then turn it and wait again. There’s enough oil left in the breading to make it crispy again.
I was glad I made it myself, but probably in the future I’ll stick to fish & chips at one of our local Irish-ish pubs here in town. It tasted great, but there’s a fair bit of cleanup involved, and you’re right–it still smells like a fishfry in my house.
Thanks for sharing the recipe.
I so rarely post comments on recipes, but I stumbled upon this one last night as I was looking for a recipe for some cod I had in the fridge, and it was fantastic! My body can’t process gluten, so I subbed gluten-free flour and beer for this, and I swear no one would have known. It was so good! We put about 3 inches of oil in our dutch oven, and that was enough to “deep fry” all the fish pieces. The leftovers stayed crispy today when I warmed them up in the oven, and tasted great the second time around on toasted bread with spicy mayo and lettuce, “poboy” style. Thank you for sharing!
My husband made this tonight using our turkey fryer. I couldn’t stop eating, it was SO good! Will definitely be makiing this again!!! (Used Killian’s Irish Stout)
My wife made this for dinner last night it was great
Thanks for sharing. Tried it tonight. It was excellent!
Of course another favorite! Just made this tonight. It’s was my first try with beer battered fish. We loved it! So moist and delicious! It will be my go to recipe for battered fried fish for now on! Thanks for the wonderful recipe!
Just made this tonight. Absolutely perfect! So good. A very nice crispy batter and nice moist fish. I added lemon pepper and a little dill to the batter. Lovely :) I will definitely make this again!
Made the cod the other night with this recipe – absolutely delicious. I wonder if the batter will work as well on shrimp? Going to try it tonight so let’s hope so!
Thanks for the recipe and tips. I addd it to my site with some minor tweaks. Great stuff.
Just made this – delicious. Thanks so much for sharing.
This was amazing we had it tonight, however I ran out of dry batter and had plenty of the beer batter left. We had this with sweet potato fries and a tomato, mozzarella, cucumber salad it was divine.
Thank you For the great recipe! It was the best fish I have ever made. It came out perfect and I will make this many many more times.
We just made this and it turned out incredible. Crispy, perfectly textured, and paired so well with a fresh home made tartar sauce with lots of lemon. Thanks for the excellent recipe.
Mmm looks so tasty! Great tip on the cornstarch.
I’m featuring this on my High-Five Fridays! thanks for the inspiration :)
We made it for our Saturday dinner. The fish tasted very good, it was tasty even after it got cold, which is uncommon for fried fish. No taste of beer in the batter, but the spicyness was there all right. I fried it the “traditional way”, in a 4mm layer of olive oil, instead of deep frying (I thought the dish would be healthier that way). Maybe that’s why the batter didn’t really have a chance to puff up much, even with the baking powder? I think I’ll try deep frying it next time and see what happens.
My basic observation about preparation, though? There just wasn’t enough dry mixture to cover all the fish bits twice! I reserved 3/4 of a cup and I ended up having to make another batch! Maybe it’s because I cut the fish into slightly smaller pieces, and I had a lot of very small “leftover bits”, so I need more flour to cover them all. Also: a lot of the dry mixture mixed with the batter I had on my hands, forming hard clumps of sticky goo which I had to scrape off and throw away (I tried frying those bits with the fish, but they weren’t that tasty).
It definitely needs to be fully submerged and deep fried in canola or vegetable oil to get that “puffed up” look. The puff is from gases trying to escape as the fish fries but you don’t get the same effect with only pan frying. Hope this helps!
Why do people comment on things they have not tried. When I look for comments, I want to read how people liked it – not “oh this looks good……..”
Know exactly how you feel! Just tried it though – turned out lovely. Batter stayed crisp even though I eat very slowly, and it carried lemon juice squeezed onto it excellently (light, sharp, not soggy). I had it with mushy peas, which was nice.
Yummy!!! I love fish and chips!!
Would a non-alcoholic beer work just as well for this type of batter?
I know it’s probably for a religious reason but if you make beer batter, any alcohol from the beer will fry off once you put it in there so I wouldn’t be too worried about it. But like I said you are probably asking for a religious reason so I don’t think you could use regular beer even then.
Great recipe. My church has the best fish fry I’ve ever tasted – so I’ll have to save this recipe for after Lent when I go into fish fry withdrawal!
Your crust looks perfect! I’ve always been hesitant in preparing my own fish and chips for fear that it would never turn out like my favorite bar grub. Thanks for the recipe!
I love beer batter! We actually use it in Greece to cook slices of zucchini, aubergines, cod, squid etc. It tastes awesome!
So good – and no veggies! :) My fave
I love fish and chips, that’s a favorite of mine
Love this recipe! Looks DELICIOUS!
My husband and 6 year old LOVE fish and chips. Cod is my sons favorite fish too ! These look absolutely perfect!
When i moved to England I thought the fish and chips were going to be to die for…sadly, that has yet to be proven! But these on the other hand look amazing.
Growing up, we used to go to the Catholic church’s fish fry every Friday during Lent as well, and I just loved their fish sandwiches. I haven’t really been able to find another place that comes to close to the ones they made…I’m definitely going to try your recipe!
I love beer battered anything! Looks great!
I’m so glad you posted this…I made beer battered cod recently but didn’t post it because my batter didn’t stick to the fish very well and it was all a big mess. I will try your method of flouring the fish after the batter. I love this with English Malt Vinegar drizzled all over it!
You can never go wrong with fish and chips! YUM!
My mouth is salivating just by looking at the screen. Looks so tasty!
To say that I am in love with beer batter would be a complete understatement! Need to make this immediately!! I can never find fish that’s fresh enough though! Bummer! I’m going to be craving this all day…
Costco.! Not sure if there is one near you…? I buy all my “cold water” fish from Costco. They sell sustainable, wild caught Cod at a very decent price. I’m very fussy about the quality of the fish I buy and have never gone wrong with Costco.
I also buy all my wild caught salmon there, during salmon run season, very decent price, very fresh fish. I purchased about 8 pounds of Cod just yesterday and use my “food saver” to store in the freezer. I tell everyone I know to go buy their fish from Costco. Another plus…..they label the origin of the fish.
Thanks for posting this, looks so good. I have always wanted to try fried fish at home!
This looks fantastic, I can totally see why it would remind you of your grandma :)
I love fish fry, but as a kid I was like you and only stick to fish chips. Being from the eat coast fish fry Friday was a huge deal. We have alot of catholics in Buffalo. In California you realry see fish frys, which is kind of sad!
Ah, the memories of Lenten Fridays in Catholic school! Our choices, if we didn’t bring lunch, were Long John Silver’s 2 piece fish basket, or Little Caesar’s cheese pizza. Of course, we were a very tiny community – my 5th and 6th grade years were spent in the same classroom, since there were only about 15 of us, total. :) Thanks for posting!
I used to get fried fish with my grandmother when I was little in Germany. It is such a distinct memory. The fish shop is still there too and it hasn’t changed a bit! My hubby would love this, I will have to try it!
look so good!! I love fish so much,thanks for your good recipe…
I was so excited to see this! I grew up on fish fries too. Did you know there are some places in America where they have no idea what that is?! Its a shame. When I moved to one of those places I had to learn how to make it myself. So delicious!
That looks delicious! My Dad and I used to drive up to Gloucester, MA every summer to go deep sea fishing for Cod and always did a beer batter for them, sooo good! Going to have to try these. You’ll have to try my Buffalo Nuggets, especially if you like to deep fry! (http://happyvalleychow.blogspot.com/2011/11/buffalo-nuggets.html)
ps. I just looked at it again and my mouth watered and my stomach grumbled! haha
Yum! I’m doing at least one fish recipe per week inspired by Lent. This looks great and I actually have cod on hand. I may just try it! Thanks for posting. Buzzed you!
Battered cod stirs up memories of school room lunches and my friends and I giggling over the fact that the menu actually said “cod nuggets”.
This looks delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe!
Mmm, now this looks like the perfect comfort food dinner :) Very nice, I love beer battering!
I have to make this for my fiance!
I am so wanting some of these right now! These look so much better than the frozen fish sticks I had when I was a kid!
Yum!! One of my most favorite comfort foods is this! Reminds me of my Grandma, she was British and this was one of her favorite meals. Each time I eat fish and “chips” I think of her, and can’t wait to make this one to share with my kids. Thank you Michelle for the great recipe- and photos to make me want to make these now! :)
Catholic schools, Lent, fish fries, school gymnasiums and fold-up tables, and homemade desserts brought in by the women of the parish, yep, that would be my childhood!