Beer Battered Fish: the tasty recipe for crispy, puffy battered cod

Total time: 30 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 6 people
By Cookist

When you think of an ice-cold beer, the first thing that comes to mind is probably not cooking with it. But in this beer battered fish main dish recipe, it’s the secret to light and crispy batter and perfectly cooked fish.

Why create a batter with beer instead of water? Well, the carbonation in the beer reacts with the baking powder and self-rising flour to create light, puffy, and crispy fish just like the ones you’d get at a fish and chip store.

The fish is tender, juicy, and flaky on the inside, but crispy on the outside. To make it you need fish, self-rising flour, baking powder, beer, and rice flour. It’s quick to prepare and will be a new weekend favorite on the menu.

What Is Beer Batter?

A beer batter is a batter made with beer as the liquid instead of water. The beer is unique in that it provides carbon dioxide and alcohol, both of which helps to create a better batter. This creates a light batter that also stays crispy for longer.


What Is The Best Fish For Frying?

Any white fish fillets will work, we used cod fillets. Make sure to avoid fish that will dry out while frying. This includes fish like tuna or flounder.

Beer Battered Fish Ingredients

Cod – if you can’t find cod, you can also opt for tilapia, halibut, hake, or snapper.

Flour – make sure to use self-rising flour.

Baking powder – this is used to create a light batter, don’t skip it.

Rice Flour – rice flour is added for extra crispiness. If you’re unable to find rice flour in a store near you, you can substitute and use corn starch instead, it just won’t be as crispy.

Beer – use a lager-style for best results. You can also use a pale ale, but whatever beer you use, it must be ice cold.

Vegetable Oil – Use a neutral oil suitable for frying at higher temperatures like canola, peanut, sunflower, or corn oil.

How To Make Crispy Beer Battered Fish

Prepare the beer batter. Whisk the dry ingredients together. Add the beer and stir until all the ingredients are incorporated, it should look thick and not too thin. Leave to rest. This gives the carbonation in the beer time to react with the baking powder. This will result in a light and crispy batter.

Prepare the cod by patting the pieces dry with towel paper or a kitchen towel. Heat the oil to approximately 190°C/375°F. Dip the cod pieces in the batter and allow excess batter to drip off. Fry the pieces of fish until golden and serve immediately.


What To Serve With Fried Fish

Serve the fried cod with a homemade or store-bought tartare sauce, lemon wedges, and fires.

For a healthier option, why not swap the fries for a leafy side salad.


If the batter is not sticking to the fish, the fish might have too much moisture on the surface. Make sure to dry it properly with towel paper.

If the fish is not crispy, it could be because the oil is too cold, which means it probably absorbed too much oil. Also, make sure that the batter is ice cold.

To make the fish in the Airfryer, coat the battered fish with flour and then coat lightly with oil. Place in the Airfryer basket and air fry for 12 minutes at 390°F.

To make the fish spicier, add any of your favorite spices to the batter.

How To Store Beer Battered Cod

Store leftover cod in the fridge (in an airtight container) for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or oven.

Can You Freeze Beer Battered Fish?

You can freeze both the batter and the battered fish. After dipping the fish in the batter, shake the excess batter off and place it on a baking sheet. Place in the freezer for two hours. Then transfer the fish to a Ziploc bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Cook directly from frozen.


cod fillets, cut into pieces
self-rising flour
160 g (1 cup)
Baking powder
1 g (1/4 tsp)
Rice flour
20 g (2 tbsp)
salt to taste
lager-style beer
250 ml (1 cup)
Vegetable oil for frying


In a bowl mix self-rising flour, rice flour, and baking powder. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Pat the cod pieces as dry as possible and sprinkle them with some salt.

Heat oil in a frying pan to 190°C/375°F. Pour beer into the flour mixture and whisk to obtain a thick batter.

Submerge the fish into the batter.

Lift cod pieces out, one by one, and let excess drip off.

Fry fish in batches for 3-4 minutes or until golden.

Drain and serve immediately.


Don’t make your oil too hot, otherwise the breading on the chicken will burn before the chicken is cooked through. Use a thermometer to heat the oil to about 350°F.

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