When I first started working at my family's diner as a young girl, I spent most of the time cleaning up after my dad as he bounced from griddle to stovetop, pumping out meal after meal at the busy roadside restaurant. Then, when the time came for me to try my hand at cooking, the first task he awarded me with was frying fish for the diner's signature Fish Fry Night. You could say my culinary career was born in that fryolator that day. And yes, I now know a thing or two about making perfectly fried fish. Or as I like to think of it, the fried fish that all fish dream they'll grow up to be.
For a full-on dinner, be sure to make a batch of frites to go alongside and some coleslaw and tartar sauce or Garlicky Mayo Sauce! For extra-credit, serve the fish in a newspaper cone.
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, divided
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
- 1 cup beer, such as lager or golden ale
- neutral oil, for frying
- 2 pounds thick, flaky, white fish fillets, such as cod or hake, cut into 1-by-4-inch fingers
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
In a shallow bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup of the flour, 2 tablespoons of the cornstarch, and the paprika.2.
In another shallow bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup of flour and 1/4 cup of cornstarch. Add the beer and whisk until the batter is smooth.3.
In a deep fryer or high-sided, large, deep skillet, bring a few inches of oil to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and set aside near your frying station.4.
Season the fish fingers with salt and pepper. Dredge the fish in the dry flour mix, followed by the beer batter. Gently drop the battered fish into the hot oil, working in batches to avoid crowding the fryer. Fry the fish until golden brown, turning as needed, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the fried fish to the prepared baking sheet to drain and season with more salt and pepper if you like. Serve fresh and hot!