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Best Ever Batter-fried Fish

This popular British dish is loved all over the world, but to get restaurant quality results at home is not easy.   See the Tips below to help you make the perfect batter-fried fish.

Be sure to try the recipes for Prawn Tempura (Batter-fried Prawns) and Batter-fried Calamari Rings for different types of batter.

125 ml mayonnaise
15 ml fresh parsley, finely chopped
15 ml onion or spring onion, finely chopped
15 ml chives, finely chopped
15 ml gherkins, finely chopped
15 ml capers, finely chopped (optional)
5 ml salt
500 g fish steaks (skinless & deboned)
60 ml corn flour (for dusting)
100 ml corn flour
100 ml cake flour
± 100 ml
soda water or beer
2.5 ml salt or flavoured salt
2 liters Canola or peanut oil (for frying)
To serve
2 medium lemons, quartered
  1. Combine the ingredients for the tartar sauce in a mixing bowl. Transfer to a serving dish, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. Cut the fish into even bite-sized portions and pat it dry with absorbent kitchen paper.
  3. Pour oil to a depth of 5 cm in a large saucepan and heat to moderately hot.
  4. Dust the pieces of fish with corn flour so that the batter can stick.
  5. Combine the flours, salt and sufficient soda water to obtain a batter of medium consistency in a medium mixing bowl. Add the fish to the batter and stir to coat well.
  6. To test if the oil is ready, drop a piece of bread into the oil – it should sizzle and brown in 60 seconds. Or measure the temperature of the oil with a digital cooking thermometer.
  7. When the oil is ready, lift one portion of fish out of the batter at a time and allow the excess batter to drain. Slowly lower a few fish portions at a time into the oil and fry until golden and crisp.  Do not overcrowd the pan.
  8. Lift the fish from the oil with a metal slotted spoon and transfer it to a baking tray lined with double-layer sheets of absorbent kitchen paper to drain the excess oil.
  9. Transfer to a warmed serving dish and keep warm while frying the rest of the fish.  Serve immediately with the quartered fresh lemon.

Use up leftover batter by cutting vegetables such as onions and sweet pepper into rings or chunks. Fry in the same manner as the fish.


  • For crispy batter, substitute the milk or water in your recipe with ice-cold soda water or beer.
  • Add spices such as flavoured salt, chinese five spice, etc. to the batter to take the fish to a whole new level.
  • Dust the pieces of fish with corn flour before you add it to the batter to help the batter stick.
  • The temperature of the oil is crucial.  If you don’t have a deep fryer, use a digital cooking thermometer to measure the temperature of the oil manually. The perfect frying temperature is 180 degrees Celsius.  You can also test the temperature of the oil with a cube of bread.  It should brown in 60 seconds.
  • If you are worried about the fish not being cooked all the way through, rather cut it into bite-sized pieces and fry until golden brown and crisp.
  • Serve deep-fried fish (or anything deep-fried for that matter) immediately for the best results or re-heat in the oven at 160 degrees Celsius.

4 servings.

Fish and Chips

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