I will be the first to admit that I don’t like seafood. It smells funk and I am just not a fan! I do love shrimp, any seafood that has been fried, fried calamari, sushi, lobster, crap and scallops.
But back to frying things- I am a huge huge huge fan of anything fried! I came up with this beer batter a few years ago when I realized that the fish wasn’t crunch enough (so added the cornstarch step) and the actual batter portion was too heavy (I added the beer.) If you don’t drink, no worries, just use something plain carbonated water.
½ cup cornstarch
2 cups self-rising flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon Old Bay Seafood Seasoning
1 bottle of dark brown beer, ice cold
1 quart safflower, peanut or grape seed oil (these oils give you the best results)
1 1/2 pounds whitefish (You want a firm fish that can hold up to the frying. These fishes include tilapia, Alaskan cod, hake and halibut. Cut these fish into 2 inches wide and leave the length alone.)
Heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed pan over high heat. You want the temperature to be at least 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (excluding the corn flour) and beat the beer into it. The batter should be clump-free and smooth.
Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Note: The batter can be made up to 1 hour ahead of time.
Dip the fish in corn starch; you only want a small amount so pat the excess off. Dip the fish in the batter and then into the hot oil. It will only take 2 minutes on each side to get the fish fully cooked.
Place the fish on paper towel or cookie rack to allow the excess oil to drip off.