Battered Fried Fish

5 from 11 votes

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This recipe for battered fried fish is quick, delicious and is the perfect fried fish when making fish and chips. 

Fried fish is a crowd pleaser for any season. It is great for busy evenings or when you need something substantial but quick. You will love how simple it is to fry up some delicious fish.

crispy golden deep fried and beer battered fish with tartar sauce and lemons
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Fried Fish Recipe

The type of fish matters when you are making fried fish. I have had the best results when I use a firm white fish. Something like tilapia, cod, bass or haddock works the best.

This recipe for fried fish is made up of a batter consisting of flour, milk, eggs and spices. In order to help the batter stay on the fillet, make sure you lightly pat each fillet down with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture. This helps the batter to stick to the fish. When you do these few steps the fried fish turns out tender on the inside and perfectly crisp on the outside. 

crispy golden deep fried and beer batter fish on a baking dish

Ingredients in fried fish:

  • Firm white fish: pick your favorite, fresh or frozen (thaw fully), use what you have on hand!
  • Flour: This is the base of the batter.
  • Baking powder: This gives the batter just a little lift when frying and makes the texture great
  • Spices: smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt are what we are using to season up the better
  • Eggs: these help the batter to come together and improve texture
  • Milk: this is the main liquid in the batter, you can sub it for beer if you’d like
  • Oil for frying: use a light oil like lard, vegetable, canola, peanut or other light oil

How to Make Fried Fish:

  • Get your fish ready: you just need to make sure it’s fully thawed and pat it dry (helps the batter to stick)
  • Make your batter: it’s a super simple flour, egg, milk, and spices batter that comes together quickly
  • Heat the oil: I like to fry in a Dutch oven, they hold the heat of the oil well
  • Dip the Fish: dip the dry fish into your batter
  • Fry: carefully add the prepared fish to the hot oil and let it cook until golden brown
  • Enjoy! Such a treat!.
crispy deep fried and beer battered fish and hush puppies with tartan and lemons and coleslaw

Frequently Asked Questions:

What fish is best fried?

You want to fry a fish that is firm and holds up well. I have found success when frying tilapia, cod, haddock or bass. I’ve also fried catfish with this recipe (though I normally like it better in a cornmeal batter.

What is the best oil to pan fry fish in?

Canola oil is a great oil to fry fish in because it has a very neutral flavor. Be sure you have an ample amount of oil in the pan that covers the bottom completely or you will risk the fish sticking to the pan. You can also use lard, shortening, vegetable oil, peanut oil, or corn oil for this recipe.

How long will fried fish last in the refrigerator?

Fried fish will last in the fridge for 3-4 days when properly stored in an airtight container. 

How do you reheat fried fish?

If you have an air fryer I recommend reheating it in there for about 6 minutes on 375 degrees. You can also heat them in an oven of the same temperature for about 15 minutes.

How much fish fry do I need per person?

Of course, this all depends on if you are feeding adults or children and appetite sizes but generally plan on 1/2 pound to 1 pound of fish per person. If you are serving a lot of sides you can do less.

How to know when fried fish is done?

You will know when the fish is done because it will not be translucent anymore and will flake easily with a fork. If you have a meat thermometer, fish needs to be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees to be fully cooked. 

What should I serve with fried fish?

crispy golden deep fried and beer battered fish with tartar sauce and lemons
5 from 11 votes

Battered Fried Fish

Battered fried fish made with a simple flour batter and deep fried to perfection is one of our favorite fish recipes and it's easy too!
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients 

  • 3-4 pounds firm white fish
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2-3 quarts oil for frying, (such as canola, vegetable, or peanut)
  • Lemon wedges and tartar sauce for serving,, optional

Instructions 

  • In a large Dutch oven, cast iron fryer, or heavy bottom pan add the oil and start preheating it over medium to medium high heat.
  • In a medium mixing bowl add the flour, sugar, baking powder, smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt.
  • Stir with a wooden spoon to combine.
  • Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the eggs and milk.
  • Stir to combine and until no dry bits remain and a smooth batter forms.
  • Prepare the fish by patting it dry with paper towels or a clean dish towel.
  • When the oil reaches 375 degrees F. (I like to use a paddle thermometer to monitor my oil temperatures when frying) dip a piece of fish in the batter and place the battered fish in the hot oil. Repeat with a few more pieces, taking care to not crowd the pan. 
  • Allow the fish to cook until deep golden brown, about 3-4 minutes before flipping and then allow to cook on that side for an additional 3-4 minutes.
  • Remove with a slotted spoon or a spider strainer and place the cooked battered fish on a plate or rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels to absorb the extra grease.
  • Repeat until you’ve used all your fish
  • Serve right away and enjoy hot. Serve with fresh squeezed lemon on top and tartar sauce if you’d like. We love fried fish with hush puppies and coleslaw on the side.

Video

Notes

  • You can keep your first batches of cooked fish warm in a 200 degree F oven while you are cooking the others.
  • I like to salt the fish right after it comes out of the hot oil, if you like salt, I’d consider doing that.
  • This recipe makes a pretty big batch of fried fish, feel free to cut the recipe in half if you need to. This if the recipe I make when my family gets home from a fishing trip and we want to cook up a lot. The leftovers reheat great in the air fryer. The fish in the photos are Stripers from Lake Powell.

Nutrition

Calories: 346kcal, Carbohydrates: 29g, Protein: 41g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 133mg, Sodium: 762mg, Potassium: 659mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 220IU, Vitamin C: 0.02mg, Calcium: 133mg, Iron: 3mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

This is a great meal to make for families. Fish is full of protein, low in fat and a great source of vitamin B12 which aids in energy levels. This recipe for fried fish is 1 MILLION times better than any fish sticks you can buy at the grocery store. Just say no to those! Looking for something less fried? Try these delicious grilled fish.

Fried fish that is crisp and delicious needs to find it’s way to your dinner table soon. It is so simple to make and it will having people raving. 

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Recipe Rating




9 Comments

    1. You might have just taken it out of the oil too soon, I like to wait until it’s a nice golden brown and that will help it to be most crispy. It’s not a super crispy batter though, more breaded (though not soggy).

  1. 5 stars
    Good recipe! I followed the recipe exactly, except that I added a few dashes of garlic powder. It turned out very good! Has anyone used this for chicken?

    1. 5 stars
      Made half of the recipe. Very good recipe for a crispy and light batter. The second time I made this batter I followed the suggestions by Roger J Waters enclosed below and used beer (IPA) instead of milk and substituted half of the flour with rice flour (50/50 regular flour/rice flour mix instead of all regular flour). These two changes put it over the top. Outstanding batter, very crispy and light.

  2. I can help you trouble shoot, I know it’s a solid recipe, I’ve been using it for years. What kind of fish did you use? Did you pat the fish dry before dipping them? How deep was your fry oil? There’s a lot more going on here than just the batter…

  3. 5 stars
    Great recipe! Just did it and it worked awesome 🙂 i’ll try the beer replacement for a second time! 😉

  4. 5 stars
    Five-star recipe … used lager beer instead of milk and used 50/50 regular flour/rice flour instead of just using the regular … used haddock , fried in a deep hundred year old cast iron skillet outside on the side burner of my gas grill over a medium hot flame !!! … yes indeed , light-years better than store bought fish sticks !!! … robert j. walters

  5. I love fish and chips, but avoid making fried dishes just because it’s a hassle to deal with all of that oil. 🙁 What do you do with the oil when you’re done cooking? Also, how do you keep the splatter mess down?

    1. 5 stars
      Yo, Roger … I only use 3/4 of an inch of vegetable oil in that deep cast iron skillet that can be recycled after it cools and used again for frying for up to 3 times … after that you can take it to a recycling center … splatter abatement by frying outside on your side burner of your gas grill !!! .. bob w.