A classic beer battered fish sandwich! Served in a potato bun with homemade tartar sauce, lettuce & pickles.

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beer battered fish sandwich

How To Make Beer Battered Fish

Light & crispy beer battered fish is surprisingly easy to make! Here’s the process.

  1. Lightly season fish fillets with sea salt & leave for up to 5 minutes.
  2. Make the batter by mixing together flour, cornflour, baking powder & cold beer.
  3. Dredge the fish in flour, shaking off any excess.
  4. Dip the fish in the batter.
  5. Fry at 180°c for 6-8 minutes or until golden brown & crispy.
  6. Drain then season with sea salt.
  7. Serve immediately.

The Beer Batter

Theoretically, you could make a batter with just beer & flour but we’re after the crispiest batter possible so there’s a couple of extra ingredients we need to use!
First up, is cornflour. This doesn’t contain gluten so won’t absorb as much moisture as plain flour, making this ideal for our batter. In this recipe, we’re using 1 part cornflour to 3 parts plain flour. Rice flour can also be used.

Next, we have baking powder. This is a raising agent so as it cooks, small bubbles of gas will be produced therefore making our batter lighter.

Finally, the beer. For this batter, I’ve used a lager but a pale ale could also be used. Whichever type you go for, it’s important that it’s cold before using. I mean super cold! This is the secret to an insanely crispy batter.

That’s all there is to it! To make the batter, we simply mix the flours, baking powder & beer until just combined then use immediately.

beer batter
The Beer Batter

The Fish

We’re using cod for this sandwich as it is what is commonly used for fish & chips. Any fillet of firm, white fish would work though. This could be haddock, pollock or hake, to name a few.

Before coating the fish in batter, we first lightly season each fillet with sea salt. This gives the fillets a firmer, meatier texture & improves the flavour. Make sure to do this a couple of minutes before dredging in flour. Left salted for too long & too much moisture will be removed, affecting the texture of the fish.

After salting & before battering, we dredge the fish in flour. This helps seal in moisture which in turn, makes a crispier batter.

beer battered fish fillet

How To Make Tartar Sauce

Fried fish & tartar sauce is a classic combo & it couldn’t be easier to make! This makes it the perfect condiment for our sandwich.

Simply combine mayonnaise with lemon, diced gherkins, chopped capers & fresh dill. Super simple right?

Feel free to customise this sauce to your liking. Some finely diced shallots or some Dijon mustard would be a nice touch.

tartar sauce

The Bun

I’ve gone for a potato bun for this sandwich because they go incredibly well with crispy, beer battered fish. The soft & fluffy texture of these buns contrasts the crispiness of the batter. Whereas the subtle potato flavour pairs nicely with fish. It is a classic flavour combination after all!

Feel free to use a different bun if you’d prefer (a brioche would work well) or if you fancy making your own, here is my potato bun recipe.

potato bun

Frequently Asked Questions

What beer should I use?

I’d recommend using either a lager or pale ale for this recipe. I used a lager but either type would work. Just make sure that it’s cold!

Do I have to use cod?

Any firm, white fish will work. This could be haddock, hake or pollock, to name a few.

Can this sandwich be made in advance?

For the best results, I’d recommend serving this sandwich immediately. This way the fish will be hot & crispy!

Do I need a deep fat fryer for this recipe?

A deep fat fryer definitely makes this recipe easier but a saucepan of veg oil heated to 180°c on the stove would work too. Make sure you do this carefully!

Can this batter be made without beer?

If you’d prefer an alcohol free batter, use sparkling water instead.

fried fish potato bun tartar sauce

Equipment Used

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beer battered fish sandwich
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5 from 3 votes

Beer Battered Fish Sandwich

A classic beer battered fish sandwich! Served in a potato bun with homemade tartar sauce, lettuce & pickles.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: English
Servings: 4 People
Author: Ben Racey

Equipment

  • Deep Fat Fryer
  • Frying Pan
  • Digital Food Probe

Ingredients

Tartar Sauce

  • 200 g Mayonnaise
  • 1 Lemon Zested
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 3 Gherkins
  • 3 tsp Capers Drained
  • 2 tbsp Finely Chopped Dill

Beer Battered Fish

  • 4 Thick Cod Fillets Skinless & Boneless
  • 300 g Plain Flour
  • 50 g Cornflour
  • tsp Baking Powder
  • 250 ml Beer Cold

To Serve

  • 4 Potato Burger Buns
  • 2 Little Gem Lettuces Washed
  • 4 Gherkins

Instructions

  • First up, the tartar sauce.
    Roughly chop the capers & finely dice the gherkins then place into a bowl along with the mayonnaise, chopped dill, lemon zest & juice. Season with salt & pepper & stir to combine. Set aside.
  • Preheat a deep fat fryer (or pan of oil) to 180°c/350°f.
  • Place the cod fillets onto a tray & season both sides lightly with sea salt.
  • Next, for the batter, weigh 150g of the plain flour into a large mixing bowl then add in the cornflour & baking powder.
    Pour in the beer & whisk to combine. Season with salt & pepper.
  • Place the remaining 150g of plain flour into a bowl.
  • To cook, take a cod fillet & dredge it in the flour, making sure that it is fully coated.
    Shake off any excess flour then dip the fish in the batter.
    Allow any excess batter to drain off then carefully lower into the deep fat fryer.
    Repeat with the remaining fish*.
    If you dip the fish into the hot oil halfway (carefully!) & hold it there for a couple of seconds (or until it starts to float), it won't stick to the basket!
    *Depending on the size of your fryer, you might need to cook the fish in several batches. Make sure not to overcrowd the fryer basket.
  • Cook each cod fillet for 6-8 minutes or until golden brown & crispy. A digital food probe should register an internal temperature of at least 75°c.
    Once cooked, drain the battered fish on a wire rack then season with sea salt.
  • Sandwich time.
    Cut each little gem lettuce in half lengthways, trim the bottom off from each half then shred the lettuce finely with a sharp knife.
    Place into a bowl with half of the tartar sauce then mix to combine.
  • Thinly slice the gherkins, lengthways.
  • Next, cut each potato bun in half then toast in a frying pan set over a medium heat.
  • To assemble, divide the dressed little gem between each bun then top with the sliced gherkins & the beer battered fish. Spoon extra tartar sauce over each piece of fish then top with the top halves of bun.
    Serve immediately.

Notes

The beer batter needs to be used immediately after being made.
Feel free to use a different white fish. Haddock, hake or pollock would work well.
Make sure that the beer is cold before using. This is the secret to super crispy batter!
For a light, crispy batter I’d recommend using either a lager or a pale ale.
Make sure to salt the fish for no longer than 5 minutes. Any longer & the texture will be affected.
 

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