BUILD BATTER BETTER!!!
By Montana Grant

Posted: June 18, 2022

Fried fish are tasty with a crusty batter on board. There are many ways to Batter Up your filets. Back in the day there was Long John Silvers and Arthur Treacher’s Fish and Chips. Both restaurants served battered filets along with great French fries or chips. Fried food has since been labeled as unhealthy and full fat. If you eat fried foods all the time, I will agree but there are now healthier ways to fry fish. 

Air Fryers take the grease and oil away from the fish. Now you can add a flavorful batter that is not saturated with oil. There are still times, just occasionally, maybe on Fridays, or at picnics where deep fried fish and fries can be enjoyed. Just not every day.

Fish Batters and coatings are simple. Here are some ideas that can help you customize your own. 

Pancake Batter    Try using dry, complete pancake batter. Add some spice, like Old Bay seasoning, to the mix and shake and bake the dry fish in a plastic bag or bowl. The trick is to let the coated filet rest for at least 30 minutes. Place the coated fish onto wax paper and keep in a cool place or fridge. This rest allows the filets to absorb and bond with the coating, so the batter stays on. Now use the Air Fryer fish setting to cook the filets. No oil is required. Cleanup is easy and there will be no leftovers.

Long John Silver’s Batter    A friend of mine worked at this fry joint and shared the secret recipe. Use 1 1/2 cup of flour. Now add 4 tbsp. of corn starch, ½ tsp. of baking soda, ½ tsp of salt or Old Bay seasoning, and mix. Pour in 1 1/2 cups of hot water and blend. This batter is for a deep fryer. I still find a rest helps the batter stay attached to the filet. Just 5 minutes resting on wax paper then dunk into the hot oil. When the battered filet floats in the oil, it is done. Place onto paper towels and allow the oil to drip off. You can use this same batter for chicken fingers or…

Fresh Fish Stix    There are plenty of ways to modify this batter recipe. Make it your own. Instead of flour, you can also use Panko or breadcrumbs. This makes for a healthier coating. Use Canola oil rather than Peanut Oil.  Again, Canola is healthier. In a pinch, I have also used crushed potato chips or tortilla chips. This adds texture and crunch to the fried filets. This batter will be a double dip. Have a bowl of dry flour flavored with Old Bay or your seasonings. Another bowl will contain whisked eggs. The final bowl will contain the breadcrumbs, Panko, or other coating. Dip into the flour, into the eggs, and into the coating. Let rest on wax paper. For more coating, repeat the process and place into the 350-degree oil. When the filets float in the oil, place onto paper towels and allow them to drain. 

You can Marinate the filets before coating and frying. Mix up ½ tsp. of turmeric, lemon juice, salt, or Old Bay to taste, allow the filets to soak up the marinate. I have also added Ollivelle’s Blood Orange olive oil into the mix with tasty results. Now finish the filets as you prefer.

Presentation of battered fish can hit a home run with your guests. Consider making fresh Tartar sauce or other sauces. Have fresh rolls or bread on hand to build a sandwich. Tacos can also be a good choice. Having fresh sliced tomatoes, avocados, greens, or other toppings will make the filets more fun and healthier.

Batter Up!

Montana Grant