Best Beer Batter Recipe

The Best Beer Batter Fish Recipe

In the first lockdown I was craving fish and chips and became fixated on trying various recipes to find out how restaurants keep the batter so crispy, even until the last bite. Here is the secret and it’s so simple, a few tablespoons of white vinegar. Who would have thought that that is the game changer, but it truly is and I also think credit needs to be given to the cornflour, which I have consistently used, but the trick is the addition of vinegar.  The vinegar is undetectable when you are eating the fish.

The batter can easily be halved and of course doubled if we lived in different times!

It is worth coating anything from fish, to vegetables and I was tempted to fry a mars bar (Barone for my South African readers), but on the stove top and not in a temperature controlled fryer, I would have just made a soupy mess.

Let’s talk beer, we have tried a lot of different beers over the summer, we were due to have a family holiday together to Cyprus.  That was shelved, like so many peoples, due to the first lockdown and we used food and drink to escape from our home to somewhere exciting. I ordered Keo and Alpha beer from Cyprus and Greece respectively, they are both a taste of the holiday we never had. In the sunshine that we were graced with at the time, they tasted delicious and were perfect for this batter recipe. A few pale ales we tried were just too over powering, you want the fish to be the star and the crispy batter to play second fiddle. With an overpowering ale this was not the case. I have made the batter more recently with an alcohol free Becks beer and that worked well. It gave the batter a good background lager taste and the batters crunch was not affected by the low/no alcohol.  Experiment with your favourites or use what you enjoy.

The Best Fish Batter Recipe
A batter like no other this will coat and form a crispy shell around your fish or vegetables.
Recipe type: Mains
Cuisine: British
Servings: 4
  • 75g cornflour
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • +-330ml lager or ale
  • 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • pepper if desired
  1. Mix the dry ingredients together.
  2. Make a well and stir in the vinegar, it will look lumpy don't worry, then add in the beer slowly mixing until you get a smooth batter that can coat the back of a spoon.
  3. You may not need all the larger or ale.
  4. Dip your fish or vegetables in the batter and fry in hot sunflower oil.
This batter will coat 4 haddock fillets roughly 25 cm long and 10cm wide tapering down to 2cm.
You can halve the recipe to feed two people and any left over batter can be cooked as scraps or dip any vegetables you have in the fridge. Broccoli, onions, cauliflower, courgettes and aubergine work well.
I haven't tried the batter with sparkling water as a non alcoholic option, but have used Zero Alcohol Beer and that has worked well.
Like most people the lingering smell of fried food is not what we enjoy, but it has to be done every now and again. In Greece and Cyprus many of my family have a little outdoor stove where they fry everything. A friend in the UK has added a gas ring next to her husband’s covered BBQ, she cooks all of her fried foods on that, all year round. A tip if you are not blessed with the above like myself, is to boil a cinnamon stick and a few cloves in a pot of water, while cooking the fish. This can eliminate the odour. Smell aside this recipe is worth the effort, the fish batter stays crispy until the last mouthful. logo