This is a superb but simple way to do fried fish. The richness of the beer in the batter compliments the firm, clean taste of the fish. It is crucial that you serve this dish with a bitterly cold beer.
- 225g (1 1/2 cups) self-raising flour
- 1 egg, beaten lightly
- 375ml (1 1/2 cups) cold beer (and one for the chef)
- Ground black pepper
- Healthy pinch of salt
- Vegetable oil, enough for frying
- White fish fillets, enough for 4 people (whiting, hake or kingklip will do)
- Serve with lemon wedges and salt flakes
Put your flour into a bowl. Add the egg and stir to combine with flour. Slowly whisk in the beer until batter is a smooth consistency. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Cover and place in the fridge for 30 minutes for the batter to rest. Resting the batter in the fridge is crucial to the success of this dish so crack open another beer and do you own chilling will you wait.
Put enough vegetable oil into a large saucepan so that it is 7 or 8 cm up the sides. Heat the oil to a high heat (a piece of bread should turn golden brown in 10 seconds). Dip 2 pieces of fish, 1 at a time, into the batter and coat. Drain off excess batter. Deep-fry for 4 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through…do not overcook. Place fish on paper towel to drain. Repeat the process with the remaining fish until complete.
What to serve with the fish? This dish obviously works well with chips or potato wedges and the fish will love a good splash of freshly squeezed lemon juice and a dollop of freshly made tartare sauce. If you want an authentic English fish and chip shop feel, wrap the fish in newspaper and make sure you serve with peas and have liberal amounts of vinegar and tomato sauce available.