What's your best recipe? The one I've been using tastes good, but it comes out thin and tends to fall off in the oil if I'm not super careful.
i like the less dough-y tempura-style batters, can be made with beer instead of water if you prefer, but really doesnt make much difference. two hints about batter frying, learned from tempura: keep the batter ice cold. makes a huge difference. also, pat dry whatever you are dipping in the batter, if the batter is falling off in the oil it is usually because water is between the food and the batter.
I keep it very simple. Beer (preferably a porter or stout), flour, and some spices. That's it. Sticks to the fish well, tastes very good, and always a crowd pleaser.
Here's a recipe you might like to try:
Tempura Batter for fish
Mix dry ingredients together:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup corn starch
2 tsp salt (iodized)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp white pepper
Set one cup of dry ingredients aside to dust fish fillets with.
Mix wet ingredients together:
4oz olive oil
3 whole eggs
2 cups water or beer
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients until it mixes to a pancake batter type consistancy.
Dust fillets with flour mixture then dip in batter. Let battered fillets drain a bit on a wire screen if desired.
Deep fat fry in vegetable oil @ 325 degrees
This quantity of batter will prepare two lbs of fish. The recipe can be halved if desired.
Just beer and powdered bisquick (fairly thin consistency) is one of my standby recipes when I don't feel like messing with tempura (and dirtysteev is right, the tempura batter must be as cold as possible). The bisquick mix is great for fish, but I really prefer tempura for shrimp.
We made oldmil007's tempura halibut tonight. Took a proverbial left turn of sorts, and instead of making steamed or sauteed veggies to balance out the questionable nature of the deep-fried fish (as had been initially intended), went all-out and made some onion rings with the batter as well, using mayan sweet onions. AWESOME.
I substituted fine whole wheat flour for the all purpose flour, and intended to add a touch of honey, but forgot the honey amidst intense conversation with a guest. Next time I'll increase the corn starch a little bit (perhaps only due to the whole wheat flour??), and try to remember to add the bit of honey, too. And perhaps a bit more black pepper (we didn't have any white pepper, though I specifically remember intending to buy some at the bulk bins a couple months ago.. oh well.)..
We already had a quart or so of my home-made tartar sauce in the 'fridge, so after I returned home from picking up my daughter in town late this evening, I had a fine plate of Cook inlet halibut in tempura beer batter, mayan sweet onion rings, and my beverages. Good stuff. Thanks oldmil007.
For the beer in the batter I ended up using a 12 oz. Becks Dark, and four ounces of a Hollande 1620, which left me short about 1/3 of a beer for dinner, so I popped open a Pike Brewery Kilt Lifter "Scotch Style Ruiby Ale" (6.5% by volume). Mmmmm... The final touch on the evening..
Glad you liked it Ruffle. I can't take credit for the recipe, it's the one used at my son's seafood restaurant here on the coast of Maine. They put out a LOT of seafood and this is the one they ended up going with.
I'd be interested in your tartar sauce recipe if you feel like sharing it.
Thanks for all the responses! I meant to try out one last night, but that didn't happen. Hopefully soon!
oldmil007, I don't know if I shgould post it here or not (it's technically outside of the subject/topic of the OP's thread, though certainly used in conjunction with fried fish, for sure..).
If you search for my screen name here, and 'tartar sauce,' you may find it. Not sure. In fact, I can look to see if it's still here.
I can tell you 2 things; the recipe's changed a bit since I adjusted my diet for health reasons, and I hardly ever measure anything when I cook (unless it's someone else's recipe, such as the one you posted, and even then I approximate some things), so i could either guess-timate the amounts I use, or describe their visual appearance when added.
These days I use perhaps 1-1/2 to 2 cups (or so) of mayonaise, 1/4-cup or so of extra hot horseradish, a cup or so of fairly finely chopped dill pickles, a good 1/2 to 3/4-cup or so of finely chopped sweet onions (more or less, if you like), a reasonable amount of either granulated garlic or fresh pressed garlic (4-6 cloves fresh or 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 tsp. granulated??), 3 or so TBSP of lemon juice (or lime if you prefer), a good dash of Worchestershire sauce (perhaps a TBSP or ever-so-slightly less?), about 1 TBSP of catsup, and 2 TBSP of either spicy brown mustard or random yellow mustard. Add a bit of tobasco sauce (2-6 drops?), fresh ground black pepper to taste, and stir well... Increase or decrease the amount of horseradish, depending on your own taste preferences. You can also use less hot horseradish, but all that usually means is that the horseradish is pre-combined with other stuff in the jar it came in to reduce the concentration of the horseradish, so why bother??...
If you like more dill, add a bit of either random pre-chopped dill from a spice container, or some fresh finely-chopped dill. if you prefer sweet relish instead of the chopped dill pickles, then you can either replace the dill pickles, use a bit of each, or???? (I used to use the sweet relish in my older sauces, but I'm trying to use fewer refined carbohydrate sources or sweeteners, and having great success at it, which is also why I replaced the all purpose flour wirth the whole wheat flour.)
Let your taste buds be your compass as to what needs increased or decreased; each item pronounces itself well enough to judge what it needs. Anymore, whether it be Thai cooking, Szechuan, Indian curries or fish frying, home-made sauces, or what ever, I've been throwing stuff together for so long that I rarely pay specific attention to actual measured amounts. This sometimes becomes a problem when someone wants to make something for themselves that I've made for them.
A friend wants me to write a book (that he's offered to edit and help pubish) that incorporates meats (both wild and not), fish recipes, sauces, etc., and is intertwined with various stories of different sorts of escapades, gardening, hunting, philosophy of various sorts and subjects, etc. I'm 'sweating' trying to translate years of approximations into something that who-knows-how-many persons may one day try to make for themselves. I suspect what I'll need to do is make them the way I make them, and back up at each phase or for each added ingredient, to measure each one after the fact in order to get it as close as possible to my typical version, so that I can write down the items in ways that folks can better follow along..
Sorry for the ramble.
Drifter016 knows more about this subject than anyone I know. Lemme go rattle his cage.
quote: (Ruffle) :
"... so that I can write down the items in ways that folks can better follow along."
OR, in ways that folks can better SWALLOW along.
Thanks for the recipe - going to give it a try the next fish fry.
ps. no such thing as too much horseradish, unless it's in my garden. Darn stuff likes to spread out more every year.
You're quite welcome, though it was admittedly delivered in the same long-hand version as most of my recipes, taking about 12 times the space they'd take if I could write them out in accurate measurements, and just list the ingredients in a neat column at the top of the page. ;^>)
I use about 1 cup of flour, 1 egg, salt and pepper to taste and then put in a dark beer until it's the right consistency, generally you want it to be fairly thin, not super runny mind you, but thinner than pancake batter. I generally do not use an entire bottle of beer. Maybe half for the batter, half for the chef . If you like lots of batter on your fish, make it thicker, if you prefer it more like tempura make it thinner.
In a separate bowl, mix some flour and salt and pepper. Dip the pieces of fish first in the dry flour, then into the batter and fry. I've also found that it helps to fry the first pieces a little longer if you are making it for a lot of people, that way the fish you cooked first isn't soggy by the time you serve it.
Welllllll..... It wasn't Friday... and I'd already snacked in mid-afternoon, but the halibut had been thawed since the day before, and the plan was to use oldmil007's tempura-style beer batter recipe again. But this time I intended to remember to add the honey and some extra corn starch....
We also added some yellow mustard powder..
We started with his standard recipe, but used about 1/4 to 1/3 cup extra of the corn starch, and added an extra egg. We also added somewhere shy of a tsp. of the yellow mustard powder, and somewhere between 1 and 2 TBSP of honey. For beer, we used a 12 oz. can of Oskar Blue's Brewing Company's 'Mama's Little Yella' Pils' (Pilsner).
We removed about 1-1/4 to 1-1/8 cups of the dry mix before adding the eggs, olive oil, and beer.
We again used Mayan sweet onions for onion rings.
Unfortunately, we thawed about twice as much fish as we really needed, and, since the fish was being cooked first, everyoe ate WAY too much beer-battered halibut before even being offered an onion ring..
All parties present thought it was terrific!
My 7-yr.-old stated unequivocably that it was the best meal he's ever eaten.. (granted, he's a bit limited in the realm of long-term experience and reflection, but he may be right in his assessment..).
Other than for feeling like I drank a cup of oil, I'd have to say it was nothing shy of excellent.
I recommend cooking the fish until they're slightly darker than medium brown. It's counter-intuitive for halibut, but I assure you, they weren't dry at all. Also, we used two fryers, and the one that cooks at 400 f. seemed to cook better, and, obviously, took less time.
Now I think it's siesta time, before taking on late-night chores..
Thanks again, oldmil007.
I nearly forgot to mention; the fish required no extra salt, other than what was already in the batter. But the onion rings, just because of the nature of the mild flavor once they're cooked, were made a bit tastier with a touch of added salt after they were done frying and had been drained of excess grease..
Onion Hush Puppy mix, use twice the amount of liquid (beer) the package states. A friend in Seward cooked some fish this way and they were great.
Last night we used one each of the few remaining packages of last year's spicy Italian moose sausage and ground moose to make a great spaghetti sauce, with coarsely-chopped celery, coarsely sliced/chopped sweet bell peppers (yellow and red), and one-and-a-half nice sweet onions, along with the last couple cans of diced tomatoes, and five cans of sauce, with red wine vinegar, a glug of maple syrup (seems to make its way into anything worth eating these days), and some olive oil, seasoned with extra garlic, oregano, lots of parsley (for color, if nothing else) and Mediterranean sweet basil. Served over whole wheat noodles, as almost always is the case these days; whole wheat or no wheat....
But the real treat came today at lunch, though it admittedly went past the carb count for the day...
After re-heating the spaghetti from last night for a left-overs lunch, I used Oldmil's tempura beer batter, modified as before, with almost as much corn starch as whole wheat flour, a touch of honey, an extra egg, increased white pepper and salt by about 50%, and a goodly amount of spicy ground black pepper... made with a combination of Samuel Adams Oktoberfest and Guinness Black Lager.
We'd had a whole -large- kettle full of green tomatoes from this year's garden (a miserable summer leads to more green than red tomatoes, I've found).
Anyway, I deep-fried sliced green tomatoes in the previously described beer batter, @ ~ 375 f., and was seriously pleased that no one else was home to help me finish the two medium-small tomatoes that I'd cooked.. I can make more later, right? I mean, it's not like there's a shortage of green tomatoes here, or anything...
A few weeks/months (?) ago I used the same batter, and made up some ground moose meat with egg, oatmeal (as though for a meatloaf), and added the basic spicing for an Asian potstickers' sausage filling; five spice, onion powder, soy sauce, etc., and deep-fried them in Oldmil's modified batter as well. Aside from looking like larger-than-average golden brown moose nuggets, there were none left but moments later...
I -do- believe we've discovered a one-size-fits-all batter, oldmil. Thus far we've used it on green tomatoes, onions, zuchinni, cheese sticks (especially with a good spicy pepper jack cheese), fish of at least five varieties, to include ling cod, burbot, halibut, lake trout, and sockeye salmon. I have yet to see anyone spitting it out in the trash can, or making ugly faces over it.
The modified version is now in place, on tattered paper, near the front of our home recipes folder, getting enough repeated wear that I'll either need to laminate it with transparent plastic sheeting, or re-write it on a fresh piece of paper; otherwise it won't last much longer..
Thanks again for a GREAT recipe, even if we've changed it up a bit to suit our applications and tastes.