Crispy Gluten-Free Beer Batter Fish
As in many traditional wheat-based favorite foods sometimes a girl’s just got to take matters into her own hands. The traditional Wisconsin Friday Fish Fry has been no different.
Friday Fish Fry traditions are popular in many parts of the country. Many, but not all, having to do with the Lenten season and people of the Catholic Faith being forbidden to eat meat on Friday. In Wisconsin, a state heavily settled by Catholics of German, Polish, Lutheran, and other backgrounds, the tradition is strong as ever. But, what sets Wisconsin apart is that fish fries also happen year around, and while hundreds of restaurants, bars and even churches hold fish fries on Friday’s, and sometimes Wednesday’s too – I’m yet to find a gluten-free Friday Fish Fry among them.
What I came up with is a version that produces a beer batter fish that is literally out of this world in crispness, flavor, and texture. It doesn’t leave any funny greasy aftertaste in your mouth, and it’s a welcome addition to my gluten-free repertoire. For anyone who has craved this fried delicacy, whether you’re from Wisconsin or anywhere in the country, I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly pleased with this treat made at home without the hassle of having to reserve a table or the long wait at the bar until you can be seated.
Follow my simple instructions, and you’ll be enjoying a delicious, homemade fish fry in no time!
Crispy Gluten-Free Beer Batter Fish
- Deep Fryer or Large heavy pot
- Deep-fry thermometer
- Slotted Spoon
- mixing bowl
- Cooling rack
- Baking sheet
Batter Dry Mix
- 1/4 cup White Rice Flour
- 1/4 cup Sweet Rice Flour
- 1/4 cup Tapioca Starch
- 3/4 cup Corn Starch
- 1 teaspoon White Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1-1/2 teaspoon Chesapeake Bay Seafood Seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
For Flavorful Fish
- Soak the fish in a combination of lemon juice, salt, and water for about an hour before beginning.
- Rinse the fish in cold water, drain, cut each filet lengthwise into strips, then cut into 3-by-1 by 1-inch wide pieces.
- Blot on a paper towel to remove the excess water from each.
- Lightly salt and pepper each piece, then dredge each in gluten-free all-purpose flour, making sure to shake off any excess from each piece so that they are barely coated with flour. Set aside.
For the Batter Dry Mix
- Combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and seasonings in a zipper bag, seal and shake well to combine the ingredients thoroughly. Set aside.
- Start heating the oil before mixing the batter and coating the fish. If using an electric deep fryer, fill and heat your high-temperature oil according to the manufacturer's instructions. If you don't have one, use enough oil in a deep heavy pot to measure a depth of about 3-inches. You will want to make sure that the pot is deep enough so that it is no more than half full of the oil. Heat the oil to 375ºF. 
- Next, prepare for when the fish comes out of the fryer by setting a cooling rack over a rimmed baking sheet next to your fry area. After transferring the fish, you can keep the fried fish warm on the rack/baking sheet set-up in a preheated 250°F oven. Doing this is especially helpful if you're cooking fish for a large crowd or holding to serve family-style at the table.
Coating the Fish
- In a bowl measure 3/4 cup of the Batter Dry Mix to make enough batter to coat approximately 4-pieces of fish.  Make a well in the center of the mix and add 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar for each 3/4 cup dry measure of the mix to the bowl. Whisk in the gluten-free beer or club soda, adding in enough liquid to make a smooth batter that is the consistency of pancake batter.
- When the oil is at 375ºF, put the prepared fish pieces into the batter mixture to coat them and then slide them, one at a time, into the hot oil.  Be sure not to crowd the pot.
- Each 3-by-1 by 1-inch piece will take about 3-1/2 to 4 minutes to fry. You may have to use a spider or tongs to flip them in the oil, about halfway through the cooking, so that they cook and brown evenly on both sides. You're looking for an even golden-brown color.
- Transfer the golden-brown fish to the rack/baking sheet set-up to drain for a minute or two before serving. Enjoy!
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(Nutritional values are an approximation. Actual nutritional values may vary due to preparation techniques, variations related to suppliers, regional and seasonal differences, or rounding.)