Gluten Free Beer-Battered Fish and Chips

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I made this recipe ages ago–I thought I had already shared it. Imagine my surprise when I found the photos in the “Need to Be Posted” pile.  Of course, there are a lot of foods that I’ve missed, since going gluten-free.  What is more disappointing is that I had only recently added so many new foods to my “acceptable” category.  Hello, my name is Kaity, and I was a picky eater up until…college.  As I have mentioned, being responsible for my own food choices actually forced me to try many new things.  Less than 3 years later, I was undergoing a complete overhaul of my eating habits in order to remove gluten from my diet.  Many new foods that I had only just come to love were suddenly off my plate–unless I could recreate or find them again, gluten-free.  Fish and chips was one of those foods.  I went to elementary school with a tuna salad sandwich in my lunch box most days, but, excluding a brief foray into fish sticks during toddler-hood, that was my extent of seafood.  Sometime in high school, finally, I tried shrimp and loved it.  But it would be several more years until I could actually count fish among the foods I enjoyed.  In fact, I’m still working on it today–some dishes I love and some fish dishes are still pretty gross.  However, tender white fish wrapped in crispy fried breading?  That is definitely, permanently on the Delicious List.  I only had fish and chips once, maybe twice before going gluten-free.  It wasn’t until Trader Joe’s started selling GF fried fish that I had the dish again.  And then, though TJ’s and other brands are producing delicious frozen food, it still wasn’t the “real deal”.  M, being stereotypically British, grew up on fish and chips.  Making our own at home has come up in conversation many times over.

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When the boys brought home beautiful striper (this fish really shifted my tastes solidly into the “pro-seafood” side of things) and then my mother gave us her old electric deep fryer, it seemed like it was time to do my research.  I read over countless recipes, both gluten-full and gluten-free, for fish and chips.  In the end, classic seemed to be the way to go.  I still wanted a few little surprises, so I knew adding spices and beer to the batter was the way to do it!  I had a little extra batter, so I sliced up an onion and made some onion rings as well.  Given my fear of deep frying, the whole process was pretty easy.  It does help that my inherited deep fryer is a neat and tidy little electric machine, with a latch top.  It makes me feel much more safe!

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Gluten-Free Fish & Chips (and Onion Rings)

Adapted from this recipe.

Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 20 minutes

For the batter:

  • 2 c. white rice flour, divided
  • 1/2 c. tapioca starch
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. ground garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 lg. egg
  • 1 12 oz bottle of GF beer (I used New Planet)
  • 1/2 tsp. hot sauce

The Fish

  • 1 1/2 lb. cod, haddock, or striper fillets

For the chips & rings

  • 3 lg. potatoes
  • 1 lg. sweet onion
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk

For frying

  • Vegetable oil or shortening (crisco), for frying

Use amount of oil appropriate to your deep fryer and set it to heat to 325 degrees F.  If using a pan on the stove, fill a large, heavy-bottomedpot with 4-5 inches of oil.  Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pot, making sure the tip of thermometer is in the oil, yet not touching the bottom of the pot.  Heat the oil to 325 degrees F.

Slice the onion into 1/2 inch thick slices.  Gently separate into individual rings.  Toss with buttermilk, allow to soak during the remainder of your prep.  Scrub and peel the potatoes into long, thick fries.  (Think ‘steak fries’.)  Pat completely dry with paper towels.  Drop the fries into the fry basket (or use a spider to gently lower into pot).  Allow to cook at 325 degrees for 3 minutes.  Pull fries out of oil, allow to drain, and set aside on parchment paper.

Heat the oil up to 375 degrees F.  Spread 1/2 c. of white rice flour on a large plate.  Mix remaining dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix egg, beer, and hot sauce, then add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and whisk until smooth.  Cut fish fillets into 2-3 pieces.  Dredge fish in flour, taking care to make sure all sides are coated.  Shake of excess.  Divide fries and fish into 2-3 batches.  Place fries into bottom of fry basket. Dip fish in batter one piece at a time.  Place fish on top of fries in fry basket.  Lower into hot oil for 4-5 minutes until crispy and golden.  Drain on paper towels, season with salt while still warm.  Place fries and fish on a parchment lined baking sheet in a oven set to “warm” (or lowest setting).  Repeat the layering and cooking procedure with remaining batches of fries and fish, adding all to the oven to keep warm.  Make sure the oil temperature stay constant.

Drain buttermilk from onions.  Dredge onions in remaining flour, dip in remaining batter and drop in small batches into fry basket.  Cook for 5-7 minutes, until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels, sprinkle with salt.  Serve the fish, chips, and onion rings with lemon, dill, tartar sauce, and vinegar*.

*Malt vinegar is not gluten free.  We liked rice vinegar on this.

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One Comment on “Gluten Free Beer-Battered Fish and Chips”

  1. […] can maybe do the same for Tomato Basil Soup.  I’ve talked about my childhood of picky eating before.  When I finally decided I could eat soup (savory liquids were too weird for a while), it […]


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