This recipe is part of my Old Yale Series, a collection of recipes that I’ve created featuring beer from Chilliwack’s award-winning Old Yale Brewery. Details of my partnership with them (disclaimer: this is a sponsored post, but the views expressed are my own), and info on where you can find their beer can be found in the introduction to the first recipe of this series, my Beer-Battered Shrimp Po’ Boys.
In exactly one month, my wife and I will be embarking on a new, grand adventure. As excited as I am to be moving to Waterloo to do my master’s, in a small way I’m disappointed that we’re not moving back to Halifax instead.
My wife and I lived in Halifax for two years while she completed her own master’s degree, and lately I’ve been catching myself erroneously talking about the Nova Scotian capital, instead of Waterloo, when on the topic of our upcoming move. “Once we get to Halifax, we’ll have to…err…I mean, once we’re in Waterloo…”
We’ve recently spent a lot of time reminiscing about the time we spent committed to her master’s, in an effort to psych us up for another big move away from friends, family, and guaranteed employment. Just the other day, we were looking through pictures of our old apartment, with its gorgeous view out over the harbour, very much missing our old home.
Now, being a man who loves his food, one of the things I miss most about Halifax is the fact that they know how to make a good serving of fish ‘n’ chips. Whether from the sketchy food truck on Spring Garden, the aptly named “Battered Fish” down at the waterfront, or across the harbour at arguably Canada’s best spot for the dish, John’s Lunch, it was always delicious, affordable, and fast. Thankfully, with the help of Jamie Oliver (from whom I adapted this recipe), I now know that I don’t need to be living in the Maritimes to get my hands on some of the best battered fish you can possibly imagine.
As a little side note, I used approximately 350 grams worth of cod, but the batter could have stretched a bit further had I needed it to. Also, though I don’t have a deep-fryer myself (just a pot and a thermometer), obviously one can be used if you’re fancy like that.
Pub-Style Battered Fish
- 1 2/3 cups all-purpose, plus extra for dusting
- 2 tbsp. baking powder
- 1 cup Old Yale Brewing Knotty Blonde Ale, or similar
- 300-400 g. fresh cod or halibut fillet(s)
- 3/4 tsp. sea salt, plus extra for seasoning
- Canola oil, for frying
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine together your flour, baking soda and ale. Whisk until the ingredients are fully incorporated and no lumps remain before setting aside to rest. In another bowl, add about a third cup of flour for dusting the fish.
- While the batter is resting, preheat your oven to 350°F and fill a medium-sized pot with about 1 1/2 inches worth of oil, placing it over medium heat. Bring the oil up to 375°F then adjust the element to maintain that temperature.
- Prep your fish by ensuring it’s fully deboned, then slice into roughly equal-sized pieces (between 50 g. to 100 g. works well). Sprinkle both sides of each piece of fish with your 3/4 tsp. sea salt and let sit for a couple minutes.
- Working with two pieces at a time, dust the fish in the flour, then dip in the batter, ensuring each piece is fully coated.
- Carefully lower the fish into the hot oil, then cook for 4-6 minutes (depending on size), turning over the pieces once or twice to ensure even browning.
- Once the fish is dark golden brown, remove with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towel, then sprinkle a small amount of additional sea salt overtop.
- Place your cooked fish on a baking rack and toss in the oven while you continue working in batches until all the fish is cooked to perfection.
- Serve with potatoes (mashed, or “chips” style with malt vinegar), tarter sauce, peas, and a slice of lemon for squeezing over.