This fried fish recipe achieves a super-crisp batter with a few tricks. Dredging the fish in potato starch helps the batter adhere better while absorbing extra moisture. Bubbly beer keeps the batter airy and light. Make it right before frying and not in advance to prevent it from fizzing out. And when we say don’t overmix it, we mean it!
The result: moist, tender fish encased in the crispiest golden brown shell. You’ll never have cream dory any other way again.
- 1 kg cream dory, sliced into 4-5 pieces
- kosher salt (see Notes)
- white sugar
- ½ cup potato starch, for dusting
- ¾ cup cake flour
- ¼ potato starch
- 1 ¼ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup + 2–3 tbsp cold beer
- chopped parsley
- fries or steamed rice
- tartar sauce
- lemon wedges
Dry-brine the fish: Season fish generously with kosher salt and white sugar in a baking tray or plate. Let rest for 15-20 minutes.
Prepare to fry: Heat oil in a wok or heavy-bottomed pot to 350°F. Prepare a metal rack or a plate lined with paper towels, and a baking tray filled with potato starch.
Dredge fish: Wash off the salt and sugar cure from the fish. Pat dry with a paper towel. Dredge the fish cutlets in potato starch. Shake off any excess and transfer to a plate or metal rack.
Make beer batter: Once the oil temperature is close to 350°F, combine cake flour, potato starch, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Whisk until well combined, then add the cold beer. Whisk until just incorporated. Do not overmix!
Fry: Dip the fish in the beer batter, letting any excess drip off. Working in batches, carefully lower the battered fish into the hot oil. The batter will puff up and start to brown. Fry the fish, flipping when necessary using tongs, for 2–3 minutes until golden. Transfer fried fish to the metal rack or lined plate. Season with salt and parsley while hot.
Serve: Divide fish among plates of fries or steamed rice. Serve hot with tartar sauce and lemon wedges.
Substitutions & FAQs
Dry-brining the fish gives it a sweet, delicate interior flavor and a gently salted exterior.
Using kosher salt for curing ensures the right amount of salinity. For saltier fish, increase the curing time to 1 hour.
Batter consistency determines the texture and appearance of the crust. A runny batter creates a lighter, puffier crust. A thick batter creates a slightly thicker, smoother looking crust.