Red Horse beer-battered fish sounds like a recipe you come up with after a round of Red Horse. But no joke: It works! Red Horse provides the high-alcohol carbonation required to make a crunchy, featherlight coating for fried fish—all while being affordable and easy to find.
What does beer do for the batter?
Red Horse magically turns thick, heavy batter into a crispy, cloud-like shell. Here's what makes beer so special:
- Carbonation: When fizzy beer meets hot oil, the bubbles puff up like a balloon and create a light batter.
- Alcohol content: Alcohol evaporates a lot faster than water. The beer boils quickly during frying, leaving behind a thin and delicate crust with a faster cooking time.
- Temperature: Cold beer retains more carbonation and keeps your batter cool. When cold batter hits the hot oil, the temperature shock locks in the crispiness while keeping the interior moist and tender.
- Flavor: Depending on its flavor profile, beer can impart a nice flavor to your batter. As a bonus, the beer's sugars encourage browning, too.
This Red Horse beer batter works on other seafood, such as shrimp, whole baby squid, or not-baby squid sliced into rings.
Feeling bougie? According to Ryle, one of the best fish and chips they've had used beer-battered salmon. Just make sure to remove the salmon skin before frying!
- 2 large white fish fillets, like cream dory, maya-maya, or cod
- ½ cup all-purpose flour, for dredging
- 6-8 cups neutral oil, for deep frying
Red Horse Beer Batter
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1 large egg
- 500ml cold Red Horse beer
Prepare fish: Pat fish fillets dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Dredge fish in flour, shaking off the excess to leave a thin coat all around. Set aside.
Prepare for frying: Heat oil in a wok, Dutch oven, or heavy-bottomed pot to 350°F over medium-high heat. Prepare a plate lined with paper towels.
Make beer batter: Add flour, baking powder, paprika, salt, cayenne pepper (if using), and black pepper in a large mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Crack the egg into the bowl. Add Red Horse beer in ½ cup increments into the bowl, whisking after each addition, until you have a thick batter like pancake mix. Don’t make this ahead of time, or you’ll lose the bubbles from the Red Horse.
Fry: Dip dredged fish fillets in beer batter, making sure each side is well coated. Let excess batter drip back into the bowl. Carefully transfer battered fish into the hot oil. Fry fish, turning as necessary, until the outside is golden brown and crisp, about 5–6 minutes. Transfer fish to the plate lined with paper towels and immediately season with salt.
Serve: Serve battered fish hot with tartar sauce, lemon wedges, and either French fries or white rice.