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Fresh Tempura Fried Fish Dipped in a Tartar Sauce

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Roni Cohen – @ronis_recipes
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Enjoy your lunch in just 15 minutes with this tempura fried fish recipe.

EQUIPMENT

INGREDIENTS
 

Batter:

  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1-1¼ cups/250-300 milliliters beer

Sauce (mix in a bowl):

INSTRUCTIONS

  • In a bowl, mix all the batter ingredients until the mixture reaches a consistency similar to tahini.
  • Heat a deep pot of oil until it reaches a boiling temperature.
  • Dry the fish pieces with paper towels, sprinkle them with a little coarse salt, coat them with flour, and dip them into the tempura batter. Place the fish into the hot oil and fry until golden brown. Remove the fish and place it on a cooling rack.

MY NOTES

tempura fried fish recipe
Credit: Roni Cohen – @ronis_recipes

What type of white fish is best for this recipe?

For this tempura fried fish recipe, the best type of white fish is one that has a mild flavor and firm texture, such as cod, haddock, or sea bass. These fish hold up well during frying and have a flaky texture when cooked. Avoid fish that are too delicate, as they may fall apart in the hot oil. Freshness is key, so choose fish that is bright, moist, and has a clean smell for the best results.

tempura fried fish recipe
Credit: Roni Cohen – @ronis_recipes

How long should I fry the fish to ensure it is cooked through?

To ensure the fish is cooked through, fry it in hot oil (about 350°F or 175°C) for 3-5 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the fillets. The fish should turn golden brown and have an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C). If using a deep fryer, total frying time is usually around 5-7 minutes. Be careful not to overcrowd the pot, as this can lower the oil temperature and result in uneven cooking.

Can I make the tempura batter in advance?

It is not recommended to make the tempura batter in advance, as the batter is best when freshly mixed. The light and airy texture of tempura relies on the cold, freshly mixed ingredients reacting with the hot oil. If the batter sits for too long, it can lose its effervescence and become too thick or gummy. For best results, prepare the dry ingredients ahead of time and mix with the cold beer just before frying.

tempura fried fish recipe
Credit: Roni Cohen – @ronis_recipes

Best type of oil to use for this tempura fried fish

The best type of oil for this tempura fried fish is one with a high smoke point, such as vegetable oil, canola oil, or peanut oil. These oils can withstand the high temperatures needed for frying without breaking down or imparting unwanted flavors. Peanut oil is particularly favored for its clean taste and high smoke point. Avoid oils with low smoke points, like olive oil, as they can burn easily and affect the taste and texture of the fish.

tempura fried fish recipe
Credit: Roni Cohen – @ronis_recipes

How to prevent the tempura batter from becoming too thick or too thin

To prevent tempura batter from becoming too thick or too thin, gradually add the beer to the dry ingredients while mixing until it reaches the desired consistency, similar to tahini. Use cold beer and keep the batter cold to maintain its lightness. If the batter is too thick, add a bit more beer; if too thin, add a small amount of flour or cornstarch. Mix the batter just enough to combine the ingredients, avoiding overmixing which can lead to a denser texture.

How do I know when the oil is hot enough for frying?

To know if the oil is hot enough for frying, use a thermometer to check that it’s between 350-375°F (175-190°C). If you don’t have a thermometer, drop a small piece of batter or bread into the oil; if it bubbles vigorously and rises to the surface, the oil is ready. Another method is to use a wooden spoon: dip the handle into the oil; if bubbles form around it, the oil is at the right temperature for frying.

tempura fried fish recipe
Credit: Roni Cohen – @ronis_recipes

Can I bake the fish instead of frying it?

Yes, you can bake the fish instead of frying it, though the texture will differ from traditional tempura. To bake, preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C) and place the coated fish fillets on a greased baking sheet. Lightly spray the fish with cooking oil to help achieve a crispy exterior. Bake for 12-15 minutes, turning halfway through, until the fish is golden brown and cooked through. Baking is a healthier alternative, but it won’t be as crispy as frying.

How should I store any leftover tempura fried fish?

To store leftover tempura fried fish, allow them to cool completely before placing them in an airtight container. Refrigerate the leftovers within two hours of cooking to maintain freshness. For best results, store the tempura fried fish separately to prevent the chips from becoming soggy. When ready to eat, reheat the fish in an oven or toaster oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 10-15 minutes to regain its crispiness.

tempura fried fish recipe
Credit: Roni Cohen – @ronis_recipes

Side dishes to serve with tempura fried fish

Great side dishes to serve with fish and chips include coleslaw, which adds a refreshing crunch, and mushy peas, a traditional British accompaniment. A simple green salad with a tangy vinaigrette can balance the richness of the tempura fried fish. For added flavor, consider serving tartar sauce, malt vinegar, or lemon wedges on the side. Additionally, baked beans or a hearty potato salad can complement the meal, providing a satisfying and well-rounded dining experience.

What can I substitute the beer in the tempura batter?

Common alternatives include sparkling water, which maintains a light and crispy texture due to its carbonation, or club soda for similar results. You could also use a non-alcoholic beer for a similar flavor profile or even broth for a savory twist. Ensure whatever you choose has carbonation or a light consistency to keep the batter airy and crisp.

tempura fried fish recipe
Credit: Roni Cohen – @ronis_recipes

How do I ensure the tempura fried fish stays crispy?

To keep tempura fried fish crispy, start by ensuring the oil is hot enough, around 350-375°F (175-190°C), before adding the fish. Avoid overcrowding the pan, which can lower the oil temperature. After frying, place the fish on a wire rack instead of paper towels to prevent steam from making the crust soggy. Additionally, serve the fish immediately for the best texture and maintain crispiness by avoiding covering or stacking it. A light, seasoned coating also helps retain crunchiness.

Is there a gluten free option for the tempura batter?

Yes, you can make a gluten free tempura batter using alternatives like rice flour or a gluten free flour blend. To achieve a light, crispy texture, combine rice flour with cornstarch and a pinch of baking powder. For the liquid, use sparkling water or a gluten free beer. Mix the dry ingredients with the liquid just before frying to keep the batter light and airy. Always check labels to ensure all ingredients are gluten free and avoid cross-contamination.

tempura fried fish recipe
Credit: Roni Cohen – @ronis_recipes

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