Gluten-Free Beer-Battered Fried Fish

Gluten-Free Fish Fry Batter Recipe. Photo-istockphotos
  • 15 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins,
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 2 pounds (8 servings)
Ratings (84)

This recipe for gluten-free beer-battered fried fish produces a crisp, light, and golden end-result without the allergens, namely gluten, some people are sensitive to. This batter also is perfect for onion rings and other vegetables, but try it with shrimp—it's delicious.

When it comes to crispy fried fish, it's all about the batter and without regular flour, you might think it will fall flat. But, actually, the batter is dependent on air more than the type of flour you use. The air comes from adding a carbonated liquid like beer (in this case, gluten-free beer) or club soda to the thick batter. The second factor in light and golden fish is hot oil—when the fish hits the oil, the batter rises and puffs up around it keeping it crisp.

A mild-flavored white fish like cod, pollock, or even tilapia is the way to go when making this recipe and a good-quality gluten-free all-purpose mix without xanthan gum or guar gum like Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Baking Mix is ideal. 

What You'll Need

  • 2 pounds/8 (4-ounce) skinless cod fillets (patted dry with a paper towel)
  • 1 cup gluten-free all-purpose baking mix flour (like Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1 cup cornstarch (gluten-free)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (gluten-free)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder (gluten-free)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder (gluten-free)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 12 ounces beer (gluten-free OR 12 ounces club soda)
  • 1 cup oil (preferably peanut or coconut oil for high-heat frying)

How to Make It

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together gluten-free flour, cornstarch, baking powder, sugar, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. 
  2. Add gluten-free beer or club soda and mix until the batter is smooth and not too thick or too thin. Add more liquid if the batter is too thick (it should be a bit runny but you shouldn't be able to see the fish through it).
  3. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet to 375 F. If you don't have a thermometer, you can tell if the oil is hot enough when bubbles form around a chopstick or skewer when it is placed in the oil.
  1. When the oil has come up to temperature, fry the fish in batches of three to four pieces at a time depending on the size of your skillet. Dip the fillets in the batter one at a time making sure both sides are coated. Hold above the bowl to let excess batter drip off.
  2. Carefully place in the hot oil and fry 3 minutes or until the batter has set.  Using a spatula, turn and cook another 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown. If you have an infrared thermometer, use it to temp the fish which should be at 145 F (a conventional instant-read thermometer won't work because the fish is too thin to take an accurate temperature). Otherwise, take a peek inside with a thin knife. The fish should be white and opaque when done.
  3. To keep the first batch warm while you fry the remaining fillets, transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and place in a heated 250 F oven for up to 20 minutes. Finish frying the rest of the fish.
  4. Drain on paper towels and serve while still warm with French fries, cole slaw or the sides of your choice.

Note: Make sure your work surfaces, utensils, pans, and tools are free of gluten. Always read product labels. Manufacturers can change product formulations without notice. When in doubt, do not buy or use a product before contacting the manufacturer for verification that the product is free of gluten.