The fish in this iconic sandwich is super crispy and super light, thanks to the combination of flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and lager, a type of beer that is more bubbly than most others. For non-beer drinkers, club soda is a perfect alternative. Once you make your own tartar sauce you’ll never buy the jarred stuff again.
Neutral oil for frying
2 portions white fish fillets, such as cod, rockfish, pollock, or lingcod (about 1 pound), cut into 3 to 4-inch pieces Available in Our Seafood Subscription Box
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning
1 teaspoon baking powder
7½ ounces (about 1 cup) lager or club soda
4 soft rolls, split
Tartar sauce for serving
Lettuce leaves, sliced tomatoes, and lemon wedges for serving
Prep the Fish
Fill a deep, medium skillet with 2 inches of oil (no more than half full) and heat to 375°F on a deep-frying thermometer. Line a platter or baking sheet with paper towels and top with a wire rack.
While the oil heats, pat the fish dry and season with salt and pepper. In a medium bowl combine the flour, cornstarch, Old Bay seasoning, and baking powder. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Transfer ½ cup of the dry mixture to a plate, then add the fish and turn to coat.
Make the Batter
Stir ¾ cup of the beer into the remaining dry ingredients in the bowl and whisk until smooth. It should be the consistency of thin pancake batter. Add more liquid if necessary.
Fry the Fish
Add the fish to the batter and turn to coat. One piece at a time, return the fish to the reserved dry mixture in the plate, allowing excess batter to drip off and turn to coat. Add the fish to the hot oil and cook, turning once, until golden and crisp, 6 to 7 minutes. Drain on the prepared rack and sprinkle with salt.
Finish and Serve
Spread the cut sides of the rolls with tartar sauce, then divide the fish between the rolls. Top with lettuce and tomato slices and serve with the lemon wedges alongside. And of course, cold beer!
Pair it Up
Lager is a refreshing—and obvious—choice here, especially if you use some in the batter.
Level It Up
For a little smoky heat, add a pinch of chipotle chile powder to the batter.
Lighten It Up
Cod and other types of white fish are good sources of iodine which regulates metabolism and aids in thyroid function. If you use kosher or sea salt instead of iodized table salt, you may not be getting enough iodine in your diet.