Crispiest Fish Batter

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This is truly the crispiest fish batter you have ever tried. There are a couple of secrets to getting that crunchy exterior and the soft, tender inside.

Fish fry on a pewter tray.Pin
Photo Credit: Binky’s Culinary Carnival.

This is a copycat recipe of Long John Silver’s restaurant chain’s crispy fish batter. It has a remarkably crunchy crust, and the fish stays perfectly tender and juicy. The best fish and chips can be made at home!

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Why Make it?

  • Texture: It’s all about the crunch. But in contrast with the crunch is the silky texture of the fish.
  • Flavor: Making it at home is faster and easier than takeout, and there is no comparison for the flavors. Plus, when you get the takeout home, the bottom of the crust will be soggy.
  • Ease: All you have to do is measure and mix the dry ingredients and stir in the wet ingredients. Then, dip and cook the fish. You can have dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes!
  • A crowd pleaser: Everyone who tries this battered fish will love it. Even the pickiest of eaters will gobble this fish up.

What You Need

  • Fish: Any white fish will work. Haddock, cod, perch, bass, crappie, pike, tilapia, catfish, halibut, and more. Unless your fish is freshly caught, buy frozen fish. It is the freshest you can get since it is frozen almost immediately after catching the fish.
  • Flour: Any flour will work.
  • Cornstarch: Cornstarch is one of the secret ingredients that makes the most crispy fried foods.
  • Garlic: Use garlic powder or granulated garlic.
  • Onion: Onion powder adds an earthy, slightly spicy flavor.
  • Paprika: Paprika is made from ground, dried red peppers, so it adds a bit of spice. If you want the fish to be spicy, add chili powder, too.
  • Baking Powder: Powder helps that batter rise, so it gets puffy around the fish.
  • Baking Soda: Soda will aid in helping the batter rise but adds a bit of the crunch, too.
  • Salt: Be sure to season the fish and the batter with salt for the best flavor.
  • Pepper: Again, season both the fish and the batter.
  • Carbonated beverage: Instead of using water, use a carbonated beverage like beer (a lager or amber, not a stout), plain club soda, or seltzer. It will give the batter more body.
Ingredients for fish batter. See details in recipe below.Pin
Photo Credit: Binky’s Culinary Carnival.

How to Make it

Step One:

Measure the dry ingredients. Add them to a bowl.

The dry ingredients in a bowl.Pin
Add the dry ingredients to a bowl. Photo Credit: Binky’s Culinary Carnival.

Step Two:

Mix the spices well.

Dry ingredients combined.Pin
Mix it well. Photo Credit: Binky’s Culinary Carnival.

Step Three:

Pour in your choice of beverage. The batter will be on the runny side. You don’t want it thick or the batter to fish ratio will be off.

Whisk the batter just until it is mixed. Don’t overmix it or you’ll lose crispness.

Adding the club soda.Pin
Pour in the club soda. Photo Credit: Binky’s Culinary Carnival.

Step Four:

Season the fillets with salt and pepper before dipping them in the batter.

You can see the texture of the batter here. It should flow like the photo but also coat the back of a spoon. Dip the fish and let the excess drip back into the bowl for a minute.

Fish covered in batter, dripping into the bowl.Pin
Dip the fish in the batter. Photo Credit: Binky’s Culinary Carnival.

Step Five:

Fry the fish in oil until browned on the first side, carefully turn, and continue to cook. Fry the fish until the batter is golden brown and the fish is flaky.

Fish frying in oil.Pin
Carefully drop the fillet into very hot oil. Photo Credit: Binky’s Culinary Carnival.

Carefully remove the fish from the hot oil. Drain on a cooling rack set over paper towels to catch the oil. To keep the fish hot a crunchy when doing multiple batches, place the rack over a rimmed baking sheet and put the fish in the oven at 200°F.

Serve the fish with lemon or malt vinegar on the side to enhance the flavor of the fish.

Acid was served with fish hundreds of years ago because people thought the acidity from the lemon would dissolve a bone if swallowed.

What side dishes to serve with battered fish?

Frequently Asked Questions

What oil should I use for frying?

Peanut oil is the best choice. If you don’t have peanut oil, substitute vegetable oil.

Can I reuse the batter?

No. It is best to discard any leftover batter since the raw fish was dipped in it.

Do I need a deep fryer?

No. You can fry the fish in a heavy bottom skillet, like cast iron. Ensure the oil is deep enough to come at least halfway up the fish.

Do I need to use beer or club soda?

No. You can use plain water and it works just as well. We just feel that the club soda adds a bit of puffiness.

Can I make the batter ahead of time?

It is best to make the batter immediately before you are ready to fry your fish so that the beer or club soda doesn’t lose all of its fizz.

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I hope you enjoyed the recipe today.

Enjoy. And have fun cooking!

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Large platter with crispy battered fish, French fries and dipping sauces.Pin

Crispy Fish Batter

This is truly the crispiest fish batter you have ever tried. There are a couple of secrets to get that crunchy exterior and the soft inside.
See Step by Step Photos Above!Most of our recipes have step by step photos and videos! Also helpful tips so that you can make it perfectly the first time and every time! Scroll up to see them!
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Course: entree, Main Course
Cuisine: British
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 8 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 313kcal
Author: Beth Neels
Cost: $2


  • ½ Cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ Cup cornstarch
  • ½ Teaspoon garlic
  • ½ Teaspoon onion
  • ½ Teaspoon paprika
  • ½ Teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ Teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon black powder
  • 1 Cup club soda or beer
  • Pounds fish
  • peanut or canola oil


  • Measure and whisk the dry ingredients together.
    ½ Cup all-purpose flour, ½ Cup cornstarch, ½ Teaspoon garlic, ½ Teaspoon onion, ½ Teaspoon paprika, ½ Teaspoon baking soda, ½ Teaspoon baking powder, ½ Teaspoon salt, ¼ Teaspoon black powder
  • Add most of the club soda. Whisk the batter just a few times. Test the thickness. It should be fluid but thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Add more soda, if needed.
    1 Cup club soda or beer
  • Dip the thawed fillets in the batter. Let the excess drip off for a few seconds. Carefully place the fillet in very hot oil, fry until it is golden brown on the first side.
    1½ Pounds fish, peanut or canola oil
  • Flip and fry the other side until golden brown.
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Side dishes


Calories: 313kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 354mg | Potassium: 395mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 83IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1mg
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Beth Neels

Author: Beth Neels

Title: Owner

Expertise: canning, game meat cooking, smoking


Beth Neels is an entrepreneur, blogger, photographer, author, and recipe developer. She founded Binky’s Culinary Carnival in 2014, focusing on “Crafting delicious recipes with sustainable ingredients.” She has been featured in multiple online publications, including MSN, Reader’s Digest, Associated Press, and Parade.

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