My revised reverse-engineered recipe for Long John Silver's "Battered Fish" also makes an excellent batter for deep-fried prawns, mushrooms, onion rings and even Chinese chicken drumettes (serve with a dipping sauce of light soy sauce, rice vinegar, minced garlic and snipped green onion, with a splash of dry sherry or sake). PLEASE NOTE: The Nutritional Information listing here is inaccurate -- since only a fraction of flour and salt actually end up in the finished product. So be aware -- the suggested sodium, sugar, carbohydrate and calorie levels are ridiculously exaggerated!
- 1 1⁄2-2 lbs boneless white fish (cod, halibut, or pollock)
DRY BATTER AND DREDGING (Use 2 cups of this mixture for batter and the remainder for dredging)
- 2 3⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon masa harina
- 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
- 2 teaspoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3⁄4 teaspoon Accent seasoning
- 1⁄2 teaspoon white pepper
- 3⁄8 teaspoon ground fennel
- 3⁄8 teaspoon ground tarragon
- 3⁄8 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1⁄4 teaspoon celery salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1⁄4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1⁄4 teaspoon paprika
LIQUID BATTER (Mix with 2 cups dry batter)
- 1 3⁄4 cups cold water
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3⁄4 teaspoon malt vinegar
DEEP FRYING OIL
- canola oil
- NOTE: IF USING SELF-RISING FLOUR -- REDUCE SEA SALT TO 1 1/2 TEASPOONS THEN OMIT BAKING POWDER AND BAKING SODA -- AND USE REGULAR WATER INSTEAD OF CLUB SODA. FOR EASY GRINDING OF FENNEL SEED, PULSE A CLEAN SPICE MILL OR COFFEE GRINDER WITH THE CORNSTARCH AND SEA SALT UNTIL FINELY GROUND, THEN ADD TO DRY BATTER.
- THAW fresh boneless white fish if frozen; CUT filets into 3-inch x 4 inch pieces; PREPARE a light sea salt/water bath to brine fish in for 20 minutes (brine should only be "as salty as the ocean").
- POUR enough canola oil in deep-fryer to completely immerse fish in; INSERT the deep-fryer basket; PREHEAT oil slowly in gradual increments to 360°F.
- MEASURE all DRY BATTER AND DREDGING ingredients into a large bowl; WHISK mixture well until thoroughly blended; REMOVE 2 cups of mixture and transfer to another large bowl for the BATTER.
- INTO the large bowl containing the 2 cups reserved DRY BATTER, whisk in the LIQUID BATTER ingredients, without over-mixing.
- REMOVE fish from sea salt bath; BLOT fish lightly; COAT the fish very lightly on all sides with the reserved dry dredging, being careful not to tear or break fish (use a flat metal spatula to turn fish if necessary).
- DIP dredged fish in prepared batter to coat fish evenly, using a flat spatula to lift; ALLOW excess batter to drain; DROP battered fish slowly and carefully into the preheated fryer (MAKE SURE FISH DOESN'T SINK AND STICK TO BOTTOM OF FRYER BASKET; IF THIS HAPPENS, LIFT BASKET AND CAREFULLY LOOSEN FISH WITH A FLAT STAINLESS STEEL SPATULA).
- DEEP-FRY fish in preheated 360°F canola oil without overcrowding until breading is golden, and fish is tender-flaky; PLACE cooked fish on absorbent paper to drain (keep filets warmed if necessary, in a preheated 170 F oven); REPEAT frying process with remaining fish.
- ALLOW hot fried fish to cool slightly before serving; SERVE with fresh lemon slices and desired condiments -- tartar sauce, cocktail sauce, cream horseradish, hot sauce, malt vinegar.
- SERVE and enjoy!