For the batter
salt and pepper, to taste
( more to taste)
( warm or cold, flat or fizzy ~ don't waste good beer here)
1 1/2 cups
oil, for frying
( any vegetable oil will do ~ you'll want about 1/2-inch in your pan)
- To clean lampreys: after catching and killing the fish, pop it into boiling water for a few seconds to help remove the slimy coating. Though a knife will often be all that's needed to scrape it away, any remaining vestiges can be rubbed off the skin with a rough cloth. Cut off the tail (usually about 6 inches long), then tie a string around the head and suspend the fish over the sink to drain the blood. Open bronchial holes on the side of the fish and allow the blood to empty Then, remove the intestines and notocordium (the long, dark bitter-tasting organ running down the abdomen). Rinse the fish again and then decapitate it by slicing around the body and pulling off the head. If you don't want crunchy lamprey, make sure the thick, bony cartilage comes out with the head. Discard both.
- To make the batter: Mix the dry ingredients together.
- Add beer slowly, stirring constantly, until you get the texture of pancake batter.
- Let sit on the counter at room temperature for at least 20 minutes to allow the gluten to break down.
- Cut cleaned fish into 1" sections and drop into the batter.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan to 350°F.
- Drop the battered fish in the hot oil and cook until golden brown on all sides, about three minutes.
- Serve immediately.