Zurie's Light Beer Batter for Fish Fillets

"I know, I know ... there are 98 recipes for "beer batter" on this site, I checked! This one is slightly different. It's the variation I came up with after much experimenting. I can vouch for its lightness, as we dislike thick batter. If your oil is hot enough, and you follow the instructions, you should have light-as-a-feather fish fillets. It's hard to give a cooking time, as I do one fillet at a time because I use a wok, so I give an approx. time for frying 1 medium fillet."
photo by Zurie photo by Zurie
photo by Zurie
Ready In:


  • 4 12 ounces cake flour (130g, please weigh this ingredient)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (10ml, not baking soda)
  • 2 teaspoons seasoning salt (10ml, I use "Sweet Piquante Pepper & Garlic seasoning")
  • 2 teaspoons garlic and herb seasoning, dry mixture (salt free)
  • 12 teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric (10ml)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, very soft
  • 1 cup beer (250ml, see note about foam)
  • 1 egg white (jumbo size)


  • Mix the flour and all the seasonings, up to the butter, in a roomy bowl.
  • * NOTE: I mention a dry seasoning which is to die for, with all-natural ingredients. The brand name is Peppadew, and from what I see on the label it is exported. But if you cannot find it, use your own preferred brand.
  • Add the soft butter, and carefully measure out the beer in a measuring cup -- you want BEER, not foam!
  • Whisk mixture with electric mixer until quite smooth.
  • Clean the electric beaters, then whisk the egg white until very stiff. Fold into the flour-beer mixture, or whisk in lightly by hand. Your mixture should be the thickness of double cream -- more or less.
  • Dab the fish fillets dry with kitchen paper (else the batter won't adhere).
  • Use a deepfryer OR a wok (I use the latter). In the wok I heat 2 - 3 inches of oil, and heat until a drop of batter sizzles and browns when you test it.
  • Scrunch up enough kitchen paper to drain the fillets on. Then dip the fillets (one at a time) in the batter, slide into the hot oil, fry only until the batter turns golden-brown, and remove with slotted spoon to the kitchen paper to drain.
  • Do the same with the rest of the fillets, then either serve immediately, or keep briefly in a low oven with the door not-quite-closed (so the fish do not steam, which will ruin the crispy coating). Do NOT overcook the fish -- it's done in a minute.
  • The batter is enough for 6 - 8 normal-sized fish fillets.

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I'm a widow, retired, and I love cooking. I live on the coast in South Africa and I love seafood. You're welcome to my recipes (all kinds, definitely not just seafood!) Just remember that no recipe is ever cast in stone -- adjust to your taste! The photo was taken at a rustic seaside restaurant on our West Coast, approx 1 year ago (2016).
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