Batter for Tilapia and Hake

Living on Lake Kariba I learned to cook fish and tried many different recipes. I wanted to share these crispy basic batter recipes I use, which seals the fish and its not oily – I started off just using my Mum’s recipe with baking powder but over time experimented with adding Cornflour , Beer and Soda Water as well as Mineral Water . I prefer not to use eggs in Batter as I find its too rich with the oil.

6 Large Tilapia or 12 Hake (2 boxes)

SODA WATER BATTER

  • 1 and 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup cornflour
  • 2 Cups Soda Water / Mineral Water
  • 1 Teaspoon of salt

Add Flour with dry ingredients – add Soda Water and whisk and use immediately

BEER BATTER

  • 1 and 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup cornflour
  • 2 Cups Soda Water / Mineral Water
  • 1 Teaspoon of salt

Add Flour with dry ingredients – add Beer and whisk and use immediately

BATTER WITH BAKING POWDER

  • 1 and 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup cornflour
  • 2 Cups Soda Water / Mineral Water
  • 1 Teaspoon of salt

Add Flour with dry ingredients – add Beer and whisk and use immediately

TIPS FOR DEEP FRYING FISH

Use a deep heavy-bottomed pot, preferably with a thick base so the oil holds the heat . I use my cast iron flat bottomed Potjie Pot. Fill the pot no more than two-thirds of the way with oil. Always use fresh oil . I use sunflower oil – you could also use canola. Fish is subtle in flavour so no strong tasting oil.

  • Temperature is really important. I use a candy thermometer. Bring the heat up slowly until the oil is between 180 and 190 degrees C — if the temperature is too low and you’ll get greasy fish!
  • Make sure that you pat the fish fillets dry , lightly dust in flour ,Dip the fish in the batter and then lightly dust with the flour again. This gives it a delicious crunch and keeps the fish moist during cooking an its not oily.
  • Remove the fish from the oil when it’s golden brown and crispy

TIPS FOR CHIPS

Ross loves chunky chips , I boil them for 10 mins and dry with paper towel – then deep fry in hot oil as above – half way through your fry, lift the chips out for 3 minutes to cool and let your oil heat up again – drop them back in for the last fry. Use a cast iron pot if you don’t have a chip frier – it holds the heat. This gives a crispy chip that is soft inside.

Russell and I cannot eat fatty foods and Fish and Chips is too much for me, I do chips for the kids as its a real treat – so usually serve my fish with mash for Russell and I – this goes well with Pickled Green Beans and wedges of tomato.

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