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Help with fish batter

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Hi all. I have been working on a fish batter for fish and chips for my restaurant. I am a little stumped though. Here is my recipe that I am experimenting with.

 

1 cup ap flour

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 tsp baking powder

salt & pepper

cold water

 

I mix these ingredients and make a batter. I mix the batter medium consistency (not too thick and not too watery). I am using cod and I salt and pepper the cod first. Then I dredge lightly in plain flour and dip in batter and fry. The texture is crispy and the taste is fine but the problems I have are.

 

1. my batter stays white and not yellow-light brown like other fish n chips I've had

2. my fried batter is really really thin and I noticed is too much like a tempura (has that tempura crunch and is paper thin!)

 

A friend told me to add an egg yolk, but I can't seem to tell the difference. Does anyone know what the egg is supposed to do in a batter? Also, any advice on how I can fix the color and get a thicker batter when fried? Thanks in advance!

post #2 of 23
Use a carbonated beverage: I.e. Beer or soda water and baking soda instead of powder. It will foam up from the combo and give you 'fluffy' kind of crunchy batter once fried. Also the beer-if chosen will lend color for browning in the oil.
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thanks. I have tried the beer & or seltzer water but batter still seems to fry up very thin. Can you tell me what the outcome of the baking soda would be rather than the baking powder. I thought they would have the same outcome as well. I also hear that some cooks use mustard or food coloring to get a yellowish color. Is that true? and wouldn't the mustard distort the taste?

post #4 of 23

Paprika added to the batter will help give that color you like.

Your recipe sounds good.

The egg yolk helps with final crust and gives a richness to the batter.

Try experimenting with the flour amounts. Add a little more for a thicker batter, then fry a piece and taste, adjust from there

post #5 of 23

add an egg

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #6 of 23

Is your oil hot enough?  I fry fish in very hot oil so that the batter browns nicely in a short amount of time.  

 

I wouldn't add egg yolk, it makes the batter heavier.  I use a beer batter though, I have no problems with good color.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #7 of 23
I agree with chef Ross about the thickness, use more corn starch, flour.
post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by alaminute View Post

I agree with chef Ross about the thickness, use more corn starch, flour.

Or less water your recipe quantity is blank. You just dont know the right consistency yet. Experiment a bit.
Let it rest a good half hour before using.

Use dark beer like Guiness if you want really dark batter with clean oil.
post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies. I've tried the paprika but I'm trying to get more of a pure taste without any other influences. I haven't tried to rest the batter. Is there a reason for that? I'm wondering if it is the oil as well. I am using grapeseed oil just because I had it around the house but I wonder if canola or vegetable will get it darker. I'll have to try that at the restaurant. Oh and I'm frying at about 360-375 degrees. 

post #10 of 23

Have you tried peanut oil?  Also, I use self rising flour.  

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #11 of 23

Get rid of the water. When making the batter, the best results for me have always been with egg and/or milk.

 

No water for batter.

post #12 of 23

Your browning problem is due to the low level of protein in your batter to start a good Maillard reaction.

these are experimental steps you can (I would) try:

 

1st try: remove the cornstarch (it's pure starch) AP flour has proteins in it.  The starch dilutes the AP flour proteins. Full flour batter has more protein in it.

 

2nd try: add more protein by adding a whole egg (egg yolks has fat and protein but egg whites have better reactive proteins) or 2 egg whites.

 

As for thinnest of your batter it's better to have small bubbles in your batter before you fry.  The baking powder activates only when it gets wet then heated i.e. in the oil.  When you make your batter with water it will never (appear) thicken because it does not foam up thick i.e. it will be either thin or thick but never velvety thick and creamy.  Since water + flour makes glue, when you hydrate with bubbles the flour traps the foam so it will appear thicker for the same amount of water.  The trapped bubbles will then grow (expand) within the cooking batter due to the heat of the oil increasing the vapour pressure (expanding steam). Your batter will start thicker creamier and end up thicker, lighter and fluffier in the end.  You may still use baking powder if you wish in the recipe for added fluffiness in the finished batter.

 

3rd try: use beer, club soda, carbonated water, champagne, sparkling wine or cider, etc..

 

4th: if using baking soda you should add an acid (lemon juice or vinegar).  Doing a baking soda + malt vinegar could be somewhat thematic/appropriate for this English classic.

 

Good luck,

Luc H.

I eat science everyday, do you?
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I eat science everyday, do you?
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post #13 of 23

I make beer batter every day for onion rings, also use the same for fish tacos (beer battered cod). This is a crisp batter that browns nicely. Measurements are approximate, as I have been making this for so long that it is just by eye.

2 16oz beers

2 eggs

2 tsp baking powder

granulated garlic

liberal amount of granulated onion

pepper

liberal amount of salt

1 1/2lb corn starch

flour to make a creamy batter

post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefbuba View Post
 

I make beer batter every day for onion rings, also use the same for fish tacos (beer battered cod). This is a crisp batter that browns nicely. Measurements are approximate, as I have been making this for so long that it is just by eye.

2 16oz beers

2 eggs

2 tsp baking powder

granulated garlic

liberal amount of granulated onion

pepper

liberal amount of salt

1 1/2lb corn starch

flour to make a creamy batter


That reads like a tasty batter!!

granulated onion and garlic browns easily in hot oil.

You have tons of proteins with the eggs to react with the corn starch.

(and the little extra flour helps)

 

that would be a well balance batter recipe for fluffiness, crisp and browning.

 

Luc H.

I eat science everyday, do you?
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I eat science everyday, do you?
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post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 

Wow, thanks everyone for the knowledge. I'm gonna experiment with everyones advice and see what works best for us. The reason why I wanted to stick with water is because of cost effectiveness. The type of restaurant we are, I can't charge too much for this item, but I still want to give my customers a great tasting plate. Also, I've been hearing that your supposed to let your batter sit for at least a half hour and then mix again and use. I'm a little confused about this though. If your using beer or carbonation to get more air bubbles, wouldn't it go flat and defeat the purpose if you let it sit. Anyone have any ideas on that?

post #16 of 23
Capillary action(?) I think this is why anyway, will let the liquid disperse into the flour. Time will let the gluten relax. Co2 bubbles will form and dissipate some from the baking powder if used.

Plus, it is the way that works haha.

Experiment a but you will get a feel for what is happening and what batter you like.
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by D922922 View Post
 

Also, I've been hearing that your supposed to let your batter sit for at least a half hour and then mix again and use. I'm a little confused about this though. If your using beer or carbonation to get more air bubbles, wouldn't it go flat and defeat the purpose if you let it sit. Anyone have any ideas on that?

 

relaxing the flour mixture (dough) is a very good idea because it will even capture more bubbles tighter inside as the gluten and starch in the flour hydrate.  It's not like leaving soda water open to the air, the bubbles won't dissipate that much out of the batter after an hour.  Doughs hold air bubbles very well (think rising bread, cake, crêpe mixtures, etc...)

 

Luc H.

I eat science everyday, do you?
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I eat science everyday, do you?
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post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 

Ok now I see how that works. Makes sense.

post #19 of 23

Great information---I learned something today---Thanks.

post #20 of 23

I have folded in whipped egg whites with my batter to give it that airy texture

"Are you 5 o'clock ready?!" - My Chef
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"Are you 5 o'clock ready?!" - My Chef
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post #21 of 23

My Suggestion would be to add more cornstarch whereas this is where you're going to get stabilization and more crunch so make your flour 2 to 1 corn starch so 1 cup flour and 1/2 cup cornstarch 

Here is my recipe i make for fish and chips every day 

2 bottle dark beer u can use soda water but it will be more light in color  

1/2 cup vinegar i use champaign   

1 cup flour 

1 box of cornstarch

2 tbls dijon

2tbls baking powder

if needed add a little more cornstarch to thicken  

so dredge the fish in cornstarch then dip in batter untill fuly coated 

this recipe makes a short 4" 6th pan 

also this sits at room temp all day with no eggs 

this will make a thick mixture like glue 350-360 for 3-5 min use the fryer bottom not the baskets or they will stick once they set use spyder to put in basket and finish cooking 

Best of luck i hope you found all of your answers 

Dustin 

post #22 of 23
In my kitchen, without divulging our recipe, its roughly 3 parts weight oz dry ingredient (flour, baking powder, seasonings) to 4 parts fluid oz of a lager beer. Dredge lightly in corn starch before the batter. Works out perfectly
post #23 of 23

Beer!  You can use light or dark, but the Co2 gas will add airiness and color.  You won't need the baking powder.  I take it you are not a fan of bread crumbs, huh?  

 

 

OR

 

If you try the trio:  1.  Flour

                           2.  Dip in slightly beaten egg & milk and,

                           3.  Press in panko bread crumbs (seasoned with s&p and garlic powder and cayenne)

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