Memorable Adventures & Tasty Traditions
During one of our unforgettable journeys to the Adirondacks, the beginning of the bass season led us to a delightful culinary discovery: the Beer-Infused Fish Fry with Crispy Potato Slices & Zesty Tartar. My father, whose childhood memories danced in this very locale, vouched for the end of June as the zenith of fishing. These days, instead of seasonal licenses, our preference for short-term ones elevates the uniqueness of our sojourns.
Our most memorable culinary experience was when we camped deep within the Adirondacks with family. With a catch of eight bass – both large and smallmouth – we dived into a genuine fish fry. It was during this camping moment that the Beer Batter Fish Fry was born, combining well-thought-out ratios and the essentials we had, like Bisquick, leftover tortilla chips, and an inviting bottle of beer.
Over the years, this recipe became a beloved family artifact, one we nearly lost but gratefully rediscovered from our archives. While we traditionally cook fish whole as per our Chinese heritage, this beer-infused batter for frying fish, particularly the bass, has earned its own legacy during our camping nights.
The Delicious Details
Serves 8: Halve the recipe if you’re expecting a smaller group or just having a modest day of fishing.
For The Crispy Fish:
- 4 fillets of tender white fish (like cod, halibut, or bass)
The Batter Magic:
- 1½ cups flour (and an additional ¼ cup for that light dusting)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic essence
- ½ teaspoon grounded black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt sprinkle
- 1 tablespoon vegetable brew
- 12 ounces of beer (a smooth lager or amber ale works wonders!)
- 2/3 cup crushed corn tortilla chips (ideal use for those chip leftovers!)
Golden Potato Slices:
- 4 medium russet potatoes (cleaned and carved into wedges)
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tablespoon paprika essence
- 1 teaspoon black pepper dust
- 1 teaspoon salt
Tangy Tartar Sauce:
- ½ cup creamy mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon zesty lemon squeeze
- 1 medium dill pickle (chopped finely)
- 1 shallot (minced; or go with 2 tablespoons of minced red onion for a twist)
- A pinch of salt and pepper for that flavor kick
Steps to Savoriness
- Start by heating a cast-iron pot over your fire grate. Wait for the oil to reach the sweet spot between 350-375F. You can test the oil’s readiness with a potato bit or a reliable kitchen thermometer.
- Preparing the potato slices is easy. After soaking them, pat them dry, and mix with the flour, paprika, black pepper, and salt for a rich coat.
- Fry these golden wedges for 10-11 minutes. Re-fry briefly for extra crunch, if desired.
- Meanwhile, mix your tartar ingredients: mayonnaise, lemon, pickle, shallot, and the seasonings. Let it rest and infuse.
- Now, the star: the fish batter. Blend all dry components, introduce the oil and beer, then fold in the tortilla chips. Allow this mixture to set for about 20 minutes.
- Ensure your oil is at the right temperature. Dry the fish fillets and give them a light flour dusting. Coat them generously with the batter.
- Gently lower the coated fillet into the oil, ensuring the batter seals before fully immersing. Fry until each side is a golden brown, turning them periodically.
- Once done, let the fish rest on a paper towel to drain any excess oil.
- Serve your crispy fish with the potato slices and the tangy tartar dip. This meal will surely etch into your memories!
Enjoy the magic of nature combined with the joy of cooking. This fish fry isn’t just a recipe; it’s an experience, a tale of family, adventure, and the warmth of shared meals.