Gluten free fish batter gives you crispy, golden-crusted, battered fish that rivals any other! It's easier than you might think to make your own battered fish at home. Use the same recipe for onion rings or shrimp!
This gluten free recipe is free from cornstarch, dairy and nuts, too.
- Fish - This is haddock. Cod, flounder, and tilapia are also recommended for deep-frying. Use either fresh or frozen fish, thawed in the refrigerator.
- Club Soda - The fizz creates air bubbles when the batter hits the heat, yielding the nice light, flakey crust.
- Cathy's Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Blend - If you haven't already mixed some up, you'll want to! There are lots of things you can make with it and more recipes coming!
- Lard - I use lard as a cooking fat because it doesn't go rancid as soon as vegetable oils and has a higher smoke point. It adds flavour and crispness to food. The best lard is rendered at home from pork belly or back fat. You can purchase this kind in a jar in the health food store. It's kind of pricey, but you can do small batch deep frying like this with a pound of it.
See recipe card for quantities.
Dry the fish pieces and coat them in rice flour.
Mix all of the batter ingredients together.
Use tongs to dip each flour-coated piece into the batter, making sure both sides are covered.
Carefully slip each battered piece into 375°F (190°C) oil. Cook for a few minutes on each side.
Hint: The fish is best eaten right away, but you can keep it warm on a paper towel-lined tray in a 250°F (121°C) oven for up to 20 minutes while you cook the remaining fish.
When choosing an oil for deep frying, we need to look for one that contains a high level of saturated fat and is also stable at a high temperature. We should try to avoid oils with large amounts of polyunsaturated fats, because they can form harmful compounds when they're exposed to high heat.
Coconut oil is a good one, but will affect the flavour of whatever you are cooking. Lard, ghee, and avocado oil are also good oils to use for home cooking.
You can cook this fish in an air fryer with some degree of success. You won't get the glistening, golden crispy crust that's achieved by deep frying, but your battered fish will still taste good.
I tested this recipe in an air fryer for myself after a reader asked if it would work. The batter is too wet for a basket, so I cooked it on a pan lined with parchment paper. First I sprayed the parchment with oil, hoping for a little of the oily sheen and crispiness that comes from deep frying. After placing the battered fish on the lined pan, I sprayed a little oil over the top of it, too. Then, I cooked it in the air fryer for about 4 minutes at 475 degrees F. At this point, the fish needs to be turned over and baked for up to 4-5 minutes longer. It might be less, depending on the thickness of the fish and the air fryer you are using. When you flip it over, you can judge how much longer you think it needs.
Does beer battered fish have gluten?
Yes, beer battered fish usually has gluten, for two reasons. First of all, regular beer has gluten in it. Secondly, anything fried in the same oil as glutenous foods will have become contaminated with gluten. Fryers are often used to fry things that have been breaded in wheat flour. Therefore, even french fries or anything in a gluten free batter will no longer be gluten free if cooked in that oil.
For battered fish to be gluten free, the batter needs to made with either gluten free beer or club soda (as in this recipe), and it needs to be cooked in separate, clean oil.
If you don't want to make your own gluten free all purpose flour blend and would rather purchase a ready made one, Better Batter Original Blend is the closest to mine and should work in this recipe.
Besides fish, try making onion rings or battered shrimp with this same recipe!
You don't really need much fancy equipment for this recipe. A pot large enough to handle a couple pieces of fish at a time, a pair of tongs, and a thermometer are the important things.
I use a deep, 8" (20 cm) diameter pot. It's big enough to handle the fish and small enough to keep the oil at least ½" (1 cm) deep.
Long-handled tongs are important when you're working with hot oil, so your hands don't get too close to it.
A thermometer tells you when your oil is at the right temperature for deep frying. If it's too hot, your food will burn on the outside before it gets cooked on the inside. If it isn't hot enough, the food will take too long to cook and absorb too much oil.
Store any leftover battered and cooked fish in a paper-towel lined, sealed container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
To reheat leftovers, preheat the oven with an empty baking pan in it to 450°F (232°C). Place cold, cooked, battered fish on the hot pan and cook for about 12 minutes. It should be heated right through and the crust crisped up again.
Be very careful when cooking with hot oil! It will sizzle and spatter when you put the battered fish in. Stand back and slip each piece in gently, with long-handled tongs.
What to Serve with Battered Fish
Gluten Free Fish Batter
- 1 deep pot at least 8" (20 cm) in diameter
- 1 Instant-read thermometer
- long-handled tongs
- 2 pounds cod, haddock, flounder, or tilapia
Gluten Free Fish Batter Ingredients
- 1 cup Cathy's Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Blend
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 egg
- 12 ounces club soda
- ¼ cup white rice flour
- 1 pound lard
- Heat lard in a deep pot to 375°F (190°C). It should be at least ½ to ¾ inch deep. One pound (454 g) of lard was perfect in my 8-inch (20 cm) diameter pot.1 pound lard
- Whisk all of the batter ingredients together in a wide bowl.1 cup Cathy's Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Blend, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon paprika, 2 teaspoons fine sea salt, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, ¼ teaspoon baking powder, ¼ teaspoon baking soda, ¼ teaspoon onion powder, 1 egg, 12 ounces club soda
- Pat the fish dry. Cut it into 3- or 4-ounce (85-113 g) pieces. Sprinkle rice flour over the pieces of fish.2 pounds cod, haddock, flounder, or tilapia, ¼ cup white rice flour
- Holding the fish with tongs, dip each piece into the batter mixture. Make sure that both sides are completely coated. Then carefully lower the battered fish pieces into the hot oil. Cook only enough at one time as will fit in the pot without crowding. Fry 3 - 4 minutes on each side.
- As the pieces of fish are done cooking, transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels. Keep the fish warm in a 250°F (120°C) oven for up to 20 minutes as you finish cooking the rest of the fish.
- This fish batter should be the consistency of heavy cream once the ingredients have all been mixed together.
- Use an instant read thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature of the oil. Try to maintain a temperature of 375°F (190°C) throughout the cooking process.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove