Chemistry was an exciting subject in school – at least the part that required us to don lab coats and act like scientists. No matter that the only thing we were actually allowed to do, is heat some substances (washing soda/ copper sulphate) and note down the properties. I don’t want to give you the spiel about how recreating a recipe is nothing but chemistry, but in this case it’s true. I was supposed to use carbonated water or soda, in combination with soda bicarbonate powder to get the desired ‘fizziness’ to make the batter light and crispy. It’s anticlimactic that the actual reaction was nowhere near the explosion that I expected, but more of a tame bubble bath! But the end product was right as promised – crisp, light and almost see-through-lace like batter. Now that’s an
experiment recipe worth repeating.
Fizzy Batter Fried Fish
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
What you need:
125 gms Plain Flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of Soda/ baking soda
1 tsp Paprika
150ml cold, fizzy water (carbonated water/ soda)
250 ml Oil for frying
300 gms White fish filets, cut into strips (haddock/ betki/ sole/ basa)
What to do:
Put the flour, bicarbonate of soda, paprika and fizzy water in a mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper and whisk until smooth and tiny bubbles form on the surface.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a deep-sided frying pan. (About 200°C or till a cube of bread sizzles on contact with the oil).
Put the fish in the batter one piece at a time and coat well. Remove any excess and carefully lower into the oil. Cook turning occasionally for 3-5 mins or until the pieces are a rich golden brown. Make sure the pieces don’t stick together. If they do, gently separate them with the spatula.
Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Sprinkle with a little salt and serve hot with pink sauce (ketchup and mayo) or lemon aioli (garlic-lemon mayonnaise).
P.S. if you use beer instead of fizzy water, it will result in a crisp, rich dark batter.