I have this rule in my kitchen. Well, okay, it isn’t so much a rule as it is a loose guide that I occasionally follow. This loose guide that I occasionally follow is to use the classics to make classic recipes. What does this mean in practice? It means that if I want something that is good old home cooking, like biscuits or pancakes or fritter batter (?) I go straight to an old-fashioned cookbook. In my house that means that I might look in my first edition (1961) “Betty Crocker’s New Picture Cook Book.” Or, more likely, I will go to my Joy of Cooking cookbook (1964, sadly not a first edition). These old cookbooks got some things very right. Like I said, when I’m making a classic, I like to use a classic.
When I first decided to make a low sodium battered fish, I sat down with my Joy of Cooking cookbook and read. And read. And read. There is a lot of information in there about frying foods, making airy batters, and getting things cooked perfectly. After reading, I went ahead and adapted one of their recipes (“Fritter Batter for Vegetables, Meat, and Fish”). I kept it very similar to the original – omitting salt, reducing flour, and switching the order in which I mixed the ingredients. The result is a light, crispy, very low sodium batter that works great for fish, but would make a spectacular coating for vegetables if you are into frying those.
You start with what many good things start with… egg yolks, flour, butter, and beer.
After you mix your batter, refrigerate it for several hours. Then you whip up your egg whites and gently fold them into the batter. This helps create that nice airy batter that we are after.
(Yes, I use my Halloween scraper year-round. Don’t judge.)
From there, you just batter and fry the fish. We like to use cod, but you can use whatever white fish you like best. Lucky enough to have walleye? Use it! We serve this fish with a splash of malt vinegar and a side of low sodium Easy Baked Fries for a classic dinner of fish and chips.
Beer Battered Fish
This classic is remade without added salt, but with great flavor.
SODIUM COUNT: 97.7 mg per serving; 390.6 mg in the whole batch
For the Batter
- 1 large egg
- 2 Tbsp butter melted
- 3/4 cup flat beer (I prefer ale)
- fresh ground black pepper
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- oil for frying (peanut oil works great because of its high smoke point)
- 1 lb white fish (such as cod)
For the Batter
Separate the eggs. Place the yolks in a medium bowl and place the whites in a small bowl in the refrigerator. You will use the egg whites later.
Whisk the melted butter into the egg yolks. Once combined, whisk in the beer and black pepper. Stir in the flour. Do not over mix. Put the batter in the refrigerator for 3-12 hours.
Fill a large pot with oil so that the oil is about 3” deep. Heat the oil to 375°F.*
While the oil is heating, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter.
Cut the fish into strips and pat dry with paper towels. Dip the fish into the batter and immediately place into the fryer. Fry the fish for 2-3 minutes per side.
Serve the fish with lemon wedges and malt vinegar.
*If you are baking fries to go with the fish, you will probably want to get them in the oven before you start heating the oil. Once the fish is frying, it gets done very quickly.
The nutritional information below was calculated based on an assumption that the fish will absorb a total of 2 ounces of oil.
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION Yield: 4 servings
Sodium: 97.7 mg, Calories: 437.0, Total Fat: 23.5 g, Saturated Fat: 11.6 g, Cholesterol: 169.8 mg, Carbohydrates: 25.7 g, Fiber: 0.9 g, Sugar: 0.3 g, Protein: 26.8 g.
A happy ending?