Gluten Free Beer Battered Fish

6 Mar

I’ve been trying to find a good fried fish recipe to convert to gluten free for quite awhile now. I seemed to have hit on it the other day, as hubby said this was the best fried fish he’s had in a long time. Isn’t it fantastic that it’s gluten free!?

I converted an Emeril Lagasse recipe (food network is my favorite channel and go-to place for new recipes) with very few modifications aside from substituting gluten free flour and gluten free beer. I used a spice mix from Savory Spice Shop that I find myself adding to all sorts of things from scrambled eggs to sauteed greens to potatoes… well, you get the idea. The mix is called Lo Do Red Adobo. It does contain salt so, if you use it, don’t use too much or you’ll over-salt the fish, which, as my favorite Food-Network Chef would say, “is not Good Eats.” (I’ll admit right now to be an adoring fan of Alton Brown of Good Eats, who has made me a better cook than I ever thought I’d be). By the way, you would do worse than to try his gluten free chocolate chip cookie, which currently has 85 five-star ratings on the website.

So, on to the recipe.

I am only focusing on the beer batter and the fish here. You can serve it with whatever your favorite condiments or garnishes are. When I made it, I served it with a chipotle cole slaw and Tyler Florence’s Homemade Tartar Sauce, substituting part sweet relish and part chopped up dill pickles for the cornichons in his recipe.

I have found that the Tom Sawyer Gluten free flour makes the best fried coatings. I’ve used it for chicken fried steak and this recipe. I have also used it in buttermilk biscuits, which I’ll have to discuss in another post.

If you try the following recipe, please let me know if it works for you.

Gluten Free Beer Battered Fish
(adapted from Beer Battered Fried Trout Tacos with Spicy Horseradish Coleslaw by Emeril Lagasse)



  1. Heat the oil in a deep fryer or in a large saucepan to 375 degrees F if  you are at sea level. If you are at 3000 feet above sea level or higher, follow high-altitude frying recommendations for your area. I’m at around 5000 feet and keep my oil about 350 degrees f. for this recipe.
  2. Combine 1 cup of the flour, the baking powder, salt, Lo Do Red Adobo seasoning and cayenne pepper (if using) together into a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and add the oil, beer, and hot sauce. Stir until incorporated and smooth. *If the batter is too thick, add a bit more beer to thin it out. The batter shouldn’t be too thin or it won’t form a nice crust.
  3. Cut each fillet into diagonal 1 1/2-inch strips and season each piece with Adobo Seasoning.
  4. Combine the remaining 1/2 cup flour with the Essence. Dredge the fish strips in the seasoned flour then shake to release any excess flour. Transfer to a plate.
  5. Once all the pieces are coated in flour, dredge each piece of fish in the beer batter, making sure the fish is completely coated. Allow any excess batter to drip into the bowl, then slowly lower the fish into the hot oil.
  6. Repeat with the remaining fish, working in batches if necessary. I usually coat and fry three pieces at a time so as not to overcrowd the pan or fryer.
  7. Fry the fish until it is puffed, golden brown and crispy, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the fish with a slotted spoon or tongs and drain on cooling rack set into a half-sheet pan (I don’t care for the paper towel on a plate method, but you could do that, too). You can place the fish in a warm oven while you cook the remaining pieces.
  8. Once all the fish is fried, serve immediately with your favorite gluten free condiments and side dishes.

That’s it!  I hope you give this a try and let me know how it goes.

Be sure to keep an eye on your fish. If it looks like it’s getting brown, take it out of the oil. I live at about 5000 feet above sea level, so I keep my oil about 25 degrees lower than what is called for in most recipes because water boils at a lower temperature here. If I used the 375 degree oil recommended in Emeri’s recipe, the batter would burn and the fish would not be cooked (speaking from experience here – blackened fried sushi is not so tasty). So, use high altitude recommendations for frying if you live at higher altitudes. If you’re at sea level, use the 375 degrees as in the recipe above.

Also, feel free to use your own favorite spices for the fish and seasoning the flour. I spent many years in Texas and love southwest and creole seasonings. All the flavor for this recipe is in the spices, so stick with flavors you enjoy. Personally, I think I’ll add some chipotle next time for more of a smokey/spicy flavor.

It has occurred to me that this batter could be used for onion rings, but I haven’t had a chance to try it out yet. If you try it for onion rings, I would dredge the rings in corn or potato starch before dipping in the batter.

I really hope this recipe works out for you. I do regret forgetting to take pictures for this post. Next time I make it, I’ll be sure to add them here.


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