Ultrafresh fish is critical for supreme results. While many whitefish will do, I find the firmer texture of striped bass superior to the more commonly used cod. Don’t skip the paper towel wrap—it will prevent the fried fish from turning soggy.
- Rinse and cut fish into large chunks (roughly 1.5 inches by 4 inches). Wrap fish in thick paper towels and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes or more.
- In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients. Whisk in the beer until thoroughly combined. Don’t overmix or make batter more than 20 minutes prior to frying.
- Heat oil in a wide, deep skillet until it reaches 350 to 375 (if you don’t have a thermometer, put the end of a wooden spoon in the oil; when bubbles form around it, the oil is ready).
- With tongs, dip each piece of fish in batter and transfer immediately to oil. Fry each piece about 3 minutes, flipping once, until nicely golden. Place on a serving platter lined with paper towels and service immediately with lemon wedges and tartar sauce.
- Combine all ingredients in food processor and pulse until combined. For a chunkier version, stir in chopped cornichons and scallions afterward.
Kristen Bieler is a journalist and editor based in New York City. She is currently the senior editor of a wine and spirits trade publication, a regular contributor to Grape Collective and a judge of the Ultimate Wine Challenge international competition. Her writing on food and beverage has appeared in a range of print and online media for nearly two decades.