The Best Way To Keep The Batter On Fried Fish From Falling Off

Crispy fried fish is delicious year-round, no matter how you prepare it. You might go the British route and deep fry fish and serve it doused in fresh lemon juice and vinegar alongside fries (or chips as they call it), or maybe you prefer beer-battered fish served with tangy tartar sauce, creamy coleslaw, and crunchy hushpuppies. Regardless of your go-to method for frying and serving fish, the key to a delicious meal is making sure the batter doesn't fall off during the cooking process.

The first essential step to making sure the batter sticks is to pat the fish dry. Paper towels are the go-to tool for getting this done because you don't want to rub raw fish all over your kitchen towels. And don't be afraid to be liberal with the paper towels, or you might spread moisture from one piece of fish to another. Watery fish will not only be difficult to batter but will also water down your dredging mixture and likely fall off anyway.

The best way to batter fish

Did the batter fall off your fish — even after you spent time patting them dry with paper towels? There are a couple of reasons why this might happen. First, the oil might not have been hot enough. If the oil isn't at the correct temperature, your fish will absorb the oil while it's frying, causing some of the batter to drop off. To prevent this, your oil should be around 350 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a candy thermometer to check in on the oil, because the temperature will fluctuate, especially if you are frying in batches.

Another less-known trick is to use mustard in your batter. Not only will it give your fish a slightly tangy flavor (Don't worry, most of the flavor will cook out while it's frying), but it also acts as a binder in a similar way that eggs do. Use yellow mustard if you want a milder flavor or squirt in some Dijon if you want more tanginess. You can replace the eggs with mustard, or whisk the two ingredients together for the ultimate binder. One final tip: Shake off any excess egg, mustard, or flour mixture to prevent the fish from getting soggy when it's time to fry.