Beer-Battered Fish And Yuca Chips Recipe

It's hard to talk about British cuisine without mentioning fish and chips. One of the country's most famous dishes, the Brits have basically claimed the fried-fish-and-french-fry thing and we can't argue against it. After all, some of the best places to find fish and chips in America are English pubs and restaurants. While we can't beat a classic British plate of fried fish and french fries, recipe developer Michelle McGlinn's take cranks things up a notch, infusing the batter with the spicy, tangy flavors of Mexico. 

The secret to this super-crispy, golden brown fried tilapia is in the batter. Made with limey Mexican lager, masa, and chili powder, the crunchy breading is similar in flavor to a crunchy taco shell or the dough of a tamale. While you could make regular potato fries, take it one step further and make yuca fries, a tuber common in Latin American cuisine. The starchy root vegetable makes a tender, fluffy french fry with barely any work at all, and matches the flavors of the tangy fried fish well. Load the dish up with cilantro and cotija and you have a perfect fish and chip that even a Brit would be proud of.

Gather the ingredients for beer-battered fish and yuca chips

The only ingredients you need to make yuca fries are yuca root, canola (or vegetable) oil, and salt. You'll reuse the oil and salt for the fish, so keep those handy. For the fish batter, you'll need flour, masa harina, baking powder, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, an egg, and a Mexican lager. Masa harina is used to make tortillas and tamales, so if you can't find any near the flour and cornmeal, try looking around the tortillas and beans. If you're still having a hard time, swap the masa for cornmeal, which has a similar (though less distinct) flavor and texture, or omit it. As for the lager, try to choose a Mexican lager like Dos Equis, Corona, or Modelo, or anything that is light, bubbly, or has a touch of lime.

Step 1: Cut the yuca into fry length

Slice the yuca into roughly 3-inch chunks.

Step 2: Boil the yuca until soft

Bring a pot of water to boil and add the yuca. Boil until fork-tender, about 20 minutes.

Step 3: Drain and cool

Drain and let the yuca cool.

Step 4: Remove the tough insides and slice into fries

Remove the hard inner root of the yuca, then cut into 1-inch fries.

Step 5: Heat the frying oil

Fill a pot with at least 3-inches of oil. Heat to 350 F.

Step 6: Fry the yuca

Add the yuca fries and fry until golden, about 8-10 minutes, then remove and drain on paper towels. Work in batches as needed.

Step 7: Salt the fries

Season the fries with salt to taste.

Step 8: Combine the dry ingredients

Once the yuca is done frying, prepare the fish dredge by combining the flour, masa, baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder in a bowl.

Step 9: Bring the batter together

Add the egg and lager and combine until smooth. The batter should be the consistency of pancake batter.

Step 10: Dredge the fish

Dredge the fish in the beer batter.

Step 11: Fry the fish

Add the fish to the same hot oil you used for the yuca fries and fry until deeply golden brown, about 10-12 minutes.

Step 12: Drain the fish

Remove and drain on a wire rack.

Step 13: Serve

Serve fish and yuca chips with cotija cheese and cilantro if desired.

What are some tips for working with yuca root?

Yuca root isn't that different from potato, but there are a few differences that are good to know if you're working with yuca for the first time. Potatoes can be peeled thinly with a potato peeler, but yuca root has a much thicker peel that needs to be removed before using. To do this, slice about ⅛-inch into the brown skin with a paring knife, scoring a line down the side of the yuca (It helps to cut the root into manageable chunks before peeling). Use your fingers or the side of the knife to lift the skin up where you scored it until a thick layer lifts apart from the white inside. You know you've done it correctly when the outer layer peels off easily — it shouldn't stick at all. From there, your yuca should be bright white with little to no black spots or streaks. 

To make the yuca tender (and edible) boil the pieces in water just like you would a potato, and stop the boiling once the yuca is fork-tender. Too long in the water, and the yuca will be too soft to fry. Once you remove the hard inner root, which is a noticeably not-tender compared to the boiled yuca, the tuber is exactly the same as a potato and can be fried, baked, or air fried into crispy pieces. Remember to add salt, though, as yuca doesn't have a robust flavor on its own.

What type of beer works best for fried fish batter?

Beer isn't just a fun addition to fried foods — there's also some science behind adding beer to your batter. For the best, crispiest fried fish, you want a beer that has plenty of carbonation, a good amount of foam, and a good flavor that matches your seasonings. There are a lot to choose from, and a good beer for every occasion. Classic British fish and chips may involve Guinness, which is robust and rich, whereas a midwestern fish fry may be made instead with light, mild, and bubbly lager like Pabst. In general, lagers and ales will add a mild flavor to a light, crispy breading. Dark stouts and porters will flavor the batter more richly with a hint of sweetness, and works better for more dense filets like cod. For this recipe, choose a light lager or ale to work with the flaky tilapia, and choose something with a hint of lime, if possible. If your beer isn't brewed with lime flavors, you can also add a squeeze to the batter.

Beer-Battered Fish And Yuca Chips Recipe
5 from 2 ratings
Put a spin on classic fish and chips with this beer-battered version, which also comes with crispy yuca fries.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
38
minutes
Servings
4
Servings
beer battered fish and chips in basket
Total time: 48 minutes
Ingredients
  • 3 pounds yuca root, trimmed and peeled
  • canola oil, for frying
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup masa harina
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 12 ounces Mexican lager
  • 1 ½ pounds tilapia, cut into 1-inch pieces
Optional Ingredients
  • Cotija cheese, for serving
  • Cilantro, for serving
Directions
  1. Slice the yuca into roughly 3-inch chunks.
  2. Bring a pot of water to boil and add the yuca. Boil until fork-tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. Drain and let the yuca cool.
  4. Remove the hard inner root of the yuca, then cut into 1-inch fries.
  5. Fill a pot with at least 3-inches of oil. Heat to 350 F.
  6. Add the yuca fries and fry until golden, about 8-10 minutes, then remove and drain on paper towels. Work in batches as needed.
  7. Season the fries with salt to taste.
  8. Once the yuca is done frying, prepare the fish dredge by combining the flour, masa, baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder in a bowl.
  9. Add the egg and lager and combine until smooth. The batter should be the consistency of pancake batter.
  10. Dredge the fish in the beer batter.
  11. Add the fish to the same hot oil you used for the yuca fries and fry until deeply golden brown, about 10-12 minutes.
  12. Remove and drain on a wire rack.
  13. Serve fish and yuca chips with cotija cheese and cilantro if desired.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 1,800
Total Fat 104.2 g
Saturated Fat 9.0 g
Trans Fat 0.4 g
Cholesterol 125.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 168.8 g
Dietary Fiber 8.3 g
Total Sugars 6.0 g
Sodium 848.8 mg
Protein 45.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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