Pancake Battered Fried Fish uses pancake mix to make fish fry batter for deep fried fish, whitefish, chicken, crab and shrimp. This fish pancake mix as batter is great for at home or camping, with or without beer and I've included a BONUS recipe for Beer Battered Fish and Chips!
Table of contents
- Pancake Battered Fried Fish Recipe
- Fried Crab Batter with Pancake Mix Recipe
- Fried Chicken with Pancake Mix Recipe
- Shrimp Batter using Pancake Mix Recipe
- Bonus: Beer Battered Fish and Chips Recipe
Pancake Batter for Fish
My husband adored his grandparents, Bertha and Reginald (Reg for short). Reg was such an influence on Ken that my son is actually named after him. What an honor!
Reginald was the father Ken never had, and he made him the man he is today in every way. From Reg, Ken developed a deep passion for fishing. While they fished, they spent many hours talking and Ken loved every minute of it.
Each time they went on a fishing adventure, his grandfather would pack a pan, old mess kit, oil, knife and a bag of pancake mix to make fish fry batter.
Reginald was lucky enough to live by lake water and the Atlantic Ocean, so they always caught something. Over time, Ken developed a love of fish of every kind, including shellfish.
Some of Reg's favorites were pickerel, yellow pike and walleye, but Ken was never disappointed when they caught cod, sole or halibut. He knew any form of white-fleshed fish would cook beautifully in the pancake batter for deep frying his grandfather would make.
Ken would gather firewood while his grandfather got the fire started, heated the oil and cleaned the fish.
Can you use pancake mix for fish batter?
Making this pancake batter for fish is fast and easy. Ken's grandfather would simply add water to the bag of pancake mix and give it a shake. Just like that, Aunt Jemima pancake mix fish batter! When making pancake mix as batter, Reg knew the right consistency and I don't think he measured anything!
Once mixing the pancake deep fry batter, he would add the fish fillets to the bag, place each one into hot oil and cook them until they were a beautifully golden brown color.
Reg and Ken would sit and enjoy their pancake battered fried fish and talk about everything under the sun. Afterward, they'd return to the water to fish some more before heading home.
Ken's adventures with his grandfather are the highlight of his life and, after all these years, his face still lights up whenever he talks about their fishing expeditions.
As far back as he can remember, more than 50 years, Ken's been eating pancake battered fish.
Until he made fish beer batter with pancake mix for me, I'd never heard of it. What a discovery! The taste of fish pancake batter is unbelievably delicious. It was different than what I expected, but such a delight.
Now when I think of pancake mix as batter, I see it as pancake batter for deep frying and probably always will.
Pre-mixed pancake mix is widely available and all you do is add water to make the perfect fish pancake batter for home or camping.
I keep suggesting making pancake battered fish while camping because you can make this easy pancake batter for fish without many ingredients or even a kitchen!
This pancake deep fry batter is dual function, economical and makes meal planning so much easier.
It doesn't get any better than that!
Pancake Deep Fry Batter
My husband proudly considers himself a sports fisherman as he brings fish home, cleans and cooks all of the fillets himself.
Pancake mix is his batter of choice when deep frying most of the fish he catches!
On occasion, he makes Beer Battered Fish and Chips and I've included this bonus recipe below for you to try.
In the area where he fishes, my husband will come home with whitefish, perch, pickerel or pike and we enjoy every bite of pancake batter fried fish!
He often prepares the pancake batter for deep frying fish and the results are nothing short of astounding. It is so unbelievably easy to prepare fish and beer batter from a pancake mix!
Before Ken introduced me to pancake deep fry batter, it never occurred to me that pancake batter for deep frying fish could taste that good!
Take it from me, pancake batter for deep frying is a journey worth taking.
When my neighbor Renate heard about using pancake batter for deep frying fish, she was eager to try it. Did I mention she's also a food critic?
The first time she tried fish pancake batter she found her results disappointing as she used tuna instead of a white fish and neglected to add seasonings.
I encouraged her to try again with a different type of fish and to add seasoning.
Renate is always honest and forthright with me and I appreciated learning about one food that wasn't completely amazing with this pancake batter for deep frying. I still believe in this pancake batter for fish recipe. But for Renate? The jury is still out.
The next time Renate samples Aunt Jemima pancake mix fix batter I'll make sure Ken prepares it with his most recent catch.
Pancake Batter for Deep Frying
Mixing pancake batter for deep frying foods works amazingly well.
Here are just a few foods this fish fry batter works with:
- chicken onion rings
- fried chicken with pancake mix
- chocolate bars
- ...and so much more
The applications of fish beer batter with pancake mix are limitless.
Whether you create a dish that is sweet or savory, remember you can fry almost anything with pancake mix. There might be something that wouldn't work with deep frying batter, but nothing comes to mind!
While we call this recipe pancake batter for fish, it really does work with most food that you can batter. My husband will tell you that I have definitely pushed the limits of what you can use pancake batter for deep frying with! So far, my experiments have been successful and I'm always eager to share them with you.
Deep frying everything using pancake mix as batter is so easy. You can fry foods you never imagined deep frying! And I say, nothing should stop you from frying different things.
Tips for how to make fish batter with pancake mix
When making pancake deep fry batter, do not use store-bought pancake batter mixes that have additional ingredients like chocolate chips, blueberries, popular cereals, berries or anything else.
Only plain old pancake mix that requires only water will do in making pancake batter for deep frying.
Here's why. Hot oil forces the batter to stick to the food you're cooking, such as shrimp pancake batter or fried crab batter with pancake mix.
Baking powder causes the batter to puff up as it fries, creating a thick, wonderful, slightly sweet, crispy coating.
Any brand of pancake mix that calls for water only is all that's required. Place in a bowl and add water as directed, until you have the consistency of a thick enough batter.
For a little more flavor, substitute flat beer for the water when making pancake battered fish. It makes a difference.
When my husband and son go camping, I am pretty sure they don't measure the water or flat beer exactly to make pancake battered fish.
Not that they aren't capable of measuring, but I know a measuring cup isn't part of their camping gear.
Ken will remind me that his grandpa never used a measuring cup and their fish pancake batter turned out just fine.
Using a little more or a little less water to get the correct batter consistency will not make a difference.
To make perfect pancake battered fish, the pancake deep fry batter must drip or fall off the food in a steady stream when lifting it out of the fish fry batter.
When making fried chicken with pancake mix or shrimp pancake batter, you want thicker batter that runs off slowly. More on that later.
Fry Fish Batter
What's important when mixing fry fish batter is the fried fish batter be the right consistency.
If pancake deep fry batter is too thick, it will harden and have a lack of flavor.
If the pancake batter for fish is too thin and runny, it will not hold the food together when it's in the hot oil.
Unlike chicken or shrimp, which can tolerate thicker, heavier batter, fish requires a lighter, thinner batter that will compliment and not overpower the flavor of the fish.
Fish beer batter with pancake mix
Start with 1 cup of pancake mix and ¾ cup of water. This is the basic pancake batter recipe.
Decide if you want to exchange the water for beer. Beer will definitely give it some essence.
Adjust the amount of liquid one tablespoon at a time to thin or thicken your batter.
Although you can use this pancake deep fry batter right away, I suggest refrigerating your deep frying batter for 30 minutes before using.
Pancake batter for fish seasoning options
Once your pancake batter for deep frying is mixed, you can add various seasonings, if desired.
When seasoning, all it takes is a teaspoon or two for every cup of pancake mix.
Here are a few examples to spark your imagination.
If you're deep frying chocolate bars, Oreo cookies or funnel cakes, try adding ground or powdered vanilla bean or cinnamon.
Better yet, add pumpkin pie spice or any of related spices like nutmeg, allspice, ginger, cloves and cinnamon. These are perfect flavors for warm desserts.
Suggested spices for desserts like a chocolate bar:
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1-2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1-2 teaspoons powdered vanilla bean, usually one is more than enough
If you're mixing shrimp pancake batter or planning on making fried crab batter with pancake mix, feel free to add salt, pepper cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder or seafood blend. This will also work well with fish, chicken or even pickles!
Suggested spices for protein like fish, chicken or vegetables:
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- A teaspoon of paprika
I use two cups of pancake mix as batter when making pancake battered fish, so I double up on the seasoning suggestions.
Press spices and seasonings into pancake mix before you dip in batter.
Feel free to add more than one seasoning if desired, as it always depends on what you're dipping!
Prepare your pancake mix as you desire!
Crispy Pancake Battered Fish or Fried Chicken with Pancake Mix?
Whatever protein you choose, whether it be chicken or fish, here's how you can get a crunchier coating.
Roll your fish or chicken in dried pancake mix before dipping it in the pancake deep fry batter and then again immediately after.
Make sure your fish, shrimp, crab or chicken pieces are fully covered in batter (all sides), and allow excess batter to drip off before pressing into the pancake mix again.
Place pancake battered fish pieces directly into the hot oil or onto a rack until ready to start deep frying.
Try one piece at a time to see if it's the right crispiness, then take it from there.
Note: extra crispy coating is not necessary when making battered deep fried desserts like chocolate bars.
Your dream of eating crispy pancake battered everything can be a reality by following these easy steps!
Fish Beer Batter with Pancake Mix
There's something about deep frying fish in beer batter. In my books, it makes for better batter (or batter better) and the fish tastes out of this world delicious!
Before making this delightful fish fry batter for pancake battered fish, leave an open can of your favorite beer in the fridge for six hours or overnight.
You do this because the beer must be flat or without any bubbles before adding it to your pancake mix as batter.
No doubt about it, flat beer adds additional flavor to fish batter. My family can attest to that!
Measure the exact same amount of flat beer as you would water to the pancake mix. Yep, you read that right.
Beer battered fish has a slightly different taste than water-based pancake battered fried fish and is definitely worth sampling.
Avoid light beer if possible. When making beer pancake battered fish, regular beer is the way to go as it enhances more flavor.
Regular beer brings flavor to the batter. In my humble opinion, it's the best.
Fish is magically transformed with beer batter and the taste is magnificent!
So, give fish batter with beer a try and judge for yourself.
Pancake Battered Fried Fish with Non-Alcoholic Beer
Even though my husband hasn't drank alcohol for almost 20 years, that doesn't stop us from making fish batter with beer or near beer (non-alcoholic beer). It works great!
Since my husband doesn't drink beer, I purchase "near beer" or non-alcoholic beer for our pancake deep fry batter, which achieves the same amazing results.
When camping, my husband opens a can of non-alcoholic beer every night before bed so it's flat and ready for the next day.
Nothing compares to eating beer pancake battered fish around the campfire. It's on the menu almost every day.
Non-alcoholic beer adds nothing but amazing flavour to pancake battered fish. We love it!
Experiment with regular beer or non-alcoholic in pancake mix for deep frying, and see which one suits you best.
As always, I would love to hear your comments.
How to Make Fish Beer Batter with Pancake Mix
If you want to know how to make authentic beer batter for deep frying, you've come to the right place.
Learn how to make a real beer batter and enjoy some real beer battered fish.
Homemade beer batter is the best batter around. I can attest to that!
I've included a bonus recipe near the bottom of this article called Pancake Battered Fried Fish and More recipe.
It's so wonderful I just had to share it with you.
Beer battered fish and chips is so worth the effort.
Once you've tried this beer batter recipe, you'll NEVER want to eat beer battered fish and chips from a restaurant again. It's that good.
This beer battered fish and chips recipe also includes a unique method of cooking french fries that will be cooked and ready at the exact same time as your fish!
Despite the name, you actually don't need regular beer in the bonus beer battered fish and chips recipe. Non-alcoholic beer or any bubbly water will do.
Note: Do not use regular water in the bonus beer battered fish and chips recipe. It must have bubbles.
Made right in your own home, this beer battered fish and chips recipe is simply the BEST. It's one of life's pleasures. So, visit it often. You will be glad you did.
The Bonus Beer Battered Fish and Chips Recipe recipe is listed below for you to copy or print.
Pancake Deep Frying Batter
Now that you have the know-how to make fish beer batter with pancake mix, imagine all the other things you can deep fry, you can make everything from shrimp pancake batter to deep fried Mars bars!
The versatility of pancake mix as batter is nothing short of remarkable. A road full of discovery awaits you!
If you've never tried frying various chocolate bars (including Mars bars), hang onto your hat as you're in for a wild ride.
As a special treat, my close friend makes deep fried Snickers bars once a month and uses this pancake battered fried fish recipe to do it.
She uses water (no beer in this dish) and LOVES the results.
Try this deep fry pancake batter once and I dare you to stop! It might be challenging.
Deep fry pancake batter can be used with almost anything you can think of. Some things will work better than others, as you might expect.
And chocolate bars are no different. Some work really well. Others, not so much.
Whether it's a success or not, trying new things can be fun! Try it once and if you don't love it, don't make it again.
I've tried deep frying many things that I wouldn't try again. Not because they were terrible, but I tried and just wouldn't make them that particular way again. Totally fine!
Here's why I recommend trying many foods with this pancake deep fry batter.
One year, I made a bunch of mixed mini chocolates, dipped them in pancake batter and then deep fried them. What a surprise that was! They were terrific.
It's like opening up a present. You have no idea what you're getting and guessing is part of the magic.
What sauce works best with pancake mix as batter for fish?
Using pancake mix for fish batter, cut the fillets into small, bite-sized pieces.
Any brand of pancake mix that requires water only will work brilliantly, including making Aunt Jemima pancake mix fish batter.
Small pieces or bites of fish fillets fried in plain deep frying batter or beer batter, are perfect for dipping in tartar sauce (I'm a huge fan) or whatever sauce your heart desires!
Combine mayonnaise and sweet pickle relish together and you've got a homemade tartar sauce that's simply a delight!
Homemade tartar sauce is so easy to make and takes only a minute to prepare. Try it and once you do, I dare say store-bought tartar sauce may never be on your shopping list again.
Although fish and tartar sauce are a perfect pairing, salt, malt and white vinegar are a close second.
Add ketchup to the list (yes, I said ketchup) and a slice or two of fresh lemon and you have a party for your tastebuds!
These condiments and sauces make good companions when eating beer battered fried fish.
But whatever accompanies your fish, it's always the right choice.
What kind of oil to use with pancake battered fried fish
Peanut oil is highly recommended when making battered fish. I consider it non-negotiable, as peanut oil is perfect for deep frying anything and battered fish is a prime example.
Not only can peanut oil handle high temperatures, it has a high smoke point and it's neutral base won't alter the taste of food. Being low in saturated fat and high in polyunsaturated, monounsaturated fats, makes it healthier for frying than with shortening or lard.
From a health perspective, peanut oil is relatively high in polyunsaturated fats and therefore isn't an ideal oil to include in your regular diet.
So consider deep frying battered fish in peanut oil on special occasions or as a treat.
For more information on frying with peanut oil, have a look here.
Tips for Deep Frying Fish Fry Batter
Fish fry batter for battered fish has to be fried at the correct temperature or you will not be happy with the results.
For fish fry batter, oil needs to reach a certain temperature so that your battered fish is marvelously crisp.
If you're using a thermometer, allow the oil to reach 350 degrees.
There is a way of perfectly frying fish without one. Flick a drop of water into the shimmering oil. If it instantly dances or sizzles, it's ready to go.
My husband uses a different method that works even better than mine. I hate to admit it.
He waits until the oil starts to shimmer, then adds a drop of pancake batter into the oil.
Here is the rest of his deep frying method:
- If the drop of fish batter turns black right away, the oil is too hot
- If the drop of pancake batter sinks to the bottom and stays there too long, the oil isn't hot enough
- Finally, if the drop of batter goes to the bottom of the pan, then quickly floats back to the top and starts to sizzle around the edges, it's exactly the right moment to beginning the frying process
I know this method sounds kind of silly but if it works for Ken and his grandfather, it will work for you too!
Tips for Making the Best Pancake Battered Fried Fish and More
- Us plain pancake mix that requires only water when making the best pancake battered fried fish and more
- Ensure whatever you're deep frying is totally dry. Use paper towel remove extra moisture
- Make sure your oil is hot enough—350 degrees
- Using tongs or your fingers, dip whatever you're deep frying into the batter. Fully coat the food item and allow the excess oil to drip off
- Carefully place the food item in the hot oil and fry until a crispy, golden brown
- Leftover fish pancake batter must be discarded after being dipped in raw meat
- Extra fish beer batter with pancake mix that you haven't dipped raw meat into can be stored covered in the fridge up to two days (including the day you made it)
- Before using leftover pancake deep fry batter, stir again
Knowing how to make the best pancake batter around will boost your cooking skills and expand your food horizons.
Trust me on this!
Deep Fried Shrimp, Chicken and Soft Shell Crabs
Once you decide to use pancake batter for deep frying, make sure to add deep fried shrimp, chicken and soft shell crabs to your menu.
And remember, if you want a crispier result, you can press the powder into your protein before and after you dip in the pancake batter, with or without seasoning.
Use thinner batter for proteins like whitefish and thicker batter if you're making shrimp and chicken.
How fast the batter drips off your protein and back into the batter bowl when you lift it out is what counts.
For whitefish, batter moves quicker and for chicken and shrimp, more slowly.
Here's what to do if you're not sure: test a piece in hot oil.
If the batter won't stick to the protein, make it thicker and add more mix.
And if the batter is too heavy surrounding the protein, add more liquid, one tablespoon at a time.
No need to stress. You'll get the hang of it.
Bisquick Beer Battered Shrimp Recipe
Until recently, pancake mix using water or beer to deep fry everything was the preferred method of choice.
It's ideal for camping as it's not always practical to travel with eggs and you don't need any for this simple fish pancake recipe!
With Bisquick Original Pancake and Baking Mix, you have the option of using less liquid and including an egg if you'd like.
I originally adapted this recipe from Bisquick and I proudly use it to make deep fried shrimp pancake batter that's like no other.
It's so easy and is super delicious. Shrimp fans, you're going to love this!
Ingredients for shrimp batter using pancake mix
- 1 pound large shrimp, thawed (if frozen), uncooked, peeled and deveined
- ¼ cup Bisquick Original Pancake and Baking Mix
- 1 cup Bisquick Original Pancake and Baking Mix
- ½ cup flat beer or water
- 1 egg (optional)
- Peanut oil
- shredded coconut (optional)
Heat oil in a heavy bottom skillet or deep fryer to 350 degrees.
In a large resealable bag, place ¼ cup of Bisquick Original pancake mix and add dry, defrosted shrimp.
Use a paper towel to dry shrimp as much as possible before placing inside the bag.
Adjust shrimp until lightly coated.
Mix remaining ingredients until smooth.
Start by using ½ cup of water or flat beer.
Or skip the egg and add up to ¾ cup of flat beer or water.
If batter is too thick, add beer or water (one tablespoon at a time), until desired consistency is reached.
Lift one shrimp out of the batter to see how quickly it drips off of the shrimp. The batter should slowly drip back inside the bowl.
Dip shrimp into batter, and once again, allow excess batter to drip back into your bowl.
Just before frying, dredge the battered shrimp in coconut (if desired).
Nutty and somewhat sweet, coconut will bump up the flavor.
Flip the shrimp after about a minute or so as it takes only a few minutes to cook.
Fry until golden brown on both sides.
Remove shrimp with a slotted spoon.
Drain on a plate or oven rack lined with a paper towel and place in the oven at 200 degrees to keep warm.
Then sit back and watch the shrimp lovers in your life light up!
Pancake Battered Fried Chicken
You can make pancake battered fried chicken with the Bisquick beer battered shrimp recipe listed above by substituting chicken for shrimp.
Try them both and let me know your preference. Hearing your opinions means a lot to me.
Fried chicken with pancake mix ingredients
- 1 pound chicken breasts, cut into 2 inch cubes
- 1 cup pancake mix (that requires water only)
- ¾ cup water or flat beer
- peanut oil for frying
Rinse and dry off your chicken pieces by using a paper towel so the batter will stick to the protein.
Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.
In a bowl, combine pancake mix and water or beer.
Using a whisk, stir until completely smooth.
Lift a piece of chicken out of the batter using a small spoon.
Watch how quickly the batter drips off. It should drip slowly back in the bowl.
Dip chicken into batter, again, allowing excess batter to drip back into bowl.
In a heavy bottomed skillet, saucepan or deep fryer, heat oil to 350 degrees.
Throw a handful of chicken pieces into the batter at one piece time.
Toss to coat.
Fry for one to two minutes, until golden brown.
Serve with dips.
Dips can be best friends with pancake battered fried chicken balls or pieces. Best Dips Ever gives you such variety, no dish will ever be boring.
If you want dip recommendations, Honey Mustard Dip and Honey Mustard Mayo are two gorgeous dips that are out-of-this-world good.
Instead of ¾ cup water or flat beer, use a ½ cup of water or flat beer with an egg.
Sometimes a tablespoon or two of liquid needs to be added but, more often than not, it's not necessary.
If you're not using an egg for this fried chicken with pancake mix recipe, add extra beer or water one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.
You can add up to four additional tablespoons, or a quarter cup, of water or flat beer but don't go beyond that.
Focus on batter consistency. That's what's really important as the batter should slowly drip (or drool as my husband puts it) back in the bowl.
For crispy chicken, coat the cut meat pieces in salt and pepper. Place inside a large resealable bag with ¼ cup of dry pancake mix and adjust until well coated before dipping in the pancake batter for deep frying.
Our family has made this recipe for YEARS and it's been great.
Lately, I've found myself leaning to the shrimp pancake batter listed above as my preference.
Fried Crab Batter Recipe
Making this fried crab batter recipe using soft shell crabs is so delicious, it almost defies description.
With a few scissor snips, these tasty morsels can be eaten whole!
Soft shell crabs are treasured in Spain, Japan, Italy and beyond. And once you try them, you'll understand why they're savored and enjoyed by so many.
These amazing little blue crabs can be eaten shells, claws and all (with the exception of the face, eyes and a few other less desirable parts).
The whole kit and caboodle!
Soft shell crabs have a distinct, full flavor and their thin paper shell adds richness and purity.
Crustaceans include lobsters, crayfish, shrimp and crabs. The process by which they shed their shells and grow is called molting.
Blue crabs essentially live in protected, bulletproof cases that are not flexible or expandable and they molt every few weeks when young and then annually when older.
In the wild, soft shell blue crabs are harvested in the summer months using dredges, crab pots, hand lines and dip nets.
But of course, innovation has made this popular delicacy available all year. For this, crabs are held in tanks and encouraged to molt.
Crustaceans know when it's time to molt because they grow too big for their shells. When this happens they begin growing a soft, flexible shell underneath the hard one.
When they molt, the crabs back out of their hard shell, leaving them defenceless. They spend the next day or so hiding until their new, larger protective shell hardens.
Fishermen or those with a trained eye can tell when the crabs are about to molt and either keep these crabs in cages in the sea or in tanks on shore until the exact moment molting occurs.
The molting process takes a couple of hours but once this happens, the crabs are ready to eat within one or two hours of shedding its shell and up to 12 hours.
If you try eating the crab after this, the new shell will be too hard to enjoy.
Blue crabs that have finished molting and are ready to eat are also known as paper shells or buckrams.
Tip to tip, blue crabs must be 3 ½ inches in order for them to be harvested and sold.
These crabs are really special and definitely addictive!
How to Clean Soft Shell Crabs
Clean soft shell crabs only when you're ready to cook them.
Start by cutting off the mouth and eyes with a pair of kitchen scissors.
Lift up the pointed side of the crab and cut out the spongy, off white colored gills that are underneath. In my opinion, they're not edible.
Turn the crab onto its back, find the triangular or T-shaped flap and cut it off too.
On the east coast of the United States, many people leave this triangular flap on. It's also referred to as "the mustard." Whether you remove or eat the mustard, it's totally up to you.
The crab's yellowy orange colored liver or pancreas and the deep orange colored eggs (also called roe) of the female crabs are very popular and considered a delicacy in some areas.
Fried Crab Batter with Pancake Mix
During a trip to Maryland at Kent Island, I was shown how to make a dozen or so of these crabs by using one cup of pancake mix, one cup of beer and one egg.
These room temperature ingredients were blended together and fried at 350 degrees.
Learning how to make fried crab batter with pancake mix was invaluable and the results were nothing short of spectacular. We've been making them ever since.
If you're passionate about crab, you will LOVE these.
Dry the cleaned crabs with a paper towel, then dip in batter and deep fry until a beautiful golden brown.
Fry two or three at a time, depending on the size of your skillet, and flip once the bottom has turned a golden brown.
Remove and place on paper towels to drain. Set the oven at 200 degrees and keep crabs warm on a rack lined with paper towels until ready to eat.
You can also serve immediately.
Enjoy every bite!
Ingredients in Pancake Battered Fried Fish
- white fleshed fish of any kind (as much or as little as you want)
- store bought pancake mix. Any brand will do as long as the mix requires water only
- peanut oil as it can handle the high temperatures and fries beautifully
- your favorite brand of flat beer, with or without alcohol (to use instead of water), is a great option to for heightened flavor
How to Make Pancake Battered Fried Fish
As you can see, it doesn't take a lot of ingredients to make pancake battered fried fish.
If using frozen fillets, defrost thoroughly and dry with a paper towel. For faster defrosting, soak frozen fillets in cool tap water.
Again, totally dry each piece with a paper towel before dipping into the pancake batter.
In a medium sized bowl, make pancake mix according to package directions (ensuring that mix requires water only). Set aside.
In a heavy frying pan, pour enough oil that measures up to ½ to ¾ of an inch up the sides of the pan. Turn heat to medium-high.
Set the oven to 200 degrees and inside it, place a rimmed baking sheet topped with a wire rack, where the fried pieces of fish will be kept to keep warm.
Using a thermometer, check the oil has reached 350 degrees.
If you don't have a thermometer one, here is a great solution
Flick a little water into the oil and, if it dances or sizzles instantly, the oil is ready to go.
Alternatively, try this method:
When you drop the batter in the oil and it turns black right away, the oil is too hot.
If the drop sinks to the bottom and stays there, the oil isn't hot enough.
When the drop sinks to the bottom, quickly floats back to the top and is sizzling around the edges, it's just right and you're ready for your fish frying adventure!
Dip the fillets into the pancake batter, shake off the excess and gently lay into the hot oil.
Fry until golden brown; between two and five minutes, depending on how thick the fillet is.
Use a spatula, gently turn the fish over and cook for another two to five minutes.
Once the fish is a beautiful golden brown, move each piece to the oven while cooking the rest of the fish. Keep the fried fish warm in the oven to ensure it stays crispy.
When all are done, serve this pancake battered fish all at once and enjoy the fish feast!
Bonus Beer Battered Fish and Chips Recipe
As a bonus, I'm sharing my long-time favorite recipe entitled, Beer Battered Fish and Chips. I have to laugh as the best part is, this recipe can be made without beer! It's such a keeper though and a fish lover's dream.
Created at cooksillustrated.com, this is a recipe that I couldn't make any better. By removing cayenne pepper and replacing it with black pepper, my husband's reaction was, "don't mess with perfection." To me, this is the ultimate compliment.
Do NOT use regular water in this recipe. No matter what.
For best results, use beer, non-alcoholic beer, seltzer or soda water. Carbonation or bubbles makes such a huge difference, I can't state it enough.
I could explain the science behind it, but the bottom line is you want beautiful results and to get that you need bubbles. Trust me on this.
In addition, if you want the best, crispiest beer battered fish and chips you've ever tasted, the temperature of the oil must be exact for frying.
Go ahead and give this beer battered fish and chips recipe a run for its money!
I can't wait to hear what you think of it.
Batter for Fish and Chips
- 3 pounds russet potatoes (about 4 large potatoes, with or without skins), peeled, ends and sides squared off and cut lengthwise into ½ inch by ½ inch fries
- 12 cups peanut oil, for frying, plus an additional ¼ cup
- ½ cup cornstarch
- 1 ½ cups flour
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- White fish, 1 ½ pounds, cut into 8 3 oz. pieces (such as haddock, sea bass, cod, pollock, halibut, flounder, turbot and more)
- 1 ½ cups beer or 12 oz., cold, non-alcoholic beer or seltzer, soda or bubbly water
Recipe for Fish and Chips
Place potatoes or fries in a large microwaveable bowl, toss with ¼ cup oil, and cover tightly with plastic wrap.
Microwave (yes, microwave) on high for 6 and 8 minutes, until potatoes are semi-transparent and easily bendable or flexible but still resists somewhat when pierced with a fork or knife tip.
Toss at the 3 or 4 minute mark.
Carefully (and I do mean carefully), pull back the plastic wrap from the side farthest away from you to let the steam escape.
Dump potatoes into a strainer in the sink.
Rinse well under cold running water and with your hands, toss the fries a few times while under the cold water.
Spread cool potatoes onto a clean kitchen counter or on a paper towel to dry.
Allow fries to sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes, but no longer than an hour.
For crispy fries, you need to get rid of as much liquid as possible.
While fries are cooling, whisk flour, cornstarch, cayenne, paprika, pepper, and two teaspoons salt in a large mixing bowl.
Transfer ¾ cup of the mixture to a rimmed baking sheet.
Add baking powder and whisk to combine.
In a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven, heat two quarts oil over medium heat to 350 degrees.
The biggest mistake people make is not having the oil hot enough to make the fish batter crispy. Make sure that doesn't happen to you.
Add fries to hot oil and increase heat to high.
Fry, stirring with a mesh, slotted metal spoon until potatoes turn light golden and start to brown around edges, around six to eight minutes.
Transfer fries onto paper towels to drain and dry.
Reduce heat to medium high, add remaining quart of oil, and heat the oil to 375 degrees.
In the meantime, totally dry fish with a paper towel and dredge each piece in the flour mixture before placing on a baking sheet. Generously coat fish and shake off excess.
Transfer pieces of fish to a wire rack, again, shaking off excess flour.
Add 1 ¼ cups beer or bubbly water to the flour mixture in the mixing bowl and stir until mixture is combined but lumpy.
Add remaining beer or bubbly water as needed (one tablespoon at a time), whisking after each addition.
Do this until the batter falls from your whisk in a thin, steady stream.
Look to see faint trails across the surface of the batter.
Once you've achieved this, you're good to go.
Using a pair of tongs, dip one piece fish at a time into the batter, allowing excess batter to run off, shaking gently back and forth.
Place battered fish back onto the baking sheet and with flour mixture, turn to coat both sides.
Repeat with remaining fish, leaving pieces in a single layer on the baking sheet.
Turn the oven to 200 degrees and lay a rimmed baking sheet topped with a wire rack inside.
Once fish is a beautiful golden brown on both sides, move each piece into the oven while cooking the rest of the fish.
Keeping the fried fish warm in the oven will ensure crispness until ready to eat.
Once oil reaches 375 degrees, increase heat to high and add battered fish to oil with tongs, gently shaking off excess flour.
Fry and adjust occasionally, until golden brown, around seven or eight minutes.
Transfer fish on top of paper towels to drain and dry.
Allow oil to return to 375 degrees.
Add all french fries to oil and fry until golden brown and crisp, around three to five minutes.
Transfer to paper towels to drain and add salt, if using.
Serve immediately with fish.
Pancake Battered Fried Fish and More
- white fish
- 1 cup pancake mix that only requires water
- peanut oil for frying - as needed
- ¾ cup water or your favorite brand of flat beer, with or without alcohol, no light beer
Options to Season Pancake Mix
- 1 teaspoon salt or seasoned salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper or cayenne
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon powdered vanilla bean
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (a blend of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, ginger)
- If using frozen fillets, totally defrost then make sure they are dried with paper towel. defrosted. For fast defrosting, frozen fillets can be soaked in cool tap water.
- Get out and measure your ingredients, including the peanut oil.
- In a heavy frying pan, pour enough oil that reaches up to a ½ to ¾ of an inch up the sides of the pan. Turn heat to medium high.
- Turn your oven to 200 degrees and place a rimmed baking sheet a wire rack on top.
- Using a thermometer, oil should reach 350 degrees. If you don't own or use one, flick a little water into the oil, and if it sizzles instantly the oil is ready. My husband waits until the oil starts to shimmer and adds a little drop of pancake batter to it.. If it turns black right away, the oil is too hot. If the drop sinks to the bottom and stays there too long, the oil isn't hot enough. You know it's the right temperature when the drop goes to the bottom and quickly floats to the top and starts to sizzle around the edges. Then you're ready to fry your fish fillets or pieces!
- In a medium sized bowl, make pancake mix according to package directions. Usually, it's 1 cup pancake mix to ¾ cup water or flat beer. If using beer instead of water, make sure beer is totally flat, with no bubbles at all. Combine and set aside in your fridge or make batter once oil is ready. The longer the baking powder in the pancake mix sits at room temperature, the more ineffective it becomes. I always make my batter right before I need it or refrigerate batter until needed.
- Dip fillets into pancake batter, shake off the excess and gently lay into the hot oil.
- Fry until golden brown, between 2-5 minutes, depending on how thick the fillet is.
- Use a spatula and gently turn the fish over and cook for another 2-5 minutes.
- Once a beautiful golden brown on both sides, move each piece into the oven while cooking the rest of the fish. Keeping the fish warm in the oven will help keep it crispy until you are ready to eat it.
- When all cooked, serve at once with fresh lemon and tartar sauce. Enjoy every bite!
Basic Flour Mixture for a Crunchier Coating
- For a crispier coating, make sure the protein you are dipping is totally dry. Use paper towel to press into chicken, fish, shrimp or crab.
- Press into flour mixture, shaking off excess.
- Dip in wet batter and allow excess to drip off.
- Immediately afterwards, press into flour mixture again BEFORE frying.
- Make sure fish, shrimp, crab or chicken pieces are fully covered in batter, on all sides, and allow excess batter to drip off before deep frying in oil.
- Remove from oil and place on a plate lined with paper towel to dry.
Not a big fish eater myself but will eat it once in awhile! Was looking for a Tempura recipe for Black Sea Bass caught off New Jersey waters but that looked to complicated! So I googled pancake mix for fish batter and found this recipe!! All I can say I will be having Black Sea Bass again tonight for the first time ever having any fish for two nights in a row!! Thank you for taking the time to put your recipe up on the internet.
Karin and Ken
As always we try our best! Thank you for taking the time to comment. You made my day! Enjoy your dinner! Take care and all the best. Karin
Absolutely loved this simple recipe. Thank you KD💕
Karin and Ken
As always you’re most welcome! We still love this super easy recipe too! All the best. Karin
Very good recipe it worked great I mixed in the sweetness of the cinnamon along with the savory of the salt pepper and garlic powder along with the water and a little bit more pancake mix Dakota fish fry and then didn't use it all but it did work
Karin and Ken
You honestly made my day. Thank you for taking the time to let me know 💕 All the best to you. Karin
Excellent easy recipe can’t go wrong
Karin and Ken
I could not agree more! All the best. Karin
Excellent recipe Everyone loved them Thx for sharing
Karin and Ken
I’m glad to hear it. We love this easy recipe! Thank you for taking the time to let me know. Enjoy your day. Karin
Karin and Ken
Thank you for your kind words! This recipe holds a special place in our hearts. I’m glad you enjoy it too. All the best. Karin
All of it good. Chicken fish shrimp. All of it Thank you for the idea for camping but I make it in my house too now works really well Thx for sharing
Karin and Ken
As always, you are most welcome. Thank you for taking the time to let me know that you enjoy this recipe. Means the world to me! Hope you find some other recipes on this site that you enjoy just as much. Take care. Karin
Excellent easy recipe Tasted delicious Thank you.
Karin and Ken
As always you are most welcome! I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to let me know! All the best. Karin
Easy and grandkids gobbled it up thank you for sharing never thought to use pancake mix as fish batter but it tasted great
Karin and Ken
Glad you were pleasantly surprised and your grandchildren enjoyed it! So easy to do I still can't believe it myself! Take care and be well. Karin
Never imagined fried fish could be this easy thx
Karin and Ken
Me either! Glad you could use the recipe! All the best. Karin
What a great idea to make fish while camping Glad you mentioned it Love the story about your grandfather Im going to make fish just like him Thank you friend
Karin and Ken
You are very welcome! This is a very easy recipe to make camping. Tastes great too. I’m glad you will be trying it. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do! Take care. Karin
You weren’t kidding that fish and chips recipe is better than in a restaurant. Thank you for sharing it
Karin and Ken
As always you are most welcome! I love it myself. I’m so glad you tried it. I always wondered if anyone did! I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to comment. Hopefully you find some other recipes on this site that you enjoy just as much! All the best. Karin
Going to try on shrimp
Karin and Ken
Lately my husband has been putting flat beer instead of water or a little juice from our jar of minced garlic with the water for some extra flavor! Please let me know how it goes if you don’t mind. I am excited to hear! All the best. Karin
The fish is excellent when fried this way
Karin and Ken
I could not agree more! Glad I am not the only one who thinks so! Hopefully you find some other recipes on this site that you enjoy just as much! Take care and enjoy your day! Karin