These easy beer battered cod nuggets are perfect for a family fish dinner. Skip the fish fry this year and make your own crispy, fried fish along with an easy sriracha tarter sauce!
You might also like this low carb asiago tilapia fish dinner.
I’m not sure if it’s like this every where but in Pittsburgh during lent, we have fish fries all around the city. Usually churches but also fire halls and most restaurants offer fried fish sandwiches and sometimes fried shrimp. They also have all those comforting side dishes like homemade mac & cheese, pierogies, haluski, coleslaw and more.
We look forward to trying different places every year. However this year it was so crowded at our local fire hall that I decided to try my own. And so today I have for you some easy beer battered cod nuggets. Much easier than I thought and very, very tasty with the sriracha tarter sauce!
I don’t have a deep fryer so I never thought to make fried fish at home. But this year I wanted to give it a try and it was pretty easy. I’m not gonna lie. I don’t feel quite right using all that oil to fry in and eating all these carbs but every once in a while can’t hurt ya right?
Other delicious seafood dinners to try.
I used to be intimidated by cooking seafood but I have gotten over that. I know have over 45+ seafood dishes on my blog so check those out. Some of my most popular seafood recipes are:
- Asiago baked tilapia
- air fryer salmon bites
- lump crab cakes
- tuna steaks with creamy dijon sauce
- coconut fried fish with pineapple mango salsa
- keto old bay fried shrimp or air fryer fish sticks
Why use beer in battered fish?
You primarily use beer for the bubbles as it will add body and lightness to the batter. You notice the smooth and puffy coating of the fish – that’s from the beer.
Recipe ingredient I used and substitutions.
The simple ingredients I used for this recipe was cod, all purpose-flour, garlic powder, onion powder, beer, oil, salt and black pepper. For the tartar sauce I used mayonnaise, garlic, dill pickle and sriracha sauce.
I used cod because it’s a nice thick meaty white fish that works well for frying. For making nuggets I would highly suggest this type of fish. However if you can find tilapia loins which are thicker than the filets you could use that too. Also I used frozen fish but you can also use fresh.
I used regular white flour and while you might be able to use a gluten free blend I have not tried it. It might still work as the beer will help with the texture when frying.
used a bottle of LaBatts Blue because that was all we had on hand. A different type of beer could possibly give the batter a different taste but you want something more neutral like a light lager.
As for substitutes for beer in beer battered recipes, you can use a non-alcoholic beer if you are concerned about alcohol or just seltzer water. The carbonation is what you really want. You can even use sparkling apple juice or white grape but they might give the batter a bit of a fruity taste.
Here a great article from Cook’s Illustrated about the beer in fish batter.
How to make beer battered cod nuggets.
- If you have a deep fryer you can fry these as you would anything else. For this recipe we are using a heavy deep pot. Fill with about ⅓ of a bottle of vegetable oil and heat to high heat. You can check to see if it’s ready by dropping a few drops of batter into the oil. If it starts to boil and sizzle it’s ready. I had to keep my burner on high at the beginning and reduced it a bit after awhile.
- Get your oil really hot. I don’t have a thermometer but I had my burner on high and I used a heavy cast iron dutch oven so there wouldn’t be much splattering.
- Use 1 pound of frozen cod cut up into big chunks or bite sized pieces. This made about 22-24 fish nuggets for me. Let them thaw a bit and dab dry with paper towels and set aside.
- Set up two shallow bowls. In one add ½ cup of flour, ½ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper and mix well.
- In the other bowl, add 1 cup of flour, ½ teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Mix well before slowly adding the beer to this bowl and whisking to combine. The batter mixture should be a little thinner than pancake batter.
- Make sure your batter is not too thick. The first batch I used a half bottle of beer and then I ended up adding a bit more for the second batch.
- Dredge the fish chunks in the flour and then the batter mixture and then lower into the hot oil. You may have to do these in batches.
- Once the fish pieces start to brown, turn them over. It shouldn’t take but 3-5 minutes per batch. Let them drain on paper towels. Serve with lemon wedges and homemade tartar sauce (see below).
Store leftovers in an airtight container. Note the fish won’t be very crispy the next day but if you have an air fryer you could be able to crisp it up a bit when you reheat the fish. Please scroll down to view the printable recipe card.
How to make the simple sriracha tartar sauce.
The sriracha flavored homemade tarter sauce is just a combination of mayonnaise, a chopped up dill pickle, fresh crushed garlic and sriracha sauce. It was a nice complement to the flavor of fried fish nuggets.
Simply mix all of these together in a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use. If you don’t like the taste of sriracha you can also try some buffalo hot sauce instead. Both just add a bit of kick to the sauce.
The perfect side dish for fried fish.
And of course I had to make a creamy white cheddar mac and cheese for my son who loves it. Mac and cheese just goes perfectly with fried fish. I learned how to make it in the Instant Pot and it’s just so darn easy. Max ate two helpings so this recipe is a keeper for me
Other ideas are homemade steak fries, coleslaw or some fish fry places offer haluski or cabbage rolls. My sister has a good stuffed cabbage casserole recipe which is much easier than making the cabbage rolls.
So I can say I now know how to fry fish though I don’t think I’ll make a habit out of it because of all the oil you use in the deep frying process. But if you are in the mood a good fried fish you should definitely give it a try.
And if you are used to buying fried fish on Fridays during Lent then you should try making some yourself. These easy beer battered cod nuggets are much easier than making the fried fish filets and they are more fun to eat! I hope you like them as much as we did. Enjoy!
- 1 pound cod filets, cut into bite sized chunks
- 1 ½ cup flour
- 1 teaspoon of salt, divided
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¾ bottle of beer
- ⅓ bottle of vegetable oil for frying
Sriracha Tarter Sauce
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 2 tablespoons chopped dill pickle
- 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
- Sriracha Tarter Sauce
- Mix the mayo, garlic, dill pickle and sriracha sauce together in a small bowl and refrigerate the mixture until ready to use.
- Cod Nuggets
- If you don't have a deep fryer, use a heavy deep pot to bring your oil to a very high temperature. You can check to see if it's ready by dropping a few drops of batter into the oil. If it starts to boil and sizzle it's ready. I had to keep my burner on high at the beginning and reduced it a bit after awhile.
- For the fish, cut the cod into pieces and blot dry with a paper towel.
- Prepare two shallow bowls. In one add ½ cup of flour, ½ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of black pepper and mix well.
- In the other bowl, add 1 cup of flour, ½ teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Mix well before slowly adding the beer to this bowl and whisking to combine. The batter should be a little thinner than pancake batter.
- Dredge the fish in the flour and then the batter and then lower into the hot oil. You may have to do these in batches. Be careful in case the oil splatters. It can really burn you. Use a slotted spoon or even a fork to lower the nuggest into the hot oil.
- Once they start to brown, turn them over. It shouldn't take but 3-5 minutes per batch.
- Let them drain on a piece of paper towels. Repeat until all the nuggets are done. Store leftovers in an airtight container. They will lose their crispiness but if you have an air fryer, reheat them in that and it will help a bit.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 22 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 95Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 170mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 6g