Fried Fish With Vodka and Beer Batter

Fried Fish With Vodka and Beer Batter

Heston Blumenthal, the chef at the Fat Duck near London, updated classic British fish and chips in his book "In Search of Perfection" (Bloomsbury, 2006), using a batter that includes beer and vodka. The alcohol dissolves some of the gluten proteins in the wheat flour, so the crust doesn’t get tough and boils off faster than water, so the batter dries out, crisps and browns quickly, before the delicate fish inside overcooks. The coating ends up especially crunchy — with each bite, you crush many thin layers of crust.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    Rinse fish fillets, and dry with paper towels. Season well with salt and pepper, and dust with rice flour, shaking off any extra. Set aside.
  2. Step 2

    Place a wide, deep pan over medium heat. Add oil to a depth of at least 1 1/2 inches, and bring to 375 degrees on a deep-fry thermometer. In a medium bowl, mix together the all-purpose flour, 1 1/4 cups rice flour, baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Slowly stir in the vodka and beer to make a batter. (Don’t make batter ahead of time, or the bubbles from the lager will be lost.)
  3. Step 3

    Dip one fillet into batter to coat it completely, then lower into hot oil. Repeat with other fillets, working in batches if needed. When undersides of fillets are golden brown, after 1 or 2 minutes, turn, and brown other sides, a minute or two. Lift from oil, drain and serve.