Recreate Long John Silver’s Famous Fish Batter in your very own kitchen!
Since 1969, Long John Silver’s has been serving us with the ultimate seafood experience. Their famous battered fish has been the favorite of many seafood lovers for decades. Apart from their fresh fish, the real secret lies in the batter.
Their batter is so crisp and flavorful that you may be surprised to learn it’s not made with beer! Their secret combination is club soda, baking soda, and baking powder. This trio of ingredients produces air bubbles in the batter, which makes the otherwise heavy dish light and airy.
How to Make Long John Silver’s Fish Batter
But just because Long John Silver’s serves arguably the best battered fish does not mean you can’t make a great-tasting one at home. Check out this copycat recipe and be amazed at how similar it tastes like the original! Sure, your place may not have the same nautical decorations that LJS has, but your meal will taste like their signature dish!
1 pound cod filets
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoon corn starch
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon paprika
3/4 cup club soda (can also use plain water)
Oil for frying
1. First, make the batter by combining all of the dry ingredients. Mix together.
2. Add club soda and mix until combined. Batter's done!
3. Pat dry 1 pound of cod fillet with a paper towel. Removing its excess liquid will reduce splatter as you fry it.
4. Place two pieces of cod fillet into the batter. Let them sit for a few minutes so the batter thoroughly coats the fish.
5. While the fillet's are sitting in the batter, fill up a small cast-iron skillet with oil until it is 1/2 to 3/4 inches deep. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 350 degrees Fahrenheit. This will take about 5-10 minutes. Use a deep-frying thermometer so you know when you've hit 350 degrees F.
6. Place two pieces of battered fish into the skillet and fry for 3-4 minutes. Do not over-crowd the skillet as this will lower the oil's temperature.
7. Flip the fish over and fry for another 3-4 minutes or until golden brown.
8. Transfer the fillets into a plate lined with paper towels. This will help get rid of excess oil.
9. Let the oil reach 350 degrees Fahrenheit before adding the next batch of fish. Repeat until you've fried the entire pound of cod filets.
To make the crumbs, add drops of batter into the skillet. Remove when golden brown.
Tips & Tricks
- Long John Silver’s always uses fresh wild-caught Alaskan Cod, but you may use other white fish as well, such as catfish or tilapia.
- Since you will fry the fish at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, you will want to use an oil with a smoke point higher than 400 degrees. There are many oils to choose from, such as vegetable oil, peanut oil, safflower oil, and corn oil. But, if you want your recipe to be as close as Long John Silver’s’ as possible, then use canola oil.
- You can use several cooking oils when frying food. Since we are frying our fish at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, you could use any oil with a smoke point above 400 degrees Fahrenheit. That includes options like canola oil, vegetable oil, corn oil, peanut oil, or safflower oil.
- Use 3-ounce (85 grams) fillets or smaller. Anything bigger than that and it will sink to the bottom of the skillet. If you don’t have a scale, use the palm of your hand as a reference.
- Do not prepare your batter ahead of time, because it will cause it to become heavy. Make it just when you’re ready to cook the fish.
- Be sure to coat the fish generously. Turn it over many times until it is well coated.
- While battered fish usually comes with fries, why not make some onion rings on the side? Use the same batter to coat the onions and fry away.
- Do not over-mix the batter, because the air bubbles from the club soda, baking powder, and baking soda will dissipate if you do.
- If you do not want to use club soda, you can also use beer or Seltzer water instead. The key is to use a carbonated drink to produce air bubbles.
- Sprinkle some salt over your cooked fish to give it more flavor.
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