Being gluten-free doesn't need to mean forgoing proper fish & chips! My gluten free fish and chips recipe is super tasty, crispy, and LEGIT!
(Side note: Have you tried my Cod Cheeks & Dressing?)
Crispy, golden fish batter, encasing tender, juicy fish (Personally, I’m a fan of Atlantic Cod, but Pacific cod works well too.), french fries cooked up to golden perfection.
Douse it in proper vinegar... oh yeah.
The neighbourhood fish & chip shop doesn’t have a gluten free menu, and neither do any of the food trucks I’ve seen that do fish and chips.
A couple of places locally do offer gluten-free fish and chips, but neither offer delivery.
Making your own gluten free beer battered fish - and homemade fries - is easier than you may think! Most of the time involved is just waiting for the raw french fries to soak in water.
The 2 flours I use to make the gluten-free breading make the perfect batter not only for fish, but also for things like homemade onion rings.
Tasty, robust, and fries up perfectly!
This gluten free fish chips recipe will NOT disappoint even those who are fish N Chips purists - A proper battered fish and chip experience that’s perfect for the whole family!
A Note on Vinegar
Head’s up: vinegar can be a bit of a sticking point for some.
Much like with whiskey, most experts/associations agree that all vinegar is gluten free - even malt vinegar, which is distilled from a wheat preparation.
However, some people find themselves reacting to malt vinegar - so exercise caution.
If you’re used to gluten free cooking, most of these ingredients are pretty simple ones.
If you don’t already have them on hand, they should be easy to find in most larger grocery stores.
A few notes for you:
I like to use fresh cod loins (about 1" thick) when I can get them, or thinner cod fish filets when I can’t.
That said, feel free to use whatever flaky white fish you like for fish and chips. Haddock and pollock are other popular options, and halibut is fantastic, when I’m feeling bougie!
Just note - The thinner the filet of fish, the shorter the cooking time. Keep an eye on it!
Gluten Free Flour Mix
As with all of my gluten free cooking and baking, I do NOT use an all purpose gluten-free flour mix, as they never live up to the functionality of plain flour - wheat flour - on anything close to a universal basis.
Plus, a lot of those mixes already contain things like xanthan gum or guar gum, which aren’t necessary or even good for a recipe like this.
For my gluten free batter for deep frying, I like to use a mix of :
1 ¼ cups Garbanzo (chickpea) flour
Rice flour - either White Rice Flour or Brown Rice Flour will work.
This combination makes for a fantastic batter - it is robust enough to hold together, fries well, tastes great, and gets nice and crispy.
It’s even a fantastic gluten free beer batter for making onion rings, FYI!
Just note: The raw batter will smell a bit “bean-y”. That smell/flavor from that is gone after frying, though.
Gluten Free Beer
You can use any kind of gluten-free beer you like - anything from a lager style, to a stout style beer.
Don’t want to use beer at all? Swap it out for soda water!
When deep frying, you want to use a cooking oil that has a neutral flavour and a high smoke point.
I recommend using one of the vegetable oils, like canola oil, sunflower oil, or just plain “vegetable oil”. Peanut oil is another great option.
These oils are all great for deep frying - neutral flavours, high smoke point, low cost.
Rounding out this recipe, you will need:
1 Large egg
Salt and pepper
... I just don’t have anything to add, for these ingredients!
As much as I hate deep frying food, IMHO proper crispy gluten-free fish & chips really does require it.
An actual deep fryer comes in handy for this recipe - you’ll be cooking at progressively hotter temperatures, and a deep fryer can monitor and regulate the oil to reach - and keep it at - those temperatures.
That said, I gave away my deep fryer several years ago, and just use a large, heavy bottomed pot whenever we need to deep fry something.
It’s a bit fussy - you’ll want to keep an eye on the oil temperature with a Deep Fry Thermometer.
I recommend heating on medium high until you’re 25 degrees short of the temperature you’re aiming for, then turning down the stove setting down to medium. I find it gives me a bit of better control over it.
When you come to the end of one frying step, feel free to turn the burner up a bit to get ready for the next one.
Homemade Tartar Sauce
I used to hate tartar sauce as a kid, but now I love it - IF I’m the one making it. The prepackaged retail stuff just doesn’t do it for me!
That said, it’s something I’ve never bothered keeping a recipe for, I just throw stuff together until it tastes right for whatever mood I’m in at the moment.
As a guideline:
1. Toss some Mayo in a small bowl, or a mini food processor.
2. At the very least, chop up some pickles and add them - along with a splash of pickle brine or lemon juice - and stir.
If you want to get fancier with it - I generally do - I’d suggest following a bit of an order of operation:
First, decide on your “chunky” items: pickles, capers, and olives.
Next, decide on your acids: Pickle brine, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, etc. You’ll want just a small splash to start - you can adjust to taste, later!
Third is the “onion and garlic” area. Onions, shallots, green onion are popular choices,
Finally, your herbs, etc. Fresh or dried dill, parsley, tarragon, lemon zest, etc.
Once you’ve figured out what you want, just mix it up - or blitz it in the food processor. Season with salt and pepper, and adjust the acid, if you’d like.
How to Make Gluten Free Fish & Chips
The full recipe is in the recipe card at the end of this post, here is a pictorial walk through.
Ahead of Time
Cut potatoes into french fries, rinse well. Place into a large bowl of cold water for at last an hour, up to 24 hours.
Cook the Fries
Heat oil to 325 F (165 C) - you’ll want at least 3" of oil in your pot or deep fryer.
Since getting rid of my deep fryer, I tend to heat the oil to about 300 F on medium high or high heat, then turn it down to medium heat to slow it down a bit.
Remove fries from water, blot dry with paper towels.
Note: For easier cleanup, line your baking sheet with parchment paper!
Batter and Fry the Fish
Increase the heat of your oil to 350F (180 C) . As the oil is heating, make your batter:
In a large bowl, combine flours, baking powder, salt, pepper, and onion/garlic powders.
Add egg and beer, stir well to form a thick batter. Allow batter to sit for 5 minutes or so, to soften the bean flour.
Thick batter will make a thicker, doughy coating on the fish, a thinner batter will make a lighter and crispier coating - feel free to thin to your desired consistency with a little more beer or water if you’d like.
Note: As pictured in the process shots, this is the thicker end of what you want the batter to look like.
The batch of gluten free fish and chips in the finished shots throughout this post used a batch of batter that was slightly thinner in consistency.
Pat the fish dry with paper towels, season on both sides with a little salt and pepper.
One piece at a time, dip fish into batter, allowing excess batter to drip back into bowl for a few seconds, before carefully transferring to heated oil.
Use a slotted metal spoon to transfer fried fish to paper towels, to absorb excess oil.
Crisp the Fries
Once the fish is cooked, turn the heat up to 375 f (190 C), and allow oil to reach temperature.
In small batches, re-fry the potatoes until browned and crispy, about 2-3 minutes per batch.
Yes, it seems a little involved – but this is how to get fries that are cooked all the way through, and crispy on the outside!
Use a slotted spoon to transfer cooked fries to a paper towel lined plate to absorb some excess oil, then toss with a bit of salt.
Serve gluten free fish and chips hot, with vinegar, lemon slices, mushy peas / marrowfat peas, and/or tartar sauce.
This recipe is definitely best served fresh from the fryer.
If you have leftovers, though, let them cool to room temperature before transferring them to an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
The best way to reheat it is to microwave for 30 seconds to a minute, just to get the chill off it.
Then finish reheating in an air fryer for 2-3 minutes at 400 F.
More Gluten Free Seafood & Fish Recipes
Looking for more tasty, gluten-free recipes for seafood? I've got you covered!
Ahi Tuna Crudo
Gluten Free Crab Cakes
Gluten-Free Fish Fingers & Custard
Gluten Free Seafood Crepes
Honey Ginger Shrimp salad
Gluten Free Tempura
Gluten Free Cod Au Gratin
Ahi Tuna Nachos
Basic Seafood Risotto
Low Country Boil
Cashew Crusted Halibut with Mango Salsa
Almond Crusted Halibut with Lemon Dill Sauce
Curried Shrimp Spring Rolls
Spicy Tuna Maki Rolls
Pepper Crusted Tuna with Wasabi Cream Sauce
Tuna Mango Poke
Chicken, Shrimp, & Sausage Jambalaya
Keto Fish Cakes
Seared Tuna Salad
Smoked Salmon Canapes
Spinach Feta Salmon Pinwheels
Hot Smoked Sockeye Salmon
Keto Coconut Shrimp
Gluten Free Coconut Shrimp
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Fish and Chips
- Deep Fryer Or large, heavy bottomed pot
- Candy thermometer
- 3 lbs Russet potatoes
- Oil for frying vegetable oil, sunflower oil, or canola oil
Beer Battered Fish:
- 1 ¼ cups Garbanzo chickpea flour
- ¾ cup Rice flour
- 1 tablespoon Baking powder
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Pepper
- ¼ teaspoon Onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon Garlic powder
- 1 Large egg beaten
- 1 ½ cups Cold gluten-free beer
- 4 8 oz Boneless cod fillets or loins thawed if applicable
- Salt and pepper
- ½ cup Garbanzo flour for dredging
Ahead of time:
- Cut potatoes into french fries, place into a bowl of cold water for at last an hour, up to 24 hours.
Cook the Fries:
- Heat oil to 325 F (165 C) - you’ll want at least 3" of oil in your pot or deep fryer.
- Remove fries from water, blot dry. In small batches, cook fries for 10 minutes. This will NOT brown them, merely cook them. As each batch comes out, put aside.
Batter and Fry the Fish:
- Increase the heat of your oil to 350F (180 C) . As the oil is heating, make your batter:
- In a large bowl, combine flours, baking powder, salt, pepper, and onion/garlic powders.
- Add egg and beer, stir well to form a thick batter. Allow batter to sit for 5 minutes or so, to soften the bean flour.
- After 5 minutes, check the batter consistency - it should drip easily off a spoon. Thick batter will make a thick coating on the fish, a thinner batter will make a lighter and crispier coating - feel free to thin with a little more beer or water if you’d like.
- As pictured in the process shots, this is the thicker end of what you want the batter to look like.
- Pat the fish dry with paper towels, season on both sides with a little salt and pepper.
- Gently dredge fish in garbanzo flour, shaking excess chickpea flour back into the bowl.
- One piece at a time, dip fish into batter, allowing excess batter to drip back into bowl for a few seconds, before carefully transferring to heated oil.
- Fry for a few minutes on each side, until golden brown and cooked through.
- Use a slotted metal spoon to transfer fried fish to paper towels.
Crisp the Fries
- Once the fish is cooked, turn the heat up to 375 f (190 C), and allow oil to reach temperature.
- In small batches, re-fry the potatoes until browned and crispy, about 2-3 minutes per batch. Yes, it seems a little involved – but this is how to get fries that are cooked all the way through, and crispy on the outside!
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer cooked fries to a paper towel lined plate to absorb some excess oil, then toss with a bit of salt.
- Serve gluten free fish and chips hot, with vinegar, lemon slices, and/or tartar sauce.
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