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Beer Battered Cod and Onion Rings

April 09, 2020

Pacific cod

The Easiest Beer Battered Cod and Onion Rings Recipe

If you are looking for a recipe for how to make beer battered cod, look no further. Not only are we going to give you the best beer battered cod recipe this side of the Atlantic, but we are also going to take you through the history of fried cod, the best way to fry cod, and more!

We’re even going to update the original “fish and chips” recipe by showing you how to make perfect battered onion rings as your side dish. Are you ready to have an amazing meal made from pan fry cod? Keep on reading!


What Is the History Behind Beer Battered Cod?

“Fish and Chips” is a dish consisting of battered and fried white fish, usually true cod, and “chips” otherwise known as “french fries.” Generally, the fish is served piping hot and fresh, and the chips are cut thick. The dish is usually served with malt vinegar and is about as English as it gets… or is it?

A little-known fact about this dish is that it is actually an early example of cultural fusion as it was inspired by the food immigrants ate and the recipes they brought with them from their countries of origin. It is believed that Jewish immigrants from Holland who often ate fried fish for their Shabbat dinners were the ones who originally popularized the dish in the mid-1800s.

Soon enough, people across England and its commonwealths discovered they loved the fried cod fish taste. Fried chunks of potato, known as chips, were popularized at this time, as well, and the first recorded fish and chip shops, known colloquially as “chippys” began taking over the nation and the globe.

In fact, by the 1900s, chippys were such a staple of the working-class diet, that fry cod, and fried potatoes were some of the only foods not to be put on wartime rations in WWI and WWII. 

This dish has become so popular that you can see versions of it all over the world. In the United States, for instance, you can often find a dish made with fried catfish and thinner fries that is often served with coleslaw.


Is Beer Battered Cod Good For You?

You may be wondering about the calories in beer battered cod and other valuable nutrition information. While the beer battered cod recipe that you use and portion sizes will change the nutrition value, a standard serving of beer battered cod will be 490 calories and contain 23 grams of fat, 42 grams of carbohydrates, and 28 grams of protein.

While the oil used for frying and the carbohydrates in the batter make this dish higher in calories, it is still a fairly balanced option for those who are active and in good shape. Pan frying cod fish and having a traditional Friday night meal of beer battered cod fish and onion rings is a great once-a-week treat.

Beer Battered Cod and Onion Rings

What Makes A Good Beer Batter?

Making a good beer batter is very simple and easy and will take many of your culinary pursuits to a new level. While we are going to pan fry cod fillet after using the beer batter in the recipe below, you will find that the beer batter will work wonderfully on many different types of seafood, and even poultry such as chicken and vegetables such as broccoli.

The perfect beer batter the traditional English way will have a nice crunch to it on the outside before revealing the perfectly tender fish inside. To make this crunch happen, it is important to have a batter with a lot of bubbles in it. Thankfully, beer really helps make this happen.

In order to achieve the perfect consistency for the batter, you are going to want a really fizzy beer, as well as add some baking powder to the batter. A light ale is going to be the fizziest kind of beer. You’ll want to avoid something with too high of an ABV such as an India Pale Ale or a stout. 

Contrary to popular belief, you aren’t going to want to use an egg in this batter, as this is going to make your batter more cake-like and not give you that wonderful crunch that a good beer batter is known for.

You are also going to want to watch the thickness of the batter so that you don’t have too much uncooked batter after frying, but also not a thin batter that leaves pieces of the fish exposed once you are done frying. A medium-thick batter that drips off a bit after dredging but still coats the fish nicely is what you are going for, here.

Now that you know what makes a good beer batter and what to look for while you make your concoction, its time to dive into the recipe so you can make a recipe worthy of selling in a chippy across the pond.

Beer Battered Cod and Onion Rings

How To Make Beer Battered Cod And Onion Rings


  • 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour, plus extra for dredging
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 2 Teaspoons Sea Salt
  • 2 ½ Cups Cold Light Beer
  • Ground Black Pepper and Extra Salt to taste
  • Optional: dried or fresh herbs for onion ring batter
  • Two large White Onions
  • 4 Pacific Cod Fillets
  • Vegetable Oil, Such as Canola

This recipe makes plenty for a meal for 4 people with both fish and onion rings. If you have more people or bigger appetites, simply increase the recipe by half or double it.

Recipe Instructions:

If you are worried that you don’t know how to fry cod fish, never fear, this recipe is very straightforward and easy to use. We are willing to bet that you will add this meal to your weekly rotation once you discover how easy it is to do, not to mention what a total crowd-pleaser it is!

  1. First, heat your oil in your pan. You want your oil to be 375 degrees for that perfect golden hue. You want about ¼ of an inch of oil in your pan, being sure to add more as-needed.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. These ingredients are the all-purpose flour, the baking powder, and the sea salt. You want to incorporate these ingredients first to make sure they are evenly distributed.

You will also want to be sure you choose a wide enough bowl to properly dredge the cod fillets without breaking them.

  1. Next, pour in the cold light beer and whisk until the batter is nice and smooth.
  2. Then get out a large plate and add the extra flour you reserved for dredging.
  3. Take your cod fillets and blot them with a paper towel to get them nice and dry. This is important to do so that the dredge of flour and the beer batter will stick on the fillets nicely.
  4. Now take your fillets and dredge them in the flour, shaking off the excess. 
  5. Next, take each dredged fillet and dip it into the beer batter. Allow the excess to drip off, back into the bowl.
  6. Now you will place your battered fillets in a pan with hot oil that you have prepared. How long to pan fry cod when it is battered depends on your personal preferences, but you want to aim for 5-8 minutes, turning over halfway through cooking time. We recommend cooking for 3 minutes on each side.
  7. When Fish is done frying, remove from the hot pan and the oil with a slotted spoon or spatula and let it drain on some paper towels on a heat-resistant ceramic plate.
  8.  Now, it is time to make the onion rings. First, add some more flour to your beer batter to make the batter a bit thicker than it was when you battered the cod.
  9. Take the Onions and cut them through the center width-wise to get rings about ¾ of an inch thick. Then, remove the middle parts and save only the outer 2-3 rings. Reserve the smaller rings for another recipe.
  10.  No dredging is required for the onion rings. Just drop the onion rounds into the thickened batter and stir. If you would like, you can add seasoning to the batter beforehand.
  11.  Fry the onion rings 5-8 minutes, turning over in the pan once when halfway done.

Ideas For Elevating Your Pan Fry Cod Dish

Now that you know the basics for making beer battered cod and onion rings, you can think about other ways to use this basic method to switch it up. 

For instance, you may be wondering how to fry cod fish with cornmeal. You can do so very easily by replacing half of the flour in the recipe for cornmeal.

You can try different flavors and styles of beer when making your beer battered fish. For fish-tacos, try using a Corona in the batter and topping off with some fresh mango salsa.

You can also elevate your dish by trying premium fish such as Alaskan true cod. 

When it comes to beer battered cod, the world is your oyster! Experiment with different methods, or even use a deep fryer instead of a pan. Be creative!

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