The cod that we have in the Texas Mexico Gulf is “Southern Hake” (Urophycis floridana). It doesn’t have the large, firm flakes of Atlantic cod but rather has a tighter texture, and it is fairly soft and delicate. When fried with this featherlight beer batter, it’s finger licking delicious.
The Southern Hake occurs in the Gulf of Mexico and is sometimes caught on hook and line, particularly in winter. For you all fish aficionados: It averages a pound in weight, about 12 inches long, and is one of several other species in the genus Urophycis that are about the size of the red hake or smaller.
Recipe for Beer Batter, Fried Fish (adapted from “The Professional Chef”)
Ingredients for the Beer Batter (makes 22 fluid ounces, enough for 10 people)
10 ounces All-purpose flour ( 2 ½ cups)
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
1 large Egg (separated)
16 ounces Beer
Additional AP flour as needed to lightly dredge the fish
1 quart Peanut Oil or as needed
Fish (serves 10)
4 lb Hake fillets, sliced into oblong pieces
1. Separate the egg, set aside
2. In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients, then add the egg yolk and the beer and whisk vigorously until the batter is completely smooth. Chill in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. I usually chill it for 30 minutes to one hour.
NOTE: When you are ready to use the batter, whip the egg whites to stiff peaks, then fold into the batter. This step makes the batter gloriously light.
3. Heat the oil in a deep fryer or deep pan until it reache 350° F.
4. Pat dry the fish pieces and season them with salt. Dredge them in flour place them in a collander, shaking them to remove excess flour. There should be only a very light coating.
5. With tongs, dip the pieces in the beer batter and fry them until they are a dark, golden brown, about 11 minutes.
6. Remove the fried fish with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels.
Serve immediately with tartar sauce, lemon wedges and chile Tabasco cole slaw.
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