Beer Battered
Mystic Grouper

Chef Kevin Kelly October 16, 2009

It is no surprise that beer battered fish is a staple among local eateries. Although this delightful dish is quite easy to prepare, don’t let the simplicity fool you. While many restaurants feature fish and chips made from fresh cod, for this classic fish fry I choose a tasty demersal that resides along the deepest ledges of The Bahamas and extreme South Florida. The tender, flaky white meat of mystic grouper is regarded among many culinary artists as the premiere deep water fish and its thick fillets make for the perfect deep fried dish. Unless you ply the depths yourself, mystic grouper may be a challenge to acquire from your local seafood monger, but this sumptuous recipe is equally exciting when substituted with gag, red, or black grouper fillets. Actually, this recipe goes well with nearly any flaky, tender, white meat fish. The key to culinary success is cold batter, hot oil and fresh fish. It is important to remember that anytime you are dealing with hot oil you need to be extremely cautious. Slowly submerge the fish in hot oil and avoid dropping the battered fish. Use metal tongs, or let the fillets slowly slide off a spatula.

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Ingredients (Serves Four)

  • (4) 6 oz. grouper fillets
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1/2 pint Guinness
  • 1/2 cup baking powder
  • 2 ears of corn
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • apple, sliced
  • cabbage, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • celery seed
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • capers, minced
  • garlic, diced
  • pickle
  • parsley
  • fresh lemon juice

Guinness Beer Batter
The dark hue of Guinness makes it the perfect concoction for crispy fish fingers. Start by mixing ½ cup of all-purpose flour, ¼ cup of cornstarch, ½ cup of baking powder and a pinch of salt. It’s important you mix all dry ingredients before adding the beer. Gradually add ½ pint of beer to dry mix and stir. Ideally, you want a consistency that’s similar to pancake batter. If your batter is too thick, add ice water until you’ve achieved the desired consistency. Place batter in fridge for 20-minutes.

Tartar Sauce
Blend mayonnaise, capers, pickles, parsley, lemon juice, and salt & pepper.

Method
Heat canola oil in deep fryer until temperature reaches 350° Fahrenheit. Rinse and pat fish dry so batter will stick better. Dredge fillets in beer batter and cook for approximately two-minutes per side or until you’ve achieved a golden brown hue. Remove fish from oil and drain on paper towels. Garnish with a pinch of sea salt and serve warm. To plate arrange ½ ear of grilled corn, parsley, tartar sauce, coleslaw and fish around center of deep serving dish. Bon appétit.

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