Here is the first, most basic batter recipe – not much more than a pancake (crepe) recipe! It is perfect for people who do not drink alcohol as it does not contain beer yet it is tasty and crispy. You can use it to batter fish fillets, veggies, and even calamari rings.
Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper and lemon rind, if using.
Whisk together the milk and egg and stir into the dry ingredients until combined then using a whisk, whisk until the mixture is smooth and lump free. Set aside to rest for 20 minutes.
To batter and fry the fish, first preheat the oil in a large saucepan to 175º C.
Season the fish to taste with salt and pepper then dredge it in the batter, one piece at a time, and fry them until golden brown. It is important to maintain the oil’s heat at 175º C so you will need to increase the heat while frying the fish as the cold fish added to the oil will reduce its temperature, leaving you with oily batter – not a pretty thing to eat.
As each piece of fish is cooked to your liking, drain it well and then place it on a thick layer of crumpled kitchen towel or brown paper. When drained, place in a warmed serving dish and keep warm until all the fish is cooked.
Serve with salt, vinegar and lemon wedges.
You can spruce the batter up by giving it all sorts of flavours and colour tones. Red chili flakes would be a nice addition if you like things hot and a large pinch of turmeric will give it a rich, golden glow. And even smoked paprika or smoked chili powder will add a different and delicious dimension.