Fish Baked in Beer Batter
  • 1 pound fish fillets, no more than 3/4 inch thick
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting fillets
  • 2/3 cup roasted and peeled red pepper or pimiento (about 1 large)
  • 1/3 cup unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • 1/2 cup beer (any type)
  • 1 tablespoon mild olive oil
  • 2 egg whites
  • 12 ounces fresh spinach leaves
Time estimates

Prep time: 10 min  

Cook time: 12 min  

Total time: 22 min  


  1. Preheat the oven to 500˚F. Rinse the fish fillets and pat dry. Cut into 4 equal portions. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper. Dust the top of the fish with flour and shake off the excess. Coat a shallow 2-quart baking dish lightly with oil or cooking spray and lay in the fish portions 1 inch apart.
  2. For the sauce, purée the peppers, stock, and extra virgin olive oil in a blender or food processor. Keep warm.
  3. Combine the egg yolk, beer, mild olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper in a bowl and stir to dissolve the salt. Gradually add 1/2 cup flour and stir with a whisk until smooth. Beat the egg whites in another bowl to soft peaks and fold into the batter. Spoon the batter over the fish and bake until the batter is puffed and golden brown and the fish is tender when probed with a skewer, 8 to 12 minutes, depending on the type and thickness of the fish. Meanwhile, steam the spinach until wilted; keep warm. To serve, cut between the fish and lift out the portions with a large spatula.
  4. Spoon the red pepper sauce around the fish and arrange the spinach on top of the sauce, using spinach to disguise any ragged edges of the batter.


Makes 4 servings

Good to Know

Baking fish fillets in a very hot oven under a soufflé-like puff of beer-scented batter keeps them especially moist. The high oven temperature is required to get the topping to brown in the short time it takes to cook the fish.

Which beer should I drink with this?

Pale ale, hefeweizen, or pale lager; a dry finish is what’s important here.


1. This technique will work with fillets of just about any mild, white fish (flounder, sole, tilapia, rockfish, cod, or halibut), as well as with fuller-flavored fish like salmon and striped bass. Just make sure the fish is cut no more than 3/4 inch thick or it may not cook by the time the batter is browning.

2. Variation: For the neatest presentation, top and bake each portion of fish in an individual shallow casserole and serve in the baking dish, with the spinach on the side and the sauce spooned over the fish. In this case, reduce the baking time by a minute or two, as the fish will continue to cook from the heat absorbed by the baking dish.

Also from The Microbrew Lover's Cookbook

• From the Beer Belt

• Pizza and Beyond

• From the Spice Bazaar

• Malt and Hops, Meet Ginger and Soy

• From the Home of the Chile Pepper

• Beer in the Melting Pot

Go back to The Microbrew Lover's Cookbook index page. 

The Microbrew Lover’s Cookbook 

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From The Microbrew Lover’s Cookbook, Copyright © 2002 by Jay Harlow. Used by arrangement with Jay Harlow.

Photo: Steve Allen/

Fish Baked in Beer Batter
A thin but flavorful red pepper sauce binds the fish, topping, and spinach garnish together.