Nelson used to eat fish two times a day when he lived in the Azores with his parents. With an ocean outside their door (quite literally), it’s what made sense. Nelson’s mom made fish in lots of different ways–baked, stewed, fried, grilled–it was all great, as nelson recalls. But it wasn’t until he returned to Canada on his own at the age of 20 that he discovered beer-battered haddock. It was worth writing home to mom about.
Luckily in our family, we all love fish and chips. But, Nelson has some safety concerns about deep frying on our open flame gas stove at home, plus we don’t own a deep fryer since we don’t deep fry often. That’s why he was thrilled when our friends at Salton sent us this portable induction cooktop. Nelson was ready to go all pub-style right away but we discovered we didn’t have a deep pot that would work. So, the deep fried goodness would have to wait.
We finally picked up an induction-friendly pot. Materials that work are cast iron, steel, and magnetic stainless steel. If you’re wondering how to know if you’re pots and pans will work on an induction cooktop, simply hold an ordinary magnet (a fridge magnet will do) to the underside of your pot or pan. If the magnet is drawn to and “sticks” to the underside, then you know it’s induction-friendly. I bet you just considered getting up to try it out right now…go on…you know you want to.
Nelson is thrilled with his new portable induction cooktop. It’s safe to use since there’s no flame (especially for frying foods), it’s super easy to clean and store. It’s a great addition in the kitchen when we’re cooking up a large meal for family and friends; the additional burner is super handy to have. For this fish recipe it was fantastic because the induction cooktop keeps a very accurate temperature. It kept the oil at a perfect, consistent heat…with zero guesswork or fussing. If you’ve ever deep fried food, you know how important this is. The result was a full batch of perfectly fried beer-battered haddock that left nothing to be desired. I’ve never been to a London pub, but I’d like to think the cooks there would be mighty proud of this recipe. I wonder if they use induction burners too. They ought to!
I don’t suggest people should eat deep fried food regularly, but it sure is a nice “cheat” to enjoy occasionally, if you can. This recipe is certainly my favourite way to enjoy haddock.
You don’t need a ton of gadgets in the kitchen to cook good food, but this portable induction cooktop is more than a gadget…for us it’s now an extension of our stovetop and we know we’re going to make good use of it. Salton has generously offered us a second induction cooktop for us to give away to one lucky winner (Giveaway ends March 7, 2016 at 12:00) anywhere in Canada or the USA. See below for instructions and details about this giveaway.
This Friday (or any day in between) make it a fish and chip day at home. You don’t need to go to a pub, or to London to make a pub-style dish like this. Stay in (and if you’re in London, that’s pretty cool), and eat well friends!
- 2 lbs (about 0.9 kg) fresh wild haddock fillets (8 pieces)
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour (we use unbleached)
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp old bay seasoning
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1½ cups cold brown ale (beer)
- Vegetable oil for frying (Enough to fill to about three inches from the bottom of the pot. We used 2 quarts)
- Sea salt flakes
- Lemon wedges
- Place a large induction friendly pot on the induction cooktop.
- Pour in the vegetable oil.
- Set the induction cooktop to 1200 watts. If you're using a traditional stove top, heat the oil to between 340 ºF and 360 ºF.
- While the oil is heating up, prepare the batter and fish.
- In a large bowl, add the flour, baking powder, salt, black pepper and old bay seasoning.
- Whisk the dry ingredients until combined.
- Add the beaten egg.
- Slowly pour in the beer while whisking.
- Whisk vigorously until the batter is smooth and free of lumps.
- Place the bowl with the batter in the fridge for about 10 minutes.
- Pat down the fish with a paper towel.
- Take a temperature reading of the oil. The temperature should be between 340 °F and 360 °F. If it's not, let it continue to heat up to that temperature.
- Once the oil is ready, take a piece of fish and coat it in the batter on both sides generously.
- Slowly (don't drop it) place the fish in the oil, and be cautious to avoid any hot splatters.
- Repeat the last step with another piece of fish. Be careful not to over-crowd the pot. We used two pieces per batch.
- Let the fish cook for about 7 minutes or until the batter has a nice light golden colour. Use large slotted spoons to turn the fish over every couple of minutes.
- Cooking time may very a little bit depending on the exact heat of the oil and the size of the fish pieces.
- Once the fish is cooked, carefully remove the pieces of fish onto a paper towel lined serving platter to drain the excess oil.
- Cook the remaining fish using the same process.
- Sprinkle some sea salt flakes over the fish and serve hot with wedges of lemon, your favorite chips and a delicious tartar sauce. Enjoy!
If you don't have brown beer on hand, a light beer will do the trick.
If you don't have a fryer or an induction cooktop, you can still use the traditional method with a pot and stove. Make sure to check the temperature before frying. The oil should be between 340 °F and 360 °F.
If the oil isn't hot enough, the fish will be soggy. If the oil is too hot, the batter will burn before the fish is fully cooked.
We show 7 minutes for cooking time. This is the time it takes to cook one batch. I did two pieces per batch. Make sure not to overcrowd the fish in the pot.