Beer-Battered Fried Fish Sandwiches

Kyle’s mom and brother have been staying with us this week, and one of the highlights of their visit has been a fishing trip!  Captain Richard took us to all the hot spots for trout in the Charleston area, and there was hardly a dull moment aboard the boat.  Everyone hauled in at least a couple fish, and most of them were keepers.

IMAG4509aI think it took us about fifteen minutes to haul in the first fish – a trout.  And with that, we were off.  Kim wins the “most entertaining” award.  I think this photo pretty much sums it up.
IMG_1636Kyle tried to take home the “biggest fish” award, a title he held for most of the morning, until I hauled in a lunker.  Of course, for all my competitive talk, I have no idea what size it is.  I think somewhere around 32″ and 8-9 lbs – too big to keep, but it makes for a good story.  I suppose I could interpolate the dimensions in the photo if I really felt like it.
IMAG4509Our fresh catch has been on the dinner table in different forms this week, starting with fish tacos. 
fresh trout Kyle wanted to try fried fish sandwiches, and I remembered that Rachel had just posted a recipe for fish and chips – what great timing.
fried fish sandwichKyle whipped up some batter – he made everything and took most of the photos, I’m just the scribe for this recipe.  I can’t explain everything in this photo, but most of these are ingredients for beer battered fish.
jack danielsMix everything up indoors, then transfer to the grill because it’s gorgeous outside and no one should be indoors any more than they have to.
grill masterOur grill has a side burner, where Kyle heated up bacon grease in a cast iron pan for shallow frying.  When the oil is hot, dredge the fillets in the beer batter (this was pretty thick – thin with more beer or water for less breading).  We opted to leave the skin on our trout.

Quick sidebar: there are two prevalent ideas about eating fish skin.  The first is that the skin contains health omega-3s, the second is that the skin contains more pollutants than the meat.  Since these are thin fillets it’s much easier to leave the skin on, plus it didn’t add any off flavors.  If I was frying up unbreaded fish it would be fairly easy to remove the skin after frying.  I probably wouldn’t eat the skin regularly but I’m not going to worry about having a few fillets worth with these trout.

IMG_1662aLook at how happy Kyle is!  This meal was a really nice treat.  It was such a beautiful night and cooking up fresh fish that we caught ourselves was pretty exciting.
happy kaleThe fish hits the oil.  For these thin fillets, 2 to 3 minutes per side was plenty.
fish fryLook at that crispy golden crust.
fish fryIn the meantime, Kyle also made some grilled potatoes and toasted the whole wheat ciabatta buns to complete this fish and chips meal.
IMG_1699aThe moment of triumph: build up the sandwich with a little arugula, tomato, and tartar sauce.  Sit outdoors.  Enjoy with a beer.
fried fish sandwichRachel also has a recipe for homemade tartar sauce, which would be perfect for these sandwiches.
Beer-Battered Fried Fish Sandwiches

Beer-Battered Fried Fish Sandwiches

Beer-battered fried fish fillet sandwiches served with homemade tartar sauce are great for enjoying on the back patio with a cold beer.


  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 tbs baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or more, to taste)
  • 1 bottle beer - a lager or similar light beer
  • 4 fillets of a mild fish (trout, mahi, flounder, etc)


  1. Heat 4 tbs high-heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Mix up all batter ingredients. Dredge fillets in batter and put in pan immediately. Cook 2 to 4 minutes per side (depending on thickness of fillets). Fillets should be golden brown.
  3. Put on sandwiches and serve.

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