Root Beer Battered Fish

Root Beer Battered Fish

Skipping meat for Fridays and you want a break from cheese pizza?  Just in the mood for some fish fry?  If your kids are not fans of fish, well join the club.  I have mentioned here many times before, that in general, most of our family has traditionally avoided fish (with exception of shrimp with I can eat 2 pounds of that on my own).

I’ve talked about grilling fish (Grilled Halibut) and crispy, cheesy fish (Parmesan-Panko Tilapia), all of which have increased our “like” of fish.  Of course, when you deep fry battered fish and serve it with fries and root beer floats, well then we can talk about moving from like to love.

It’s so much easier to try something new when it’s been deep-fried, I think of it as a step towards eating grilled fish. First like it fried, then move on towards the healthier preparations: baby steps.   I’d made fish and chips from this Bon Appétit recipe for Fish and Chips with Tarragon-Malt Vinegar Mayonnaise.  I loved it, especially the sauce because I love tarragon (If you don’t then try this more traditional Tartar Sauce from Simply Recipes).

I just feel weird putting beer in my kid’s food, it’s cooked quickly, and not too much alcohol gets cooked off, so I decided to use Root Beer instead.  It tastes great, not too sweet at all, but you need to watch the fish carefully when it’s frying since the sugar will burn easily.  I served these up with fries and ketchup and some Root Beer Floats and the kids were quite pleased.


  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 T Fresh Tarragon, Chopped
  • 1 T White Wine or Cider Vinegar
  • 1 1/4 C Self-Rising Flour
  • 1 t Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 1/2 C Root Beer (I used Saranac)
  • Canola Oil (for frying)
  • 1 1/2 pounds fish fillets (Tilapia or Cod work well), cut in halves or quarters
  • Salt and Pepper


  1. Mix mayonnaise, tarragon, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl, set aside.
  2. In a separate, medium bowl, mix the flour and old bay. Add the root beer and stir with a fork until smooth.
  3. Heat an inch of oil in a heavy-bottomed pan until it sizzles when you add in a drop of batter.
  4. Pat fish fry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Dip each piece of fish in the batter and coat well, slide into the hot oil (be careful of splatters!). Don’t overcrowd the fish, 2-3 pieces at a time. When you see the sides begin to brown (3-4 minutes depending on the size of your pieces), flip over and cook until both sides are a nice golden brown (another 3 minutes). Remove with a slotted spoon and drain over paper towels.