Ginger Ale Battered Fish

This is probably my favourite recipe right now. My wife says it’s the best thing I cook. So I dare to share it with the world!

When my daughter developed an allergy to eggs, our family had to figure out new ways to make a lot of dishes. I found out later I have an egg sensitivity myself, so that made creating cooking even more urgent. I had seen recipes for battered fish that used club soda for a tempura-like consistency without eggs. So I researched a few options and modified this recipe I found for a cranberry ginger battered cod.

As you’ve probably noticed in previous recipe posts, our family has a gluten-free pantry now. It took some experimenting and trail and error to see what flour-alternative we could use, and how we could make it work.

You’ll also note I added turmeric. It adds colour to the batter, but also is a great anti-inflammatory.

Ingredients:

  • 250 mL cooking oil (I use coconut oil)
  • 3 cups of gluten-free flour (see note below)
  • 10 mL baking powder
  • 5 mL baking soda
  • 2.5 mL ground black pepper
  • 2.5 mL paprika
  • 5 mL salt
  • 5 mL turmeric
  • 15 mL apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 cans of ginger ale
  • 9 fillets of fish, about 2.5 pounds (I use haddock from Costco)

Note about the gluten-free flour: I have tried rice, coconut, and potato flour. My favourite is the rice flour, which is also ironically the cheapest. Coconut flower works quite well too, but absorbs A LOT of liquid. I don’t recommend the potato flour; it becomes very stiff and hard to work with.

It would probably be best to cook these in a deep fryer, but I don’t have one. Instead I use a large, flat non-stick ceramic pan. Warm-up your fryer and bring the oil to a medium temperature.

Coating the fish is a two-step process. Put 1 cup of gluten-free flour in a small, shallow bowl. This is to “pre-coat” the fish. You can also put some salt and pepper in this mix for additional flavour.

Mix all the rest of the dry ingredients, including the remaining 2 cups of gluten-free flour in a large mixing bowl. Add the red wine vinegar and then the ginger ale. Put about half of the ginger ale in first and mix. The ingredients will react in an “acid-base” way and bubble.

You want the batter to have a consistency close to pancake mix: Thick but still runny. Continue adding ginger ale and mixing until you have that consistency.

Showing the “pre-coat” bowl on the left, batter bowl in the middle, and frying fish on the right

Coat the fish fillet in the “pre-coat”, then dip it in the batter. Shake off excess batter then place it in the pan. It will sizzle. And this process will make your hands pretty messy.

Fish with one side fried. The browned edges mean it is almost tie to turn over.

It should take about 2-3 minutes for the first side to cook. Then flip the fish over and cook the other side.

Note the lovely, crispy, thick batter.
Resting the fish before serving

Rest the fish on a paper towel to remove excess oil.

As I mentioned, I had to experiment a few times to get the consistency correct. But, the end result is like thicker than tempura, and a little thicker than a beer batter.

I hope you enjoy and give it a try!

Grilled Cheese: Gluten-free & Dairy-Free

Before my food sensitivities manifest so vigorously, grilled cheese was my jam. In many ways Chef Eric Greenspan was my spirit animal. But, I have found a way to cook up one of my favourites while sparing my tummy from trouble!

This version if grilled cheese is like a classic, but uses gluten-free bread, and vegan-cheese. Not too different from the classic, but I will also share some tips about how I get my grilled cheese sandwiches top-notch.

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices gluten-free bread (I used Udis Multigrain)
  • 50 grams vegan cheese (I used Daiya Cheddar)
  • 2 oz vegan margarine
  • 1 oz cooking oil (I used canola)
Ingredients for gluten-free, dairy-free grilled cheese

A note about the Daiya Cheese: It’s actually not that great by itself, but melted, it takes on a whole new dimension. What I’m trying to say that if the cheese is not melted, this won’t be a good dish.

My first big trick to amazing grilled cheese, is that the bread has to be frozen. When the bread is frozen, you can hit it with a lot of frying heat to melt the cheese, with less risk of burning it.

Start by heating up a non-stick pan, and lubricating it with the oil. I prefer a non-stick ceramic pan, but any non-stick pan should work.

Assemble your sandwich with the shredded cheese between two slices. Because the cheese is shredded it may spill out, so hold the slices tightly. Then, apply margarine liberally to both sides of the bread.

Keep an eye on the cheese. When it looks melted, it’s time to flip the sandwich.

Place the sandwich on the hot pan with the margarine right on the hot oil. It will fry. Watch the sandwich carefully. You will know it’s done when the cheese looks mostly melted in the edges. Then flip the sandwich over for about half the time it took to do the first side.

And voila! The beauty, crisp, and taste of grilled cheese without gluten or dairy!