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As a kid growing up in Alaska, I wasn’t a fan of fish – I mentioned this in my grilled Alaskan salmon recipe, too. But my mom could always convince me to eat halibut, probably because of its large, flaky, moist meat. (Halibut also has a super neutral flavor, so I could drown it in ketchup!) Today, I love halibut, and especially preparing it in ways that remind me of another favorite destination – London!
This recipe for beer-battered Alaskan is a perfect main for your own Alaskan/English interpretation of fish and chips. You can control the flavor of the batter based on which beer you choose; I personally recommend Alaskan Amber as it’s one of the most well-known and easy to find Alaskan beers – it also tastes great as a drink with this beer-battered halibut!
Let’s dive into how you can make beer-battered Alaskan halibut at home, including some info about halibut in Alaska and other ways to cook halibut. (If you just want the recipe – get on with it, Valerie! –, you can jump to the end of this post!)
Halibut in Alaska
Alaskan halibut, more accurately called “Pacific Halibut,” is a species of flounder native to the northern Pacific Ocean. Halibut is a flat, generally bottom-dwelling fish, and over the course of its life, one of its eyes literally migrates from the opposing side to the same side of the body as the other eye!
People love to fish for Alaskan halibut because it’s a fun excursion: my grandfather came to Alaska when I was a kid just to go halibut fishing with my parents! (And probably to see me; he’s part of the reason I became interested in space!)
To catch Alaskan halibut, you need to book a fishing charter that will take you out to sea, where you can do the deep sea fishing necessary to catch these guys. They can grow to enormous size, too! My dad once caught one that was TK pounds (he has the tail mounted in his ‘man cave!’); my grandfather caught a TK-pound one on his trip.
Alaska is one of the best places to catch Pacific Halibut – so if you see halibut in the store, you can ask whether it’s Atlantic or Pacific. If it’s Pacific, you’re likely buying Alaskan halibut!
Different Ways to Cook Halibut
Like salmon, halibut is a great fish for cooking a number of different ways:
- Baking – An easy way to cook salmon in the oven, but you risk either undercooking or drying out your halibut depending on the timing.
- Broiling – A good option if you prefer to keep your halibut less cooked-through, but again time-sensitive.
- Grilling – An easy, basically fool-proof option for cooking halibut completely, as long as you keep an eye on the time.
- Pan-Frying – Another simple and common way to cook halibut, which gives you control from searing to cooking it through.
- Poaching – A less common method, but easy, less time-sensitive, and good for keeping your halibut moist and tender.
In this recipe, we’ll batter and then pan-fry your Alaskan halibut for a crispy, moist, flaky final result.
Step-by-Step Beer-Battered Alaskan Halibut Recipe
If you’re ready to make this delicious recipe, let’s dive in! Beer-battering fish might sound intimidating if you’ve never done it before, but it’s actually easy!
First, start by mixing your dry ingredients (flour, corn starch, salt, onion powder, and garlic powder) in a bowl.
Once they are fully mixed, add the beer (Alaskan Amber!) to your bowl as well. Stir it to incorporate the beer; you may not end up with a perfectly smooth batter, but it should be pourable. (You won’t be pouring it – that’s just the consistency it should have!)
Next, take your cubed halibut and add some to the batter. Toss/mix the halibut into the batter until it is fully coated. Note that you won’t be able to add the whole pound of halibut at once, so you’ll need to fry it up in 2-3 batches.
Finally, once your halibut is beer-battered, it’s time to fry! Add oil to a medium pan and bring it to medium-high heat. Once the oil is ready, add the halibut and cook until golden brown (as pictured below). Again, you may need to do this step in 2-3 batches.
Once cooked, you can bring the halibut out onto a plate with a paper towel to drain off the excess oil. Let the halibut cool a bit before enjoying!
Here’s the full recipe to follow for making beer-battered Alaskan halibut:
- 1 lb Halibut, cubed to 1" pieces
- 1 C Flour
- ½ C Cornstarch
- ½ C Beer
- 1 Tsp Salt
- ½ Tsp Onion Powder
- ¼ Tsp Garlic Powder
- Oil for Frying
- In a bowl combine the cornstarch, flour, salt, garlic powder, and onion powder.
- Add the beer and stir to incorporate. You should get a pourable batter.
- Drop a few pieces of fish into the batter and toss to coat with the batter.
- Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Add the halibut and cook until golden brown. Repeat the process with the rest of the fish.
Like I said – not as scary as it sounds! This is an easy way to bring the flavor of Alaska into your home, and is one even kids will enjoy!
Have any questions about this beer-battered Alaskan halibut recipe? Did you make it and want to share your experience? Let me know in the comments!