Copycat Captain D’s Crunchy Battered Fish

Copycat Captain D’s Crunchy Battered Fish Recipe

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Crunchy Battered Fish is a beloved dish that many of us associate with summer beach trips, local seafood joints, and cherished family meals. This Copycat Captain D’s Crunchy Battered Fish recipe captures that nostalgic flavor and brings it right to your kitchen. The crispy, golden-battered exterior encases tender, flaky white fish, delivering a perfect bite every time.

This recipe takes me back to family vacations along the coast. Every summer, we’d head to a quaint beach town where seafood was the star of every meal. I vividly remember our visits to the local fish and chips shop, where the aroma of freshly fried fish would greet us long before we reached the door. The first bite, always the best, was a crunchy symphony followed by the delicate taste of perfectly cooked fish. Recreating this recipe at home brings back those precious memories of sun-soaked days and laughter-filled evenings.

The beauty of this Copycat Captain D’s Crunchy Battered Fish recipe lies in its simplicity and versatility. Cod is the traditional choice, but feel free to experiment with other types of flaky white fish like haddock or pollock. Fresh fish is ideal, but high-quality frozen fish can work just as well if thawed properly. The spices in the coating—garlic powder and paprika—provide a subtle yet delicious flavor without overpowering the natural taste of the fish.

One of the key elements to achieving that perfect crunch is the batter. The combination of all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and ice-cold water creates a light and airy batter that crisps up beautifully when fried. The cold water is essential, as it helps to prevent the batter from absorbing too much oil, resulting in a lighter, crunchier coating.

Peanut oil is recommended for frying due to its high smoke point and neutral flavor. However, if you have allergies or preferences, other oils like canola or vegetable oil can also be used. Just ensure your oil reaches the correct temperature—350°F is perfect for a golden, crispy finish. An electric deep fryer can be a convenient alternative to a stovetop skillet, ensuring consistent heat and easy temperature control.

For those who love a bit of variety, this recipe can be tweaked to suit your taste. Adding a pinch of cayenne pepper to the batter can introduce a subtle heat for those who enjoy a spicy kick. Alternatively, a splash of beer in place of some of the water can add an extra depth of flavor, giving you a beer-battered variation that’s equally delightful.

When it comes to serving, keep it simple. A sprinkle of kosher salt immediately after frying helps to enhance the flavors. Pair your fish with classic condiments like tartar sauce, cocktail sauce, and lemon wedges. These add a refreshing contrast to the rich, crunchy fish, creating a harmonious balance that’s hard to resist.

Preparing this Copycat Captain D’s Crunchy Battered Fish at home is not only easy but also a fantastic way to bring the taste of the seaside to your dinner table. Whether it’s a family meal or a casual gathering with friends, this dish is sure to impress and satisfy. So, roll up your sleeves, heat up that oil, and get ready to enjoy a classic favorite that’s both nostalgic and delicious.

Preparing Copycat Captain D’s Crunchy Battered Fish

Ingredients

  • 1 cup ice-cold water (more if needed)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 pounds cod fillets or any flaky white fish (preferably fresh)
  • Peanut oil for frying
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika (divided)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

  1. Cut the fish into 1 1/2 inch strips. Place the fish strips in a plastic bag, then add garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of paprika, salt, and pepper. Seal the bag and shake to coat the fish evenly. Add 2 tablespoons of flour to the bag, then shake again to coat the fish pieces.
  2. For the batter, mix 1 1/4 cups of flour, baking powder, baking soda, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of paprika, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Gradually whisk in the ice-cold water until the batter reaches a pancake batter-like consistency. Add more water if needed to achieve the desired texture.
  3. Heat the peanut oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat until it reaches 350°F. Alternatively, use an electric deep fryer.
  4. Dip each fish piece into the batter, ensuring it is completely coated. Carefully place the coated fish pieces into the hot oil one at a time to avoid overcrowding the pan. Fry the fish in batches, turning halfway through, for about 8-10 minutes until golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
  5. Using tongs, remove the cooked fish from the oil and place them on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Immediately sprinkle with kosher salt to ensure it sticks to the fish.
  6. Continue frying until all the fish is cooked. Serve with your preferred condiments like tartar sauce, cocktail sauce, and lemon wedges.

Making Copycat Captain D’s Crunchy Battered Fish

FAQs:

What is the best type of fish to use for this recipe?

For this recipe, it’s best to use fresh, flaky white fish such as cod, haddock, or pollock. These types of fish hold up well during frying and have a mild flavor that complements the batter.

Can I use a different type of oil for frying?

Yes, you can use other high-heat oils like canola oil or vegetable oil. However, peanut oil is recommended because it has a high smoke point and adds a subtle flavor to the fish.

How can I ensure the batter sticks well to the fish?

Make sure the fish is well-coated with the initial seasoning and flour mixture. When dipping the fish in the batter, ensure it is fully covered and the batter is thick enough to adhere to the fish. If needed, adjust the consistency of the batter by adding a bit more flour or water.

What is the best way to maintain the oil temperature while frying?

To maintain the oil temperature, use a deep-fry thermometer to monitor it consistently. Fry in small batches to prevent the temperature from dropping too much. If the oil temperature drops, allow it to heat back up before adding the next batch of fish.

Can I make the batter ahead of time?

It’s best to prepare the batter just before frying to ensure it remains cold and bubbly, which helps create a crispy coating. However, you can prepare the dry ingredients ahead of time and mix in the cold water just before frying.

Copycat Captain D’s Crunchy Battered Fish Recipe

Copycat Captain D’s Crunchy Battered Fish

Make restaurant-quality Crunchy Battered Fish with this Copycat Captain D’s recipe. Crispy, flavorful, and perfect for any meal. Start cooking today!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4
...

Ingredients
  

  • 2 pounds Cod fillets or any flaky white fish preferably fresh
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika split
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup ice-cold water more if needed
  • Peanut oil for frying
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions
 

  • Slice the fish into 1 1/2 inch strips. Put the fish pieces in a plastic bag and add 1 teaspoon of paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Seal the bag and shake it until the fish is evenly coated. Add 2 tablespoons of flour and shake again to coat the fish.
  • To make the batter, combine 1 1/4 cups of flour, baking powder, baking soda, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of paprika, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Gradually whisk in the ice-cold water until you achieve a pancake batter-like consistency. Add a bit more water if necessary to get the right texture.
  • Heat the peanut oil in a heavy-bottom skillet over medium heat until it reaches 350°F. Alternatively, you can use an electric deep fryer.
  • Dip the fish pieces into the batter, ensuring they are fully coated. When the oil is hot, carefully place the fish pieces into the oil one at a time, avoiding overcrowding the pan. Cook the fish in batches, flipping halfway through, for about 8-10 minutes until golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
  • Using tongs, remove the fish from the oil and place them on a wire rack over a baking sheet. Immediately sprinkle with kosher salt to help it adhere to the fish.
  • Continue frying until all the fish is cooked. Serve with your favorite condiments, such as cocktail sauce, tartar sauce, and lemon wedges.
Keyword Batter, Fish

Copycat Captain D’s Crunchy Battered Fish (3)

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