Fish fillets (like cod, tilapia, or catfish) – around 4 pieces.
1 cup all-purpose flour (for dredging)
1 cup cornstarch (makes it extra crispy!)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt (adjust to taste)
1/2 tsp black pepper (adjust to taste)
1/2 tsp paprika or cayenne pepper (for a hint of spice, optional)
1 cup cold club soda or cold water (club soda makes it extra light and crispy!)
Oil (vegetable or canola) for frying
Preparation: Pat dry the fish fillets using paper towels to remove any excess moisture. This helps to get a crispier finish. Season both sides lightly with salt and pepper.
Dredging Flour: On a shallow plate, spread out 1 cup of all-purpose flour.
Batter: In a mixing bowl, combine cornstarch, baking powder, salt, black pepper, and paprika/cayenne. Mix well. Slowly pour in the cold club soda or water while whisking, to create a smooth batter. You’re aiming for a pancake batter consistency. If it’s too thick, add a bit more liquid. If too runny, add a bit more cornstarch.
Heat Oil: In a large skillet or frying pan, heat about 2 inches of oil to 350°F (175°C). You can test if it’s ready by dropping a small amount of batter into the oil. If it bubbles and rises to the top, it’s ready.
Fry: Dredge each fish fillet in the flour, shake off the excess, then dip it into the batter to coat it completely. Let any excess batter drip off. Carefully place the battered fish into the hot oil. Fry for about 3-5 minutes per side, depending on thickness, until golden brown and crispy.