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Crispy Beer Battered Fish Sliders

May 18, 2023 | 0 comments

Ultra-crispy, light beer batter, super tender fish plus soft brioche buns make the most wonderful mini fish sliders, perfect for parties. Add zesty tartare sauce and crunchy lettuce for the perfect bite that’s easier to make than you’d think.

Three beer battered fish sliders on a baking paper lined wooden board with tartare sauce on the side.

Finding the perfect spot on a beautiful sandy beach, ready to rip into a hot, newspaper-wrapped package filled with incredibly crispy, light, fluffy beer-battered fish is a quintessential childhood memory for me. Growing up in New Zealand, fish and chips are an undisputed summer classic. These little bite-sized beer-battered fish sliders are my twist on that classic, and one of my favourite snacks to make for parties.

Think of these as a McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish taken up several notches. Soft brioche buns, super zesty tartare sauce, fresh lettuce and scallions plus that beautiful fish make a wonderful party bite that’s surprisingly quick to pull together.

There are three important things to keep in mind when making this recipe:

  1. You need your batter to be ICE COLD. That means the beer you use needs to be refrigerated for at least a couple of hours before you use it. If you can, pop your bowl with your dry ingredients into the fridge too. Cold batter + hot oil = super crispy fried fish pieces.
  2. Only mix the beer into the batter RIGHT before you’re ready to cook the fish. The longer the mixed batter sits out, the more aeration and carbonation you’ll lose, and the more the gluten in the flour will develop. Less aeration + more gluten = thick, claggy batter.
  3. Monitor the temperature of your oil. This is when a thermometer comes in handy. I just use a cheap one from Amazon (similar to this thermometer) and honestly, it’s one of my most-used tools. You want your oil to be at 180C/360F – if it drops below this, it’s important to get it back up to temperature quickly so that your batter doesn’t go soggy. This is also why you need to be careful not to crowd your pot – the more cold things you add to it, the colder it gets.


There’s nothing that’s hard to find in this ingredient list – but there are some key points you need to be aware of.

  • Fish. Any firm, white fish fillets will do here – cod, hake, basa, snapper, tarakihi or hoki are all great choices.
  • Beer. I’m using a light lager – anything light will work well here. It’s important it’s ICE COLD – this will help to create a lovely crispy, airy batter. For an alcohol-free version, use soda water.
  • Baking powder. This, along with the yeast and carbonation present in the beer, is what’s going to make our batter SUPER crispy and light, so don’t skip it.
  • Oil. For deep-frying, it’s important to use an oil with a high smoke point (so not olive oil). Vegetable oil, canola oil, rapeseed oil, sunflower oil or peanut oil are good options.
  • Tartare sauce. This zesty, salty, creamy, super savoury sauce is a classic to pair with fish. I love to make my own quick tartare sauce, but you could just use your favourite store-bought one if you like.
  • Ground turmeric and paprika. I like to use these spices in the batter for subtle colour and flavour, but you can leave them out if you can’t find them.

How to make them

Pat dry and season your fish with a little salt, then mix the flour, baking powder, paprika, ground turmeric and salt in a large bowl. Prep all your slider fillings and heat your oil in a large pot.

Only add your ice-cold beer to the batter mix once your oil is at 180C/360F (use a thermometer OR hold the end of a wooden spoon or chopstick upright in the oil – if lots of bubbles form around it, it’s good to go). This is because you want to make sure the batter is as aerated – and cold – as possible when you fry the fish. A cold batter hitting hot oil will ‘shock’ it and make it as crispy as possible. Whisk the beer through the flour mix for just a couple of seconds – 5 max. If you mix the batter too much, you’ll lose the aeration and the gluten in the flour will start to develop, resulting in a thick, claggy batter.

Dip your fish into the batter, then slowly and carefully lower it into the hot oil. My biggest tip for making sure your batter doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot is to hold the fish in the oil for about 10 seconds so the batter can puff up – after this, you can release the fish right into the oil. Use tongs to do this if you’re nervous about frying.

PRO TIP: The batter will puff up and basically double in size after frying, so be careful you don’t cut your fish TOO large or you’ll end up with super-sized fried fish pieces (though honestly, that wouldn’t be the end of the world!)

Fry the fish pieces for a couple of minutes, until golden and super crispy. Depending on the size of your pot, you can probably do around 4 pieces at a time. Try not to crowd your pot because this can cause the temperature of the oil to lower and result in a soggy, soft batter.

Transfer the fried fish to a wire rack to drain, and sprinkle with a little flaky sea salt. Then all you have to do is assemble your sliders, and you’re good to go!

Got a question?

What’s the best beer for fish batter?

Any light lager or ale is the best beer to use – stay away from dark, strong-flavoured beers because they’ll mess with the flavour and colour of the batter.

Why is my batter soggy?

There could be a couple of reasons – with any deep-frying, it’s important to make sure your oil is staying at the right temperature. If it’s too cold, the batter will turn out soggy, but if it’s too hot, it can burn the outside. This is when I HIGHLY recommend a thermometer so you can easily monitor it. I use a cheap probe thermometer from Amazon, which I also use for cooking meat and it’s one of my most used kitchen tools.

Crowding your pot can also result in soggy batter, and this again is because adding anything to oil will lower the temperature, so adding too much can drop it too far. So fry in batches and keep checking on your temperature for the best results.

Three potato sides to serve with the sliders

Fish and chips is a classic pairing so if you’re looking for a potato side to serve with the sliders, these three are all fab options.

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Three beer battered fish sliders on a baking paper lined wooden board with tartare sauce on the side.

Crispy Beer Battered Fish Sliders


Ultra-crispy, light beer batter, super tender fish plus soft brioche buns make the most wonderful mini fish sliders, perfect for parties. Add zesty tartare sauce and crunchy lettuce for the perfect bite that’s easier to make than you’d think.


  • 4 white fish fillets (approximately 500g/1.1lb – cod, hake, basa, snapper or tarakihi are good options)
  • ½ cup plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 150ml (2/3 cup) ice-cold beer
  • Flaky sea salt
  • 16 mini burger buns
  • 1 Romaine lettuce
  • 2 scallions (spring onions)
  • 1/2 cup tartare sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lemon


  1. Start the batter. Add 1/2 cup of flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of paprika and 1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric into a large bowl and mix to combine. PRO TIP: Place the bowl with your dry batter ingredients in the fridge while you’re preparing the rest of the dish – this will help keep your batter super crispy and light.
  2. Prepare the salad. Slice the lettuce into thin strips, then place in a large bowl. Finely slice the scallions, then add them to the bowl too. Set aside. Slice your mini buns in half. OPTIONAL:  If you like, you can toast the buns, either in a hot pan with a little olive oil for a couple of minutes, or drizzle the cut sides with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and place them, cut side up, under the grill at 250C/480F for 4 minutes.
  3. Prepare the fish. Pat dry the fish fillets with paper towels and slice each fillet into about 4 smaller pieces. Sprinkle a little salt over the pieces and set aside.
  4. Heat the oil. Pour the oil into a high-sided pot – you want it to come about ⅓ of the way up the sides. Place it over high heat. Leave it to heat to 180C/360F. PRO TIP: It’s easiest to do this with a thermometer if you have one, but if you don’t, you can do the wooden spoon test. Place the handle of a wooden spoon into the oil – if it’s hot enough, little bubbles will form around the spoon.
  5. Finish the batter. Once your oil is at the right temperature, set a wire rack over an oven tray and get ready to fry the fish. Just before you’re ready to go, add the ice-cold beer to the bowl with the flour, and whisk to combine into a thick batter, a bit similar in consistency to pancake batter.
  6. Fry the fish. Lower a piece of fish into the batter to coat it fully, then holding one end of the fish, carefully lower it into the hot oil. The batter should puff up beautifully as it hits the hot oil. Hold the edge of your fish as it’s in the oil for about 10 seconds – this will let the batter puff up and prevent the fish from sticking to the bottom of the pot. You can do this with tongs if you like. Repeat with another piece of fish. You should be able to cook about 4 pieces at a time, depending on the size of your pot. Don’t crowd your pot with too many pieces – this will lower the temperature of the oil and give you soggy batter. Use a spatula to carefully turn the fish over after 2 minutes, then fry for another 2 minutes until the batter is looking super golden. Remove from the oil and place on the wire rack, and sprinkle with a little flaky sea salt. Repeat with the rest of the fish.
  7. Assemble the sliders. Spread a little tartare sauce onto both cut sides of a slider bun, then top with the lettuce and scallion mix. Place a piece of fish on top, then place the top bun on top of it. Serve the sliders right away, with lemon wedges on the side.


The secret to perfectly crisp, fluffy batter is for it to be ICE COLD. To go the extra mile, pop your bowl with the dry ingredients in the fridge with the beer while you prep everything else. It’s also important to add the ice-cold beer right at the last minute so that you don’t lose any of that aeration with it sitting out for too long.

You could make regular-sized burgers with this recipe – just cut your fish fillets in half, and use regular burger buns.

INGREDIENT NOTES: Skip the paprika and ground turmeric if you like – they add flavour and colour to the batter, but it will be equally delicious without them. 

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Fish and chips is a classic combination, so you could serve these sliders with a lovely, crispy, potato-based side. Crispy oven chips, dukkah-crusted potatoes or skin-on roast potatoes would be great options. 

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 16
  • Category: fakeaways
  • Method: deep frying
  • Cuisine: new zealand


  • Serving Size: 2 sliders

Keywords: fish burgers, mini fish burgers


I’m Kate, the creator behind Dished. I love creating flavour packed, simple (ish) recipes for you, designed for every day and special occasions.





This e-book includes my absolute favourite fakeaway recipes (popular takeaway dishes you can make at home!)

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