We live in rural New Zealand. Our nearest small town has a few takeaway places but the only one that I know is coeliac-safe is the local curry restaurant. Although the fish and chip shop offers gluten free options, they cook them in the same fryer as their gluten food and so those options are not coeliac-safe. So, when my son said that he wanted fish and chips for his birthday dinner my heart sank and memories of his last birthday rose up. His last birthday was during New Zealand’s strict lockdown at the start of the COVID pandemic when no takeaways were open and I spent hours deep frying fish and chips with inadequate gluten free batter and hungry children hovering too close to the hot oil. Buying them and accepting the cross contamination risk was tempting but my gluten-anxiety grows with every month since my diagnosis and do homemade won.
Under these circumstances you would think that I would have been organised in advance, perused recipes and ensured that I bought all batter ingredients when I bought the fish but, erm, no. About half an hour before I needed to start cooking to minimise later child hanger, I googled gluten free batter recipes and every single one I looked at used soda water or gluten free beer to provide extra lift. A 40ish km round trip to buy soda water was not doable for me right then and I had a momentary flashback to the previous year’s terrible batter and then realised that beaten egg whites might be a good alternative approach to a good batter. And it worked! And do here is the recipe. This makes enough to cover enough fish for about 4 to 6 adults.
What you need:
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup of tapioca starch
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- Generous pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
- Few tablespoons of brown rice flour
- Fish for frying
What to do:
- Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. Put the egg whites in a large bowl and beat until stiff.
- Add the egg yolks, tapioca starch, baking powder, salt and lemon juice to the bowl with the egg whites and carefully fold all the ingredients together.
- Heat the oil in a large pan or frying pan, suitable for deep frying.
- While the oil is heating up, spread the brown rice flour on a plate.
- Once the oil is hot, cover each piece of fish in the brown rice flour and then dip the fish into the batter before putting it into the hot oil to fry. I do this in batches of 2 to 4 pieces of fish at a time, depending on the size of the fish. If the oil gets too hot and the batter starts to burn or cook too quickly, turn down the heat a little while the fish is cooking. Once the underside of the fish (the side in the oil) is golden brown, turn the fish over in the oil to fully cook the other side. Once the fish is cooked and the batter is crispy and golden brown all over, remove it from the oil and put it into a colander over another pan to drain the oil before continuing to cook the remaining fish until it is all ready. Eat while hot and delicious! If the batter separates while you are dipping and cooking the fish, just give it a quick whisk to recombine it.
I hope you enjoy this if you make it!