Australian Beer Batter: Crispy Hake & Avocado

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Here’s a quick and delicious twist on popular British fish and chips – the Australian version with a light beer batter (no eggs). It features chunks of fish and avocado dipped in batter and deep-fried to perfection.

Origins

Originating from the coastal regions of Australia, this dish reflects the country’s love affair with seafood. Australians have a rich tradition of enjoying fish and chips by the beach. This dish represents a fusion of culinary traditions, bringing together elements of British-style fish and chips with an Australian twist.


The concept of fish and chips, that beloved comfort food, has its roots in 19th-century Britain. It was introduced to Australia during the wave of British migration, quickly becoming a staple of Australian cuisine. However, Australians didn’t stop at merely embracing this iconic dish; they infused it with their own culinary creativity. While beer batter itself is not exclusive to Australia, it became an integral part of the country’s coastal cuisine. The use of beer in the batter contributes to a light and airy texture while adding a subtle depth of flavour.
It became a popular choice for beachgoers and locals looking for a quick, delicious meal. Whether enjoyed on the bustling streets of Sydney or by a secluded beach in Queensland, the combination of tender fish and creamy avocado enveloped in a crispy Australian style beer batter is a taste of Down Under that knows no bounds.

Essential Ingredients

The heart of this dish lies in the succulent hake fillets and ripe avocados.

  • hake ( or any white fish of your choice)
  • avocado
  • lager

Fish – I opted for hake in this recipe, it is a personal favourite of mine among white fish varieties. It’s got that tender, flaky texture that’s just perfect for what we’re aiming to achieve here. Its mild flavour plays along wonderfully with the richness of creamy avocado, creating a perfect balance. .
Of course, there’s room for choice here. White fish, in general, is a fantastic option for this dish. Their delicate textures allow them to absorb the flavours of the batter while still maintaining their natural sweetness. So, you can try this with hake or decide on another white fish you love. If you fancy an Aussie twist, why not give it a go with shark steak or basa? Basa is actually a type of catfish and works a treat in this recipe.

Avocado – Australia’s climate is favourable for avocado cultivation, yielding a variety of avocado types, with the Hass avocado being particularly adored and readily accessible. You’ll find it in all sorts of Aussie dishes, from sandwiches to salads.
For this recipe, it’s important to select avocados that are not entirely ripe and mushy. Instead, opt for avocados that are in that sweet spot of being half-ripe. This is because they need to maintain their structure when cut into chunks and deep-fried. The semi-ripened avocados strike the perfect balance, offering a firmness that allows them to hold their shape during the frying process. When you pair it with hake in this recipe, it brings a luscious creaminess that perfectly complements this Australian crisp beer batter.

Beer – it plays a vital role in making this dish special. I prefer lager for its clean and crisp character, which adds a refreshing quality to the batter that plain water can’t match. When beer meets flour, it creates tiny bubbles, making the batter light and airy. When fried, these bubbles expand, creating the perfect crispy crust.

Lager also adds a subtle malty note that complements the other flavours. This balance of maltiness, crispness, and fizziness sets beer batter apart from water-based batter. Plus, don’t worry about the alcohol – it evaporates during cooking, making it safe for everyone to enjoy.

Flavour Boosters
  • black pepper
  • salt
  • garlic powder
  • lemon zest

This simple dish benefits from a touch of garlic powder and a hint of lemon zest in the batter. If garlic isn’t your thing, feel free to skip it, but don’t skip the lemon zest – it pairs beautifully with the fish and avocado. When it comes to salting, hold off until the frying’s done. After all the fish and avocado chunks are golden and crispy, that’s when you sprinkle on a generous pinch of salt and some freshly ground black pepper. This final seasoning step not only enhances the flavours but also adds extra crispiness to the batter.

Cooking Techniques
  • Make sure your beer is cold . It enhances the batter’s lightness and crispiness. The chilly beer interacts with the other batter ingredients, creating a unique reaction that results in tiny bubbles. These bubbles make the batter exceptionally light and airy.
  • To achieve the ideal consistency, aim for a batter that’s slightly thicker than pancake batter. This thickness helps maintain the light and crispy texture of the coating after frying.
  • Coating the hake and avocado chunks in flour before dipping them in batter helps the batter adhere better and creates a crispier texture when fried.
  • Remember, it’s crucial to start with hot oil, around 350°F (180°C), before dipping the fish and avocado into the batter. The high oil temperature ensures that your dish develops that coveted golden, crispy crust while keeping excess oil at bay. Also, be careful not to overload the frying pan with too many pieces at once, as this can cool the oil and saturate the food with oil, resulting in a less-than-ideal texture. So, maintain the right oil temperature and consider frying in smaller batches to achieve the light and crispy perfection you’re aiming for.
Ingredient substitutions

Fish and avocado in Australian style Beer Batter is versatile, giving you the freedom to experiment with different ingredients to match your preferences or dietary needs. Here are some substitution ideas:

Variations with Seafood: Instead of hake, feel free to use your favourite white fish or even seafood. Prawns, mussels, squid, or other fish varieties can be excellent choices. Each option brings its unique flavour and texture to the dish.

Alternatives to Avocado: If you’re not a fan of avocado or simply looking for something different, consider these alternatives:

  • Courgette and aubergines: they can provide a similar creamy texture and pair wonderfully with the beer batter.
  • Sweet Potato: It offers a hint of sweetness and contrast the batter’s crispiness.

Vegetarian Options:

  • Halloumi Cheese: This salty, squeaky cheese becomes wonderfully crispy in beer batter.
  • Mushrooms: Portobello or button mushrooms make for tasty, meaty alternatives.
  • Tofu: Cubes of tofu, when battered and fried, offer a protein-rich option with a unique texture.

Feel free to mix and match these substitutions to craft a dish that suits your taste buds and dietary preferences.

Serving & Presentation

This Aussie classic can be served with a variety of accompaniments to suit your taste. For a classic touch, try it with a side of ketchup. It’s also a perfect match for tartare sauce, providing a zesty twist. To complement the dish’s richness, consider adding a refreshing salad composed of fresh greens, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber, lightly dressed with vinaigrette. And don’t forget the classic fries.

avocado and hake in australian beer batter

Avocado & Hake in Australian-style Beer Batter

Chunks of fish and avocado in light crispy beer batter Australian way
Servings 3
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 fillets hake
  • 1 large avocado

Batter

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 230-250 ml beer
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • sunflower oil for frying

Instructions

  • In a bowl, mix plain flour with cornstarch and baking powder. Add grated lemon zest and garlic powder. Slowly pour in very cold beer while stirring. It's okay if there are lumps; they are actually desirable for this recipe, so don't overmix to avoid a completely smooth mixture.
    Make the mixture slightly thicker than regular pancake batter. The mixture must be extremely cold before dipping the fish and avocado. If you're not using it immediately, refrigerate the mixture until needed.
  • Cut the hake fillets and avocado into small pieces.
  • Coat each piece lightly with flour, then dip into the batter and immediately deep-fry in hot oil. OIl must be very hot!
  • Fry for about 3-4 minutes; it should not darken too much. The goal is for the batter to be crispy, light, and pale.
  • Season with salt and black pepper. Serve with ketchup or Tartare sauce.

Notes

The calorie counts provided are approximate, and the total is roughly 1300 calories for the entire dish, which serves approximately 3 people. That means each serving would have an approximate calorie count of around 433 calories per serving. Enjoy your meal!
Calories: 433kcal
Course: dinner, lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Australian

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