Spicy Filet O Fish

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Ever since I was a kid, the filet o fish has been my favorite item at McDonalds. I know it’s an unpopular opinion, but the fish mixed with cheese and the soft steamed bun just go together perfectly. I decided to make a spicy filet o fish which I thought tasted even better than the original.

Golden and Crispy: The Best Fish Types for Frying Spicy Filet O Fish

The fish used in the Filet-O-Fish sandwich is typically Alaskan Pollock (also known as Walleye Pollock). Alaskan Pollock is a whitefish that’s commonly used in fast-food seafood dishes due to its mild flavor, flaky texture, and availability. However, there are a couple other types of fish I prefer over this.

When it comes to frying fish, certain types of fish are better suited due to their texture, flavor, and oil absorption. Personally, I used cod for this, but haddock is another great option.

  1. Cod: Cod is known for its mild flavor and flaky texture, which makes it a great choice for frying. It holds up well during frying and doesn’t fall apart easily.
  2. Haddock: Similar to cod, haddock has a mild flavor and firm texture that works well for frying. It’s commonly used in fish and chips dishes.

Maximize Your Fried Fish’s Crunchiness: Carbonated Water vs. Beer

Carbonated Water: The Ultimate Crisp Enhancer

Carbonated water, infused with bubbles of carbon dioxide, injects a burst of airiness into your batter. When combined with flour and other dry ingredients, the carbonation creates a light and delicate coating that crisps up beautifully during frying. The tiny bubbles in the carbonated water create pockets of steam within the batter, leading to an irresistibly crunchy texture that shatters upon each bite. This method is particularly effective for delicate fish varieties, ensuring the fish remains moist on the inside while achieving a satisfying crunch on the outside.

Beer: A Flavorful Twist to Tradition

Beer, renowned for its complex flavors and aromas, introduces an intriguing dimension to fried fish. Beyond its carbonation, beer contains sugars, proteins, and yeast byproducts that work in harmony with flour to create a thicker and heartier batter. The alcohol in beer evaporates quickly during frying, leaving behind its distinct flavor notes that infuse the fish with a subtle richness. Additionally, beer’s sugars contribute to a deep golden-brown color, enhancing the visual appeal of your fried fish. This method is ideal for those seeking a more robust flavor profile in their fried fish experience.

The Verdict: Choose Your Culinary Adventure

Whether you opt for carbonated water or beer in your fried fish recipe ultimately depends on your desired outcome. If you’re chasing a delicate, ethereal crispness that embraces the fish’s natural flavors, carbonated water is your ally. On the other hand, if you’re in search of a bolder, flavorful encounter that’s both crispy and hearty, beer might be your go-to ingredient.

Crispy Batter Secrets: The Importance of Keeping Frying Batter Cold

The Science Behind Chilled Batter

Chilling your frying batter might appear to be a minor detail, but it plays a pivotal role in achieving that coveted crunchiness and golden hue in your fried dishes. When you keep your batter cold, you’re essentially slowing down the activation of gluten proteins present in the flour. This leads to a thicker and sturdier batter that adheres better to the food, creating a protective layer during frying. The chilled batter also resists absorbing excess oil, resulting in a lighter and less greasy final product.

How to Master the Cold Technique for Spicy Filet o Fish

Achieving the benefits of cold batter requires a simple yet strategic approach. Begin by chilling your batter in the refrigerator for about 15 to 30 minutes before you’re ready to fry. This short resting period allows the batter’s components to firm up and work harmoniously to create the ideal texture. If you are short on time, a trick to fast track this process is by adding ice cubes to quickly cool it down.

Full Written Recipe

Spicy Filet O Fish

This spicy filet o fish is a fiery twist on a classic fast food item and it honestly tasted even better!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Appetizer, lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American


  • 8 oz cod or haddock
  • 1 slice American cheese
  • 1 brioche bun

Wet batter

  • ½ cup flour
  • 170 ml carbonated water or beer
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 ice cubes

Spicy oil

  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 cup hot oil from frying fish

Spicy tartar sauce

  • ½ cup Japanese mayo
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • tbsp pickled jalapenos (diced)
  • 1 tbsp chili crisp
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tsp lemon juice


Spicy tartar sauce

  • Combine all spicy tartar sauce ingredients together in a bowl and mix well.
    ½ cup Japanese mayo, 1 tbsp dijon mustard, 1½ tbsp pickled jalapenos, 1 tbsp chili crisp, 1 tsp dried dill, 1 pinch salt, 1 tsp lemon juice

Making the fish sandwich

  • Heat up a pot of oil up to 350F
  • Cut your fish filet into a square about the same size as your brioche bun.
    8 oz cod or haddock
  • Season fish lightly with salt then cover with flour.
  • Begin making your wet batter by mixing flour, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and paprika.
    ½ cup flour, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp paprika
  • Add carbonated water or beer and mix well. The consistency should be like a thin pancake batter.
    170 ml carbonated water or beer
  • Add ice cubes to keep batter cold .
    2 ice cubes
  • Dip fish into the wet batter then directly into 350F oil for 5-8 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Set on a wire rack to cool.
  • In a bowl, add chili powder, onion powder, and garlic powder.
    1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tbsp chili powder
  • Pour in 1 cup of hot oil that you used to fry the fish and stir. Immediately pour the hot chili oil on top of the fried fish.
    1 cup hot oil from frying fish
  • Toast your brioche buns, add a slice of American cheese, add your fish, and finish with the spicy tartar sauce.
    1 slice American cheese, 1 brioche bun
Keyword fast food, filet-o-fish, fried, fried fish, mcdonalds, spicy

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