Frying batters require aeration to create a light crisp texture, this can be achieved in different ways by the use chemical aeration (Baking Powder) mechanical aeration (Beaten Eggs) or fermentation (Usually Yeast or Beer)
This recipe is a fermented batter using yeast, which does not seem to be used by many chefs these days. but provides a superior aeration that you won’t find in any other batter, modern-day dried yeast is excellent, and I never carry fresh yeast on-board any more.
This batter has a good flavour and crisp texture and retains its crispness well on the counter providing it is cooked at a suitably high temperature. An important factor with any batter is ensuring that the batter is cooked at the right temperature, which is at around 180⁰C, in order to seal the outside of the batter. Failure to fry at a suitably high temperature will result in a greasy oily batter. So, don’t overload the fryer as this will cool the oil down too much.
Another key point is that your fish should be fried to meet the flow of the crew entering the messroom, you can’t fry 50 portion of fish and expect the batter to stay crisp for a prolonged period in a hot cupboard.
Different vessels with different numbers of crew and the size of your fryer, I have fried fish for just 12 crew on a supply boat, for 100 crew and clients on a Dive Support Vessel, and fried 300 fish on a cross channel ferry, in less than 2 hours.
The important point on all these vessels was serve the fish as freshly cook as possible we want the batter crisp, as a battered fish sits on the counter or in a hot cupboard moisture from the fish inside the batter is slowly softening the batter, this is what we are trying to avoid so that customer can enjoy crisp hot freshly fried fish.