I’ve been really craving fish lately, specifically the greasy breaded kind. Fish can get expensive quickly, but using tilapia for this recipe keeps the costs down but will definitely keep you full and wanting more! This recipe is paleo and Whole30, and the crispy chips (or for anyone in the United States, fries) make this a comfort meal to eat all year long. I did not eat anything green with this recipe, you can easily add some vegetables as a side. Really, this is just a homey food that we all need. It takes longer than most recipes I normally make, but it makes so much that you’ll definitely be eating off of it for a few days!
I could talk for so long about the benefits of fish, but since I plan on writing many, many posts about fish in the future, a brief recap will have to do!
Health benefits of fish
Fish isn’t for everyone, I get it. But if you love fish, there just really isn’t a substitute for seafood. I’m not just talking about taste here- fish is loaded with a specific type of fat – omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fats are responsible for helping maintain key bodily functions, including lowering blood pressure and improved brain function. A meta analysis (or, study of several studies. In this case, 20 studies were looked at) concluded that by eating only 3-oz servings twice a week can reduce the risk of death because of heart disease by over 30%.
As if that wasn’t a reason enough to have more fish in your diet, fish improves more than just your cardiovascular system and help maintain a healthy bodily equilibrium. Regularly eating fish fish may reduce inflammation and the risk of brain complications such as depression, ADHD, and Alzheimers. One of the coolest correlations between people who regularly consume fish is their quantity of gray matter, specifically in areas that are linked with memory and emotional regulation.
Fish also contains vitamin D – yes that stuff you can get from just being out in the sun – but is also high in protein and low in saturated fat, making it an ideal protein for someone who is looking to cut back on their calories and/or fat intake. For example, a 3 ounces of tilapia only has 110 calories. By comparison, 3 ounces of chicken contains 140 calories. It’s an easy swap to make if you’re looking for small ways to cut back on your calorie intake.
Unfortunately, if you’ve been paying attention to the conditions of our planet, you might be tempted to skip the seafood. According to National Geographic, there are 5.25 TRILLION pieces of just plastic debris in our oceans. That’s not including chemical spills, oil spills, and other contaminants that end up in our waters. So why would we eat anything that comes from the water?
If you’re looking for reasons to eat fish, you’ll find a ton of health benefits. I also was concerned about how the state of our planet would affect the meat and fish that winds up on our shelves and eventually in our bodies. I could write an entire post about all that, but I’m going to start with something obvious: we all feel emotional when we find out that the food we are eating might be contaminated.
Harvard addresses this issue, including all the chemicals or particles that could be in our seafood, and that many claim might be harmful. Their analysis? Sure, there’s a risk, but the risk is not as high as we might initially think. Some of the studies have been overrated, and the effects on the human body vary. Some studies are even inconclusive.
My thoughts, for what it’s worth, is that if most scientists and medical professionals agree that fish is safe, it’s safe. The fact is, they do think it’s safe. You’re more likely to die from heart disease than you are from consuming any toxins or microplastics that are in fish. There are so many things in our environment that are potentially dangerous or harmful to the human body (like, how hairspray is ranked as only being “minimally toxic” or how regularly eating processed deli meats is clearly linked to cancer, type 2 diabetes, and more).
The health benefits are too good to not eat fish, and the science also seems to be pretty sound. I’ll be eating fish unless some new information crosses my path!
How to make “Beer” Battered Fish and Chips
I made this recipe in the Air Fryer, because Air Fryers are incredible and literally make everything better. You could probably make this in the oven without any issues, but the times will be longer. Until I get a chance to make these in the oven myself to confirm times, I’ve only put up the times for the Air Fryer. Feel free to share if you make it in a conventional oven! I’d love to hear how it turned out!
For this recipe, you need a few kitchen items to make it smoother:
- Air Fryer (again, an oven should work no problem, but I haven’t had a chance to test out the times)
- parchment paper
The ingredient list for this recipe is pretty straight forward, and most of the things you should have in your house!
For the fish:
- tilapia, or your fish of choice
- almond flour
- coconut flour
- tapioca flour
- arrowroot starch
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- seltzer water
- olive oil
For the chips (fries):
- yukon gold potatoes
- olive oil
The fries take about half the time of the fish to make, so I recommend starting to cook the fish and then starting the potatoes.
Preheat your oven to 370° F, or get ready to use your Air Fryer. Line whatever pan you will be using for the fish with parchment paper. If you want to make smaller fish pieces, cut your fish fillets in half.
In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: almond flour, coconut flour, tapioca flour, arrowroot starch, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, olive oil, and seltzer water. Gently mix in the dry ingredients in to the wet ingredients. A thick batter should form.
Lightly salt the fish, then dip it in the batter. The batter should be thick, and you might need to add the batter to one side of the fish, place it face down on the parchment paper, and spoon more on top. Be sure to move some batter to the sides to connect both sides of the breading.
Put the fish in the Air Fryer, and cook at 370° F for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, flip the fish. You might need to wait a few more minutes until the breading is cooked enough to flip, depending on if you have an Air Fryer oven and it’s positioning on the rack. It should come away from the parchment paper as one piece, but may need to be flipped gently so it does not break. Cook for another 15-20 minutes, until breading is completely cooked.
The chips (fries) are much simpler to make. I don’t even peel my potatoes first. Simply chop your potatoes into fry-like shapes, and toss in olive oil and salt. Lay them on a tray to cook. If you don’t have an Air Fryer, you can make these fries in the oven, but I have to tell you that an Air Fryer makes restaurant quality fries. Yes, I’m being serious. If you have a chance to treat yourself, you should consider an Air Fryer.
Toss the fries in the Air Fryer at 370°F for 15 minutes. There’s no need to toss them if you have an Air Fryer oven, but you might need to shake the Air Fryer basket if you have one of those. If you are cooking your fries in the oven, turn the first over about halfway through cooking so they can bake on both sides.
Serve your fish and chips with a small side of lemon to squeeze over your fish, and any fry dipping sauce you love!
Lastly, this meal heats up quickly and easily in the Air Fryer for future meals!
“Beer” Battered Fish and Chips
- Air Fryer (preferred)
For the "Beer" Battered Fish
- 2 lbs tilapia
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 cup coconut water
- 1/2 cup arrowroot powder
- 1/2 cup tapioca flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 2 1/2 cups seltzer water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
For the Chips (per serving)
- 1 large yokon gold potato or three small potatoes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
For the "Beer" Battered Fish
- Line whatever pan you are using for the fish with parchment paper
- Cut the fish into the desired size
- In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: almond flour, coconut flour, tapioca flour, arrowroot starch, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt.
- In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, olive oil, and seltzer water.
- Gently mix in the dry ingredients in to the wet ingredients. A thick batter should form.
- Lightly salt the fish, then dip it in the batter. The batter should be thick, and you might need to add the batter to one side of the fish, place it face down on the parchment paper, and spoon more on top. Be sure to move some batter to the sides to connect both sides of the breading.
- Put the fish in the Air Fryer, and cook at 370° F for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, flip the fish to cook on the other side.
- Cook for another 15-20 minutes, until breading is completely cooked.
For the chips
- Chop your potato into fry-like shapes.
- Toss the fries in olive oil and salt
- Place in Air Fryer for 15 minutes. If you are making your fries in the oven, be sure to flip them half way through so that they cook evenly on both sides.