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Tasty Island’s Fish ‘N Chips Project: Part II

Hot on the heels (or should we say fins?) of the first installment of this quest for making perfect Fish ‘N Chips, here’s the second attempt, this time using Pancake mix.

We had a huge Costco-sized 10 lb. bag of Krusteaz buttermilk pancake mix sitting in the pantry…

So I thought “What the heck? Let’s try it!” Being in experimentation mode, I also picked up this fish called Izumidai, a.k.a. Tilapia…

Izumidai (Tilapia) Block for Sashimi (previously frozen), $5.99/lbs.

These two beautful slabs of white meat fish, being just under a half-pound costed only $2.10. Yasui desu yo!

The batter recipe is simply equal parts pancake mix to equal parts water, which has a thinner viscosity than the intended pancake recipe. It’s already preseasoned with salt, and of course the added richness of Buttermilk, so nothing else is needed.
Here it is.

Easy Buttermilk Pancake Battered Fish ‘N Chips
• 1/2 lb. white meat fish fillets, cut into 2″x6″ strips
• 1/2 cup Buttermilk Pancake mix
• 1/2 cup water
1st base (the dry dredge):
• 1 cup Buttermilk Pancake mix
2nd base:
• 3 cups canola oil
3rd base:
• Chips (I used frozen Ore-Ida seasoned fries (with skin). Cook enough for the amount of people you’re serving.
Home Run:
• Cocktail Sauce (the stuff used for Shrimp Cocktail)
• Tartar Sauce
• Fresh Lemon Wedges
• Garnish (optional, but highly recommended!) such as chopped fresh Green Onion, Chives, or Parsley

In a bowl, combine equal parts pancake mix with water and whisk until smooth . In another bowl, first dredge the fish strips into the dry pancake mix (this helps the wet batter bind, and also adds body), then dip in wet batter mix…

Here you can see the thinned-down viscosity of the pancake-based batter mix. It sort of lumped there in this shot, but I shook it off. Immediately drop the evenly coated fish in properly heated deep frying oil and cook, turning it ocasionally to reach an even golden-brown and delicious finish (“GBD”). That takes approximately 3 minutes.

Serve with chips (fries), condiments and garnish.

Here’s a cross-cut view of the pancake battered fish after it’s cooked…

Witness how moist and tender this fully cooked white-fleshed Izumidai is.

So how is this pancake batter crust for Fish ‘N Chips? Simply said, excellent! It’s more of a flaky texture, and a bit less glutenous than the beer batter version. But it’s seasoned perfectly out of the bag, and being converted into a different element than breakfast pancakes – namely being deep-fried – it takes on a whole new level of flavor. I’d liken it to Andagi in flavor, sans the sweetness and chew that Andagi has.

And that Izumidai (Tilapia) fish is fantastic! Way better than Pollock. Even though this was also previously frozen, it had much character to its flavor and texture. It tasted like fish, without being “fishy”, know what I mean? Kinda’ like Mahimahi. As long as it wasn’t caught in the Ala Wai canal, it’s A-O.K. with me. lol

Here’s a few photo-to-photo comparisons of the pancake batter Fish ‘N Chips and the beer batter Fish ‘N Chips…

The Tasty Island’s Pancake Batter Fish ‘N Chips: Project II

The Tasty Island’s Beer Batter Fish ‘N Chips: Project I

You can see that the beer batter has a smoother, sealed crust, while the pancake batter has more texture to it.

The Tasty Island’s Pancake Batter Fish ‘N Chips: Project II

The Tasty Island’s Beer Batter Fish ‘N Chips: Project I

The name also has to sound alluring. “Buttermilk Batter Fish ‘N Chip” sounds good to me! Almost better than “Beer Batter Fish ‘N Chips”. Almost.

Well this project isn’t done yet. While both so far are excellent, tried-and-true recipes (as you see it), there’s still more batter to beat and bigger fish to fry!

And to everyone on this Christmas eve… MELE KALIKAMAKI!


9 thoughts on “Tasty Island’s Fish ‘N Chips Project: Part II

  • December 26, 2007 at 8:23 pm

    Came back to see the 1st project again, but you’re already on Part II!! Looks most excellent! Never thought of tilapia for fish and chips, but you’ve made a believer out of me. Will wait to see the whole series and your final verdict before trying this at home. Altho’ your comparison of pancake batter to andagi batter is weakening my willpower to wait. ; P

  • December 27, 2007 at 4:11 pm

    Hi, am new to your blog, but throughly enjoying it. Found yours through http://katnsatoshiinjapan.blogspot.com/

    Must be scary to have a 4.5kg of pancake mix sitting in the pantry … but … what a brilliant idea to use it as fish n chips batter, kudos!

    Happy Holidays!

  • December 31, 2007 at 7:29 pm

    Ahhh! Jaden! MY kitchen is steamy now. lol

    Chien, that’s funny. Actually not so much scary, but more worried that I’d waste that HUGE bag of pancake mix. It’s good to diversify its use for things like Fish ‘N Chips or say… Fried Chicken.

    Manju, yeah that Tilapia was almost like Mahimahi in flavor, which surprised me. I’d buy it again in a heartbeat. Especially at the relatively cheap market price. Only one thing though: they need to stamp Tilapia fish sold in Hawaii with “Not from the Ala Wai Canal”. lol

  • January 4, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    I am trying this, looks lovely, and simple. That sounds like a perfect combination to me.

  • April 22, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    OMG . . . just did version II with Tilapia . . . it was unbelievable. I normally do not fry anything but, being from Scotland, had to try your version of fish and chips and was not disappointed. Thanks!

  • July 18, 2015 at 10:10 am

    Gonna try this tonight with a white fish…..hoping for the same results.. wish me luck!

    • July 18, 2015 at 11:07 am


      Good luck! You’re gonna’ need it! lol

      J/K, it’s actually really easy. Just play with the consistency of water-to-pancake mix ratio. Maybe try one thinner version, and one thicker lumpier version. You might also want to try adding cornstarch for a crunchier finish.

      I was thinking of trying beer instead of water, but not sure how that would work with the sugar in the pancake mix.


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