Beer Batter

Beer batter recipes are a dime-a-dozen and can be found all over the internet. This one is pretty much the regular one you’ll find everywhere. We’ve successfully used this batter with prawns and squid rings. Sprinkle with chilli salt or some chili jam for an added zing.

beer batter prawns frying


  • 2 cups self raising flour
  • 1 stubby (375mL) of good quality beer, use your favourite. We recommend Coopers Green Original Pale Ale as it is a nice Australian beer and is additive and preservative free.
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • Prawns (or other ingredient you want to deep fry. Note: this is a savoury batter)

beer batter prawns


  • Wok
  • Wooden chopstick
  • Slotted spoon (metal)
  • Paper towel
  • Gas stove or gas cook top (electricity doesn’t get hot enough and doesn’t respond fast enough)
  • Measuring cups
  • Mixing bowl
  • Wooden spoon
  • Whisk


  1. Measure out flour and place in bowl.
  2. Add 2 tsp salt.
  3. Make well in dry mix (i.e. dig a hole in the flour so when you add the beer it stays in one spot) and add beer, around 1/2 cup per time.
  4. Mix well with wooden spoon.
  5. As mix becomes runnier, switch to using whisk.
  6. Aerate well with whisk until all beer is added.
  7. The final mix should be runny, so you can coat the prawns, but not so wet that it all runs off and doesn’t coat the prawn. Go for the consistency of medium to thick pancake mix, but not as thick as cake mix. If your batter is too runny, add slightly more flour.
  8. Peel prawns, but leave their tails on (this is a hand way to grab them and serve them etc). Allow them to reach close to room temperature.
  9. Pour oil into wok so it is around 7cm deep in centre.
  10. Heat. It has reached frying temperature when you dip your wooden chopstick into the oil and small bubbles appear on or around it. You can also test the heat with a drop of batter if you’re unsure.
  11. Dip around five prawns into the batter, holding them by their tails.
  12. Shake off excess batter and add to hot oil. Ensuring they don’t touch (or they will stick to each other).
  13. Move prawns around slightly so all sides touch the oil.
  14. Fry until golden brown and remove using a metal slotted spoon.
  15. Drain on paper towel.
  16. Repeat in batches until all prawns are cooked.
  17. Between batches you may need to scoop to remove any small bits of batter, as they will burn and taint your oil. You may also need to allow oil to reheat between batches to ensure it is again at frying temperature.
  18. Once all prawns fried, sprinkle with chilli salt and serve immediately.

Tips and science stuff

  • If your batter tastes bitter (maybe due to the beer you’ve chosen to use), add salt. This will help remove the bitterness.
  • Oily deep fried food occurs when the oil isn’t hot enough. Instead of cooking the batter, the batter absorbs some of the oil. As such, always ensure your oil is at frying temperature before using it.
  • Allow your prawns to reach room temperature (or as close to as safe) before frying. If they are too cold the batter will overcook and the prawn will undercook.
  • Dispose of oil once cooled by pouring into an empty wine bottle. Seal bottle and place in bin.
  • SAFETY – deep frying uses very hot oil that can cause bad burns. Ensure your wok is in a stable and safe place. Never leave children or pets alone around hot oil. It is also a good idea to warn any other adults in the vicinity what you are doing so they don’t come to harm. Finally have a fire blanket near by in case of accident. DO NOT put water on a fat fire. It will result in the fat spitting which very dangerous and will make the entire situation considerably worse.