Time for a better batter. My first version was good, but with this formula you will create a spot-on copy of the famous fish served at more than 900 Long John Silver’s restaurants across the country. The secrets I missed the first time around include the addition of cornstarch, corn flour, and a little baking powder for the light, crispy texture and golden brown color. Also, I called for cod fillets in my first recipe—which work great as a substitute—but the chain actually uses Alaskan pollack fillets, which you can usually find frozen in your supermarket. If you like the famous battered fish from Long John Silver’s, you’re really going to love this new hack.

6 to 8 cups vegetable oil
½ cup plus 4 ounces (¾ cup) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon yellow corn flour (masa)
1½ teaspoons salt
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon MSG (such as Accent seasoning)
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
4 2½- to 3-ounce pollack fillets (or cod)

Cooking method

1-Preheat the oil in a large saucepan with a thermometer attached to 350 degrees F.

2-Measure ½ cup of flour onto a plate. Combine the remaining 4 ounces (¾ cup) flour with the remaining dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the water and whisk aggressively, yet happily, until the batter is smooth and no lumps remain.

3-Coat all of the pollack fillets with the flour on the plate. Let the fillets sit for about 5 minutes so that the flour sticks.

4-When you are ready to fry the fish, dip each fillet in the batter, let a little of the batter drip off, then carefully drop the fillet in the oil. After 3 to 4 minutes, flip the fish over in the oil so that it cooks evenly on both sides until golden brown. Drain on a rack or a paper towel–lined plate.

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