Chefs at Home: Beer Battered Tilapia with Coleslaw

  • Chef Kenneth Pinney
  • 2 min read

By Kenneth Pinney, Chef de Cuisine at Wayan in New York

Fried fish and coleslaw is a classic summer treat, and the firm texture and mild taste of tilapia makes it one of the best fish for frying.

Serves 4


For the coleslaw:  

1 medium savoy cabbage, shredded 

1 carrot, peeled and julienned 

1 small head of celeriac (celery root), peeled and. julienned 

1 small red onion, peeled and julienned

1 jalapeno, seeded and small dice

1 small piece ginger, finely chopped  

1 ½ cups Greek yogurt 

2 tablespoons lime juice 

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon crushed fennel seed

½ cup chopped parsley 

½ cup chopped basil

1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste


For the fried tilapia:

1 (16-ounce) can of your favorite beer ( I like using a citrus forward IPA)

2 ¾ cup all purpose flour, divided 

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon garlic powder 

1 tablespoon kosher salt 

1 pound tilapia fillet

3 quarts canola oil, for frying



For the slaw:

Toss all vegetables together in a large bowl. A mandoline comes in handy here. Mix all the ingredients for the dressing in a different bowl and then pour on top of the vegetables. Add salt, taste and adjust seasoning.

Let sit for at least 30 min before serving. 

For the fish:

Mix the beer, 1 3/4 cups of the flour, paprika, garlic powder, and salt together in a large mixing bowl.

In a large pot, heat 3 quarts canola oil over medium heat to 375 degrees. Adjust flame so the temperature stays steady.

Pat fish dry with paper towels. Slice the tilapia in half so you have two pieces from each filet.

Place remaining cup flour in a medium bowl. Place fish in flour and coat evenly. Dust off the excess flour from the tilapia and dip into the beer batter. Make sure to evenly coat the fish and let the excess batter drip off. 

Carefully place the fish in the oil. Depending on the size of your pot, you can cook 3 to 4 pieces at a time. Let the fish cook for 4-6 minutes, depending on size, and remove once it has become golden brown. Place on a tray lined with paper towels and season with salt.

(Cooled oil can be carefully strained into a container and reused 3-4 more times)

Once all fish is fried and the coleslaw has marinated ENJOY! Serve with a slice of lime and hot sauce!


Recipe and photo by Kenneth Pinney, Chef de Cuisine at Wayan in New York.

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Florida Suncoast Tilapia

A clean source of tilapia from close to home. Suncoast Tilapia is antibiotic and hormone-free, and raised on a land-based farm in south Florida.

Sold in 1 lb skinless fillets, individually vacuum-packed and super-frozen