Beer battered scallops

Incredible Crispy Beer Battered Scallops

This is an amazing recipe for beer battered scallops, we serve them just like Fish and Chips (with tartare sauce & pea purée!). It’s a great alternative to pan fried scallops and makes for a fun entrée or even beer snack!

deep fried crispy scallops

Deep Fried Crispy Beer Battered Scallops

Deep frying scallops is actually a really good way of cooking them. Yes you won’t have a perfectly browned edge but you get a wonderfully cooked scallop surrounded by a crunchy exterior. You might think deep frying is too harsh for a delicate scallop but actually it’s only the batter that fries. The scallop gently steams inside its crunchy coating. The result is a juicy scallop that’s perfectly cooked in under 2 minutes

perfectly cooked fried scallops

The recipe starts with the all important beer batter. Cold beer is the key for this and with a 50:50 mixture of plain/all purpose flour along with salt and baking soda. The CO2 in the beer and the baking soda helps the batter puff up when frying creating beautiful craggy bits which are super crunchy! We’ve used the same beer batter that we used in our fish and chip recipe. click below to read more.

beer batter for scallops

When the beer batter is loosely mixed (lumps actually help with texture) the scallops are coated in the mixture. The frying oil should reach 180c/355f and then a quick fry is sufficient for perfect scallops. Once fried they are drained on kitchen paper to soak up excess oil and seasoned immediately.

deep frying

I serve the scallops hot with a side of pea purée and tartare sauce. It’s a delicious snack or starter that’s ultra rich in flavour!

What You’ll Need

To make beer battered scallops, you’ll need:

  • Scallops: I recommend using medium sized scallops (that are at least 3cm/1 inch tall). You can of course use bigger scallops if you want to. Avoid using small scallops as they’ll overcook. Frozen scallops are perfectly fine once properly defrosted.

  • Beer: Using the right beer for this recipe is critical. You’ll need fridge cold lager (Heineken, 1664, Amstel etc) and not stouts, IPAs or ale. Cold liquid helps keep CO2 soluble allowing more air into the batter helping it crisp up.

  • Flour & Cornstarch: A 1:1 mix of plain/all purpose flour and cornstarch is used for this recipe. The cornstarch helps ensure that the batter is nice and crispy. If you’ve only got plain flour then just use that (i.e 100g total).

  • Baking Powder: Baking powder is added to help even more bubbling in the batter leading to crispy batter! You can omit if you haven’t got any.

  • Pea Purée & Tartare Sauce: Two classic fish and chip style additions are fantastic dipping sauces for your scallops. You can find out how to make them in our fish and chip recipe.


Makes enough for 2 people as an entrée/starter.

  • 10 medium scallops
  • 100g plain flour
  • 150ml cold lager
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • Tartare sauce, as needed
  • Pea purée, as needed

How to Make Beer Battered Scallops

  1. Firstly prepare your scallops. If you have bought fresh scallops in a shell, shuck and remove the abductor muscle and roe.

  2. Prepare your batter by adding your flour mix, salt and baking powder in to a bowl. Open your fridge cold beer at the very last minute to conserve gas and pour it in whilst mixing with a whisk. Don’t worry if it’s a lumpy batter – the lumps will add great texture!

  3. Heat up your frying oil to 180c/355f using a thermometer. Once at temperature, slowly drop your scallops in. Start with the largest and add the smallest last. Fry for 1-2 minutes ensuring that the batter is nicely browned and crispy.

  4. Drain on kitchen paper and season with salt. Serve immediately with tartare sauce and pea purée.

Can You Airfry Them?

Unfortunately this recipe just won’t work in an air fryer. As scallops are on the smaller side, you need quick, high heat from the oil to get a crispy crust before they overcook. An air fryer will take too long to get the exterior crunchy and the scallops would be very overcooked.

Deep frying at home is easier than you think – check out our guide to help you make frying as mess and smell free as possible:

Can You Reheat Fried Scallops?

No, scallops in general do not reheat well. They’re delicate and should be eaten immediately. If you happen to have leftovers I’d recommend removing the meat from the batter, chopping them up finely and add to a leftover egg fried rice.

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