Living and Thriving Gluten Free

Healthy & Gluten Free

Categories: Main Dishes - Fish    

This is a nice gluten free battered fish. It's made with rice flour instead of wheat flour.

Deep fried fish on an antique silver plate with sliced grape tomaotes
Image by: Greekfood-Tamystika

Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 5 to 7 minutes Makes: 4 to 6 servings Difficulty: Medium

Gluten free Soy free

Serve it with a Simple Tartar Sauce and homemade fries, and you'll never know you're eating a limited diet!

When you have Celiac disease or choose to eat gluten free, there are a number of different food preparation techniques that you'll need to learn, so that you can properly create gluten free food at home. These are not really that special, it's mostly just learning some new habits.

At first, buying some of the different base ingredients can be a bit of a hunt, but once you have them, you'll know where to get them again.

Once you're used to these new ways of doing things, cooking gluten free is no more difficult than regular cooking.

Use all organic ingredients, and ensure any dried spices are labeled certified gluten free, and any packaged items, including the rice flour, is labeled gluten free.

Here's a listing of the things to be aware of to make fully gluten free (and additive free) deep fried fish.

Prep Notes:
  • Use oil in your deep fryer that is only used for gluten free foods. The oil can be filtered with cheese cloth or a very fine sieve, and stored in the fridge, and reused. Some people also recommend using a separate batch of oil for seafood, as some of the flavor of the seafood is transferred to the oil. If you do a lot of deep frying, you can have one batch for seafood, one for meats, and one for all other deep frying.
  • If you decide to make fries, to save time, you can use the same oil. Since this is a seafood dish, you likely won't notice that the seafood flavor transferred to the fries.
  • If you want to use Tartar Sauce, it's not recommended to use commercially prepared, as they virtually all contain varying quantities of unsafe ingredients for people eating gluten free, as well as a number of food additives that contribute to digestive upset. This is a simple and quick version that you can make yourself, and you can make just the amount you need that day - Simple Tartar Sauce.
Shopping Tips - what to look for to get the best gluten free, real ingredients for this recipe:

You will need to shop around to find gluten free, organic rice flour, that is also testing for arsenic, and coming in below current standards.

If you can't find rice flour, then you can make your own. Here is a super easy video on how to make it from dry rice, and then you can make just the amount you need - How to make rice flour at home. If you make extra, store it in the freezer, so it doesn't spoil, and use it up within 2 months.

Recent headlines are reporting that rice is high in arsenic contamination. This is a concern for many who are switching to gluten free products made with rice instead of wheat.

One brand of rice that is consistently testing lower for arsenic is Lundberg rice (I am NOT an affiliate).

If this concerns you, then you should avoid eating prepackaged food made with rice. When you make your own food, you can control the ingredients that go in it.

Since this is ongoing, I suspect that in the not too distant future you will find more brands that are low in arsenic. You can continue your own research to learn more, now and in the future.

As for buying rice, you should only buy those labeled gluten free, as there is some issue with rice being contaminated with gluten. For any item that has risk of being gluten contaminated, then opt for a brand that is labeled gluten free.

For more information on rice, check out these 4 articles. The first one from Lundberg Farms talks about the testing they are doing. The second one shows their gluten free rice products. The third and fourth give more info on grain and rice contamination, both with arsenic, and gluten.

Buy baking soda labeled gluten free.

Most baking soda will be gluten free, but to be on the safe side, get gluten free. It is readily available.

If you’ve used your current supply of baking soda prior to switching to a gluten free diet, I'd suggest getting a new, fresh box. The old one could be cross contaminated from prior baking.

Always use a clean measuring spoon when dishing it out, to prevent cross contaminating it. If necessary, when living with other people, teach them this rule, or keep a box just for gluten free use.

You want to find unrefined salt, with no additives. It should say unrefined on the label. If it is refined, it will simply say salt. Refined salt does not need to list the chemicals used in the refining process, but the word "refined" will tell you that something was used (and most are toxic).

Look for unrefined sea salt, Himalayan salt, or various gourmet hand crafted salt.

Good sea salt should be unrefined, and will not be pure white.

There is also Himalayan salt that many consider a healthy source of salt. It is generally unrefined. There is some debate as to the quality, and the exact makeup of the other minerals found in it. If you find a source of it you like, then go ahead and use it. It's largest benefit is that it does not have added chemicals, and has a wide range of other minerals. If you want the other minerals, then this is a good option.

There are a number of different gourmet salts that are hand crafted via evaporation that are nice quality. With some investigating, you can find very clean, uncontaminated sources.

For additional reading on salt, check out this article on our site:

You want to buy 100% certified organic spices, with no additional additives, labeled gluten free, and labeled to state that no anti-caking agents or additives have been used.

100% organic certified products will contain no GM substances, and will not be irradiated. Without anti-caking agents, they can stick together. This is easily solved by stirring with a clean tool prior to using, if it has clumped together.

Note that when it says only Organic, it can contain small amounts of synthetic and GM substances (up to 5%). Many chemicals used in spices are not required to be labeled, thus you want 100% Certified Organic, and statements noting no additional additives used.

Spices should be used up within about 6 months. Any older and they can spoil, and will lose any benefits, and the flavor will fade.

To read more about spices and anti-caking agents, check out these 2 articles on our site:

Check out these other 2 articles on buying good spices and what the term Organic means:

The issue of what type of milk is best is far too broad of a topic to cover in depth here. Whether you want cows milk, nut milk, coconut milk, or some other type of milk will be a personal choice.

However, here are some general guidelines to help you when choosing your milk. You can research further if it's an area of interest to you.

Dairy milk - Raw organic is best. Non-homogenized, organic is preferred if you don't have access to raw. Never buy Ultra High Temperature (UHT), or Ultra-Pasteurized milk; you will need to carefully check the label, as it's not always obvious.

Non-dairy milk - Most of these are really just fake food. Most only exist because people are used to white stuff to put on cereal and in coffee, etc.

Very few things in nature look and behave like dairy milk. They have to create unnatural compounds that look and behave like milk.

This category of products is quite challenging to find products that are made out of real ingredients. You will need to really read a lot of labels to find something that is not loaded with food additives, flavorings, binders, fillers, etc.

Many of these additives are very tough on anyone with any sort of digestive problems, which those who must eat gluten free do have.

Nut milk should only contain nuts and water.

Coconut milk should only have coconut milk, coconut cream, ground coconut and water or coconut water, or some combination of these ingredients.

Soy milk is not even remotely natural, or normal. White liquid does not come out of a green soy bean in any natural way. Large amounts of additives are added to it to make it resemble milk.

Rice milk should only have rice and water.

If you really want these, many of them can be made fresh at home, and you can completely control the ingredients that go into them. Check out You Tube for tons of videos.

Check out the following 4 articles to help you find the best type of milk for your personal taste:

You want to buy wild fish and seafood at all times. Wild Alaskan fish and seafood has been shown to have low contamination of all kinds, especially salmon.

There is so much conflicting information when it comes to safe fish and seafood. There are so many people reporting with some sort of an agenda, whether it's fish farmers promoting their own products, countries protecting their export markets, or extreme vegetarian environmentalists who want people to completely stop eating meat of all kinds, and a lot more in between.

There is a lot of fraud in fish and seafood labeling.

It has been shown repeatedly that farmed fish is the most contaminated of all, and the least healthy, no matter where the fish farms are located. This is where the majority of contamination is coming from (but not all).

The information on safe fish and seafood currently is a big moving target, and will require continued research on your part if it's something that concerns you.

To read more about fish and seafood check out these 3 articles:

Coconut oil - You want to look for organic coconut oil processed without chemicals. It does not need to be raw, since you're cooking with it, but you want it made without chemicals. You can also make your own coconut oil. Below there is a link to a You Tube video that shows you how to make both cold pressed, and heat created coconut oil.

Lard - You can also use unrefined, organic lard. You can make your own Homemade Lard here, on our site. If you are buying it, you do not want to buy the regular grocery store white blocks, as they are made with a number of toxic chemicals, some that don't need to be on the label, and are usually hydrogenated.

Palm oil - You also can use organic palm oil, as long as it's not processed with chemicals when it's made.

You want to avoid using vegetable oils when cooking, as they degrade into trans fats, which are extremely bad for you. Such as corn, canola, soy, grapeseed, sunflower, safflower, etc. Any oils with a significant amount of polyunsaturated fats should not be used for cooking.

Recent research is showing that saturated fats are not linked to heart health problems.

Saturated fats are the most heat stable to use for cooking. This is also why it's ok to cook with good quality oils that use heat during the processing, as long as they also don't use chemicals, and don't use hydrogenation.

This topic is very popular now, and you'll need to wade through a lot of conflicting information, and emerging information. Keep an eye out as more advances are made, and old ideas are discarded.

To learn more about these different types of oils, check out these 8 articles (I am NOT an affiliate of any of these):

You can make homemade Simple Tartar Sauce here, on our site, that is gluten free.

If you absolutely don't want to make your own tartar sauce, then you'll need to find some made with organic ingredients if possible, and no bad oils, and no food additives and labeled gluten free. They should not contain canola, soy, sunflower, safflower, or corn oil. It could contain extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, or avocado oil.

Note that it will be very difficult or impossible to find tartar sauce that only contains non toxic ingredients. The combination of the ingredients simply will not keep to allow the extended shelf life that commercially prepared tartar sauce needs, without the use of extensive food additives.

Another alternative is to find mayonnaise, green relish and mustard that meets those criteria, and make a quick mix of those ingredients.

There are starting to be some Paleo friendly bottled mayonnaise on the market. They are more expensive, but you will have a better chance of finding one containing the right kinds of ingredients. Shop around to find the highest quality, with no additives.

Check out the following article to learn a bit more about mayonnaise:

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1 1/2 cups Brown or white rice flour
1 teaspoon Baking soda
3/4 to 1 cup Warm water
Dash Sea salt
Dash Pepper
1/4 cup Milk
1 to 2 pounds Cod or halibut, wild
Coconut oil or Homemade Lard for deep fryer
  • Combine 1 cup rice flour, baking soda, sea salt, pepper and water in a small bowl.
  • Add water a little at a time to ensure mixture gets to the perfect consistency. You don't want it to get too thick.
  • Pat fish completely dry.
  • Place milk in a shallow bowl. Place 1/2 cup rice flour in a separate shallow bowl or plate.
  • Prepare deep fryer and oil. Read the directions on the fryer, and use accordingly.
  • Dip fish into milk (dredge). Dip both sides of fish in rice flour. Then finally dip into the batter to fully coat.
  • Carefully place fish piece into deep fryer. Fry for about 5 minutes, or until a nice golden color.
  • Lay cooked fish on a rack, to allow excess oil to drip off.

Serve with Simple Tartar Sauce.


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