Posted by: socalsalty | September 1, 2011

Cuda Dilemma Resolved: Beer Battered Barracuda

I have a personal ethos about fish, I’m not going to take it out of the water, unless I’m going to eat it.  It really peeves me when I see people keep shorts and at the end of the day, the fish are sitting in the handwells or by themselves in their gunny sacks left on the boat.  That fish could’ve grown up, spawned, and been a productive part of the fishery.  So I had a dilemma on my hands.  Two Thursdays ago, I caught a barracuda and 2 sand bass.  As mentioned in that post, it’s been a very intense time at work, and I came home Sunday after kayak fishing and those filets from a week and a half ago were still sitting untouched in my fridge.  Not good.  I knew it was still edible, but cuda gets gamey if you let it sit.   Time to do something about it.

First things first…need to prep the fish.  I removed it from the plastic bags I brought them home in and yup, pretty gamey.  What to do?  I’ve heard lots of people say to soak cuda in milk.  I normally cook it right away and hadn’t seen the need for the milk bath.  Given they had passed their fresh out of the water status though, they needed help.  So I skinned them, cut them into serving size filets, and put them in a large bowl.  Next, I covered them in milk, and set them in the fridge to soak overnight.  The sand bass filets were fine, so I removed the skin tags, rinsed, dried and vacuum sealed them to use later in the week.

After getting home from work on Monday, I checked the cuda.  Less gamey smelling, but not a slam dunk it would be good.  I’m going to need to dress these up.  Hmmm…when in doubt, fry 😉

Prep station: cuda, batter, panko

Beer Battered Barracuda

2 lbs. of cuda filets

1 package of Dan Hernandez fish batter

1/2 can of beer

Panko bread crumbs

I dried off the cuda filets and seasoned them with salt and lemon pepper

The batter couldn’t be easier…pour the batter mix in a large mixing bowl, add the beer, stir.  You want it to be the same consistency as pancake batter.  Since beer isn’t sold in half cans, don’t waste it and drink the other half while cooking.

Fried to a golden brown

Dip the filets in the batter, coat each side with the panko bread crumbs, fry.

I garnished the breaded filets with diced tomatoes and avocado, and topped it with a fresh tomatillo/serrano salsa.  I served it with some chicken herbed rice and sauteed zucchini.  Wedges of lime completed the plate.

Not only was that cuda gaminess gone, it was good.  In fact, it was going back for seconds good.  It’s also a simple, fast and easy to prepare work week meal.  Enjoy!

Back for seconds good!


  1. Looks good. Make me some.

  2. Assuming we have some more cuda in our future, you got it buddy. If not, there will be other fish. Looking forward to seeing you today!

  3. You need your own cooking show, Joe! Unlike other cooking shows, you could show footage of catching what you’re about to cook! Ok, now that I gave you the idea for a reality show, don’t forget about me when you’re rich & famous. 🙂

    • Thanks so much PF! I’m glad you enjoy it. Looking forward to seeing more on 😉

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