Fish n Perilla Chips + OB Onion Rings

The weather in Jeju has gotten considerably colder these past few weeks, leaving me little or no choice but to make my usual batch of stews and soups on a regular basis.  This is fine and dandy for the time being, but sometimes there’s not enough time that one can devote to cooking. Throw in the fact that most Korean stews (especially the meaty versions) are pretty time-consuming and at times a pain in the butt, then you think of alternatives whenever the chance arises. So, when the weather made a turn for the better, I was more than happy to cook another dish (two dishes to be exact) that’s been on my mind for a while: Beer Battered Fish n Chips and Onion Rings.

Always a big fan of anything deep fried, I decided I would replicate fish n chips replacing the cod with Korean dongtae 동태 (frozen pollack) and the chips with fried perilla leaves. For the fish, I really wanted fresh ones to work with, but the local grocery store didn’t have any so I had to settle for the frozen variety, which are the same ones used in Korean jeons (mini-pancakes). Luckily, both fish belong to the same family, meaning they have similar tastes and textures (mild, semi-flaky, not too “fishy”).  As for the chips, making homemade fries is a tedious process, so being the lazy person that I am sometimes, I just decided to fry up some perilla leaves that my mom used to make for me. All in all, everything came out the way I wanted except for one minor difference (which wasn’t a surprise from the onset), the fish pieces were a little on the thin side. In hindsight, I should have just sandwiched two of the thin pieces together for one thick piece of fish, which would have been ideal. Anyways, I was only bummed for a short while because my taste testers thoroughly enjoyed the final product much more than I did. ^^

“For the first time I know what it is to eat. I have gained four pounds. I get frantically hungry, and the food I eat gives me a lingering pleasure. I never ate before in this deep carnal way… I want to bite into life and to be torn by it.” ~ Anais Nin


Serves: 2 people

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes


  • 4 pieces large white fish fillets (cod, haddock, pollack ideal)
  • 12 pieces perilla leaves
  • 1/2 tsp of salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 cup flour + 1 beaten egg (for fish only)
  • 1 cup flour (for dusting fish)
  • 1/2 cup beer of choice
  • 1/4 cup flour + 1/4 cornstarch + cold water (for perilla leaves)
  • canola oil for frying (use sunflower or peanut oil if available)
  • tartar sauce
  • lemon wedges



1. Make sure the fish fillets are pat dry before use. Either pre-rub the fillets with salt and ground pepper OR add the salt and pepper to the flour before dusting.

2. Whisk the flour, beer, and egg until a thick consistency is reached. Thicker batter = thicker crust. Adjust the batter according to preference. Dust each fish fillet in the flour first, then dip into the batter and allow any excess to drip off.

3. Heat oil in cast-iron pot or frying pan on medium-high heat (or approx. 350ºF). Once heated, carefully lower the fish into the oil one by one to avoid any oil from splashing. If completely submerged, fry about 6 minutes total or until batter is golden and crisp. Remove fish to wiring rack or set on paper towels to soak up extra oil.

4. Whisk the flour, cornstarch, and water in another shallow bowl. The batter will be very thin and slurry-like. Coat individual perilla leaves, front and back, with a brush until fully coated. Fry in remaining oil for about 10~15 seconds or until batter crisps. Set aside to cool.

5. Serve hot with tartar sauce and lemon wedges.


Experimenting as usual, except this time using dongtae (frozen pollack) and perilla leaves.
These guys came frozen, so make sure to set them out to thaw and then pat down to dry. At a cost of $5 bucks, this is basically a four serving amount at a fraction of the cost. The advantages of cooking at home.
It’s always nice to get the ingredients ready for action.
Using a slurry-like batter of flour and cornstarch, brush the perilla leaves on both sides and then fry away.
Fry the perilla leaves until the batter crisp, no more than 15 seconds.
They should look something like this after a quick fry.
Dust the fish fillets in flour and seasonings. If available, throw in some garlic powder.
Coat the fillet with the batter. Most fish n chips will have a thick batter to get a crispy outer coating. You can experiment by testing out a few pieces and adjust to your liking.
Fry away until nicely golden brown.
Looks like the real deal, huh!? They were on the thin side, but overall pretty good and enough to satisfy my taste testers.
Time for the plating and presentation.
According to one of my taste testers, she said it was restaurant-ready and would be a hit. Hmmmm.
No fish n chips is complete without some tartar sauce and lemon wedges.



Servings: 2 people

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes


  • 3 large yellow onions
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup flour (for dredging)
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 tsp salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp gochugaru (red pepper flakes)
  • 2 cups OB beer (or beer of choice)
  • canola oil for frying (use sunflower or peanut oil if available)



1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, egg, salt n pepper, gochugaru and beer until the mixture is well combined. The batter should be slightly thicker than regular pancake batter.

2. Slice the onions horizontally into 1/2-inch-thick rings and toss them with the 1 cup of flour.

3, Add the canola oil to a large, heavy-bottomed pot or frying pan and heat it over medium-high heat (or approx. 350°F).

4. Working in batches, dip the onion rings in the prepared batter, shaking off any excess, then carefully place them into the hot oil. Do not to overcrowd the pot, which will drastically lower the oil temperature. Allow the onions to cook in the oil, flipping them once to guarantee even browning, for a total of about 3 minutes. Remove the onion rings with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate.



Here’s all you need to make beer battered onion rings.
Along with the flour and egg, there’s some salt n pepper, gochugaru, and garlic powder in the mix.
The batter should be quite thick and not very runny. Adjust the amount of beer as you whisk away.
Cut the onions accordingly. Don’t discard the smaller pieces as they make for great frying as well.
Having forgot to dust the onion in some flour first, they still came out pretty well because the batter was so thick.
Fry away until they turn golden brown.
Let them cool for a few minutes before eating.
Another batch ready to eat.
Eating a plate full of onion rings can get tiresome so we threw in a steak and some kimchi.






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