Long John Silvers Fish Recipe – Copycat

I bet you have always wanted to make Long John Silvers fish, and now you can with this copycat recipe.  You will enjoy this Long John Silver’s fish batter recipe as it has crispy fish and a nice golden brown color. 

copycat Long John Silver's batter fried fish on a platter.

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Crispy Fried Fish

Do you love this crispy batter-dipped fish? Crispy on the outside, with the fish cooked perfectly on the inside, it is hard to resist this fish.

Growing up, this was a favorite restaurant of mine. I remember when the Long John Silver’s first opened in Pueblo, Colorado. My family got in the car, and we soon munched on this fish.

This batter is very close to the Fish and Chips served overseas. This recipe is unique because the fish is crispy, but it isn’t done with a beer batter. Club soda is the key ingredient that makes this crispy fish batter special.

The batter has baking soda and baking powder in it, and when combined with the club soda, it gives the batter a unique lift you will love.

What Makes This Recipe The Best Copycat Long John’s Fish Batter Recipe?

Fish sticks are a staple fast food favorite on both sides of the Atlantic. While England may have a stronger tradition of fish and chip shops, a few popular chains exist in the US, including Long John Silver’s.

For over 50 years, the brand’s restaurants have been churning out deliciously crispy fried fish. While you won’t find Long John Silver’s everywhere, once you taste the crispy batter of their fried fish, you’ll want to enjoy it often. With this tried and true copycat recipe, you can make it anytime!

Why This Is One Copycat Long John Silvers Fish Batter Recipe You Must Try?

This version doesn’t attempt to recreate the classic heavier flavor of Britain’s fried fish. Instead, the battered fish recipe below goes with a more pronounced mixture of seasonings and club soda that recreates the taste of the Long John Silvers fish batter recipe. 

Ingredients For Long John Silvers Fish Recipe

To make the batter, you’ll need:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Corn starch
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Onion salt
  • Paprika
  • Ground black pepper
  • Club soda

You can use seltzer or soda water if you don’t want to use club soda. Carbonation is the key to this recipe for Long John Silver’s fish batter because it keeps it light.

For the fish, you’ll need:

  • Any firm white fish
  • Lemon wedges, optional

The chain uses both cod and pollack based on availability. But any firm and relatively mild-tasting white fish will do. See the section below on choosing the best fish and more information.

For frying, I use vegetable oil or canola oil. I think peanut oil would also work well, but it is more expensive.

Long John Silver's batter fried fish ingredients.

How To Make the Long John Silvers Fish Recipe

  1. Cut the fish into serving pieces no heavier than 3 ounces.
  2. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottom pot, Dutch oven, or deep-fryer to 350°F. It is critical that the oil is at the right temperature, so use a thermometer.
  3. Place paper towels on a baking tray and put a wire rack on top.
  4. Stir or whisk together all the batter’s dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Immediately before you are ready to fry your fish fillets, add the club soda slowly while continuing to stir. 
copycat Long John Silver's fish batter in a bowl.
  1. Coat the fish in the batter. Let the excess batter drip off the fish.
dipping fish in copycat Long John Silver's fish batter.
  1. Carefully drop the battered fish into the oil. Cook in batches to prevent lowering the oil’s temperature.
  2. Fry the fish for two to three minutes until golden brown. Turn the fish halfway through the cooking time, if necessary.
  3. Remove the fish using a spider or fryer basket and place the pieces on the wire rack to drain.
  4. Let the oil come up to temperature and repeat as necessary.
  5. Serve immediately.
copycat Long John Silvers batter fried fish on a long platter.

Different Types of Fish You Can Use

When you make this recipe at home, you can use any fish that you like. Long John Silver’s uses Wild-caught Alaskan Cod. I have made my recipe with cod I purchased at Costco.

I think this would work well with catfish, tilapia, barramundi, haddock, hake, halibut, snapper, or any other white fish you may have. One good alternative is Swai fish, an inexpensive firm white fish that is mild and tastes slightly sweet.

You may even want to check out my Long John Silvers Chicken recipe.

I use my T-fal FR8000 Oil Filtration Ultimate EZ Clean Easy to clean 3.5-Liter Fry Basket Stainless Steel Immersion Deep Fryer, 2.6-Pound, Silver. I like it because it regulates the heat very well, and it has a filter so you can reuse the oil.

Recipe Tips

I do have some tips on technique:

Make sure your fish pieces are no more than 3 ounces. When the fish is heavier, it will immediately sink in the oil, and the batter may wrap itself around the heating elements of your fryer. If you use a pot to heat your oil in, this may not be an issue.

I like to raise and lower the battered fish pieces a few times when I lower them into the oil. This way the batter can cook just a little, and the expansion of the batter is less troublesome. It isn’t challenging to do at all, but this batter does expand while cooking. It is one of the characteristics that make fish batter so unique.

Other Ways To Use the Batter

The recipe for Long John Silver’s fish batter is so delicious; why not make a double batch of the batter and use it to fry other ingredients?

Make the lightest onion rings. Coat mushrooms, chicken filets, string beans, zucchini, or sweet potatoes for deliciously crunchy snacks. Heck, you can even fry the batter all by itself!

Different Ways You Could Use the Fried Fish

This recipe is also great for preparing fish for tacos and sandwiches. Feel free to experiment with the seasoning to create other flavor profiles. 

What To Serve With Long John Silver’s Fish 

French fries, hush puppies, and onion rings are traditional, but there isn’t any reason why you shouldn’t get more creative. Try fried green tomatoes, fried pickles, coleslaw, or cornbread.

Malt vinegar, tartar sauce, and a squeeze of lemon are popular condiments with fried fish. 

How To Store the Leftovers 

Leftovers will stay fresh for two days in the fridge and up to three months in the freezer. 

To store fried fish in the fridge:

  1. Let the fried fish cool. 
  2. Wrap the fish in individual pieces in a paper towel and put them in an airtight container.

To store fried fish in the freezer:

  1. Let the fish come down to room temperature.
  2. Lay out the fish on a baking tray. 
  3. Put the fish in the freezer until frozen, about two to three hours.
  4. Transfer the frozen fish to freezer bags.

The Best Way to Reheat Long John Silver’s Fish

To reheat thawed fried fish in the air fryer:

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 350°F.
  2. Cook for four to five minutes, or until hot.

To reheat thawed fried fish in the oven:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Place the thawed fish on a wire rack over a baking tray.
  3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until hot. 

I hope you enjoy one of my childhood favorites. You could use this batter to dip chicken tenders, shrimp, and onion rings.

copycat Long John Silver's batter fried fish and coleslaw.

Love fish? Try these great recipes!

Check out more of my easy seafood recipes and the best fast food recipes here on CopyKat!

copycat Long John Silver's batter fried fish on a platter.

Long John Silvers Fish Batter Copycat Recipe

Long John Silvers Fish Batter recipe is perfect for fish, and so much more
4.80 from 153 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Long john Silvers Fish, Long John Silvers Fish Batter Copycat Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 458kcal


  • 8 cups vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 16 ounces club soda
  • 2 pounds cod or other white fish sliced into 3 ounce pieces


  • Heat about 8 cups of vegetable oil to 350°F in a fryer or heavy pot.
  • Make the batter by combining the flour, corn starch, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, onion salt, paprika, and ground black pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Add the club soda to the dry ingredients. Continue to stir as the batter foams.
  • Coat the fish pieces with the batter, and drop them into the hot oil.
  • Fry for 2 to 3 minutes until the batter is golden and the fish pieces begin to float to the top of the oil.
  • Drain the fish on a wire rack.



Can’t Miss Cooking Tips

  • To keep the batter from sticking to the bottom of the basket, gently lower fish and hold it for a few seconds to allow it to form up a crust before dropping it into the basket.
  • You can swap the club soda for beer for a great flavor.
  • Have a little batter leftover? Slice up some onion rings, and make onion rings.


Calories: 458kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 1159mg | Potassium: 702mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 145IU | Vitamin C: 1.5mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 2.5mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Miss Vickie

    Long John’s use to use Icelandic Cod fillets. I knew an owner and would buy a box of fish from him to bake while on diet. It was the best fish! I don’t like the current white fish they use. Probably changed to reduce costs. Also I could taste a little fennel powder in the original Long John’s batter so I always add a little to my batter.

  2. Mr kippy

    Not saying I work there or anything (don’t wanna get sued) but the fish is actually pollock. And it comes in huge flash frozen planks that look like wood the employees break apart by hand. Also the oil we…I mean they…use is just a giant block a lard now. To save money ya know 😉

  3. Diana

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! Tastes just like Long John’s Silver’s batter and I used water instead of club soda since I didn’t have any and it was a last minute decision to try it.

  4. Dusty

    5 stars
    Very good batter! I used club soda. I also used frozen cod that I thawed in water. This might have been a mistake, as some of the fish was mushy? I tried to squeeze out the filets with paper towels but it may have not been enough. Anyone know if frozen fish freshly thawed will cause mushy flesh? The batter was perfectly golden just like LJS!

  5. Cat

    The long john silver in Fl used beer batter.
    I have used beer batter and it came out nice and crunchy and fish moist.
    I have used beer in other items to, and gives the food or sauce a nice flavor.

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