Long John Silvers Fish Recipe – Copycat

I bet you have always wanted to make Long John Silvers fish recipe, now you can with this copycat recipe. You can recreate this crispy fish batter at home.

Batter fried fish on parchment paper in a basket.

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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 the day when the Long John Silver’s first opened in Pueblo, Colorado. My family got in the car, and we were soon munching on this fish.

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

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

Batter fried fish on parchment paper.

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 or even tilapia, or any other white fish you may have. You may even want to check out my Long John Silvers Chicken recipe.

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

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.

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 are simply using 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 difficult to do at all, but this batter does expand while cooking, it is one of the characteristics that make this batter so unique.

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

What to Serve with Fried Fish

Love fish? Try these great recipes!

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

Make the Long John Silvers Fish Recipe with this copycat recipe.

Long John Silvers Fish Batter Copycat Recipe

Long John Silvers Fish Batter recipe is perfect for fish, and so much more
4.68 from 100 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


  • 2 pounds cod sliced into 3 ounce pieces (you can use other types of fish)
  • 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
  • Oil for frying


  • If you are not using a fryer, heat up 8 cups of vegetable oil in a heavy pot until the temperature reaches 350 degrees. Make the batter by combining flour, corn starch, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, onion salt, paprika, ground black pepper. Stir to combine all dry ingredients. Add club soda to dry ingredients. The batter will foam, continue to stir. Drop pieces of fish into the batter. Coat fish with batter, drop into hot oil. Fry fish for 2 to 3 minutes or until the batter is golden and the fish pieces begin to float to the top of the oil. Drain 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. PJ

    5 stars
    I haven’t cleaned up my kitchen yet from making this LJS fish but wanted to stop and write a review. I did not add the salt bc of medical reasons.It was wonderful! I wish I could have ate more of it! The fish was delicious. Crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. This southern gal will not go back to cornmeal fish coatings again! I wish I could give it more stars. Delicious.

  2. Dan Baker

    KFC extra crispy chicken is first brined and then coated in plain flour, dipped in saltwater type wash and floured again…original recipe is not brined but coated with seasoned flour after being dipped in milk and egg wash, only once. Used to work there and fried literally thousands of chickens.

  3. Dan Baker

    Still looking for that elusive LJS taste, especially with many locations closing these days…many recipes can replicate the batter look and crunch, but fall short on the taste aspect. Was wondering if garlic salt or powder is the missing taste? I always dust my fish fillets in flour before dipping them in the batter, makes it stick better and not fall off while frying.

  4. Linda Cordes

    I tried the long John silvers recipe first time ive Been able to get my coating to stick. But the batter was very bland. Really spoiled the dinner

    • Stephanie

      I appreciate the comment. The LSJ batter that I have tried hasn’t been what I would call super flavorful, for me, the predominant flavor I get is salt. I am sorry your dinner was spoiled.

  5. Leslie

    Every place I’ve looked says LJS uses cod, but whenever I’ve had cod fish & chips at “fancy” restaurants, the fish part has a very unpleasant taste. Are there different types of cod? Or does LJS use a different fish for its ordinary fried fish, and people are only talking about the special menu offerings that specifically mention cod? I avoid cod when eating out, but I love LJS, so it’s a bit of a mystery for me.

      • Dave

        Back in the 80’s LJS used COD almost exclusively except for their fish shadwiches which used Pollack (very close Pollack is a bit darker with a bit stronger taste. If Pollack cam in instead of COD we would still use the Pollack in place of COD. One secret is to NEVER let the oil temp drop below 350F or you will get greasy fish. On very busy nights (like Fridays) we would boost the oil temp to about 370 or so. Max load of fish was about 3 pounds in a vat with 60 pounds of veg. oil

    • A J Resident

      “Everywhere you look” is an ambiguous statement. Did you look at Long John’s? Long John’s does serve cod as a dish, but their main fried fish is Alaskan Pollack. https://www.ljsilvers.com/menu/alaska-pollock-meals/

      • Bc

        It is but back in the 70s and forward when the chain started, it used cod. I worked there and my husband was a manager. Cod got very expensive.

  6. Hez

    2 stars
    My husband thought it was great. I found it VERY greasy, I had the fat hot enough and drained the cooked fish, I’m still draining the couple of left over pieces, 2 hrs later….

    • Stephanie

      Wow, two hours of draining grease from fish is pretty wild. I know you said your grease was at the correct temperature. Your experience is definitely not the norm. I am sorry the fried fish wasn’t to your liking.

  7. Lisa

    5 stars
    I used gluten free flour from WalMart last time I made it with fish. I loved it, and the onion rings were awesome. This time, I used small, cut up turkey because hubby can’t/won’t eat chicken. Even my teen said they, “taste exactly like chicken mcnuggets.” That’s a compliment, lol. I use regular onion powder and cut the salt in half for hypertension reasons. I increased the paprika because I used the cheap stuff. Thank you for creating these recipes. This way, we know what is going into our food and I can adjust our treats to be a little lower sodium and meet special dietary needs.

  8. Laura

    4 stars
    This batter had the same consistency as Long John Silvers but it tasted a little bland. Next time I think I’ll try using seasoned salt instead of regular salt.

    • Brian

      LJS’s distinctive flavor comes from the proportions of pepper and paprika. There are different types of paprika that vary quite a bit in spiciness. Try adding more of each next time if you don’t mind risking a little “heat” in the batter.

  9. Jenner

    2 stars
    I’ve tried other recipes but I didn’t like this one at all. I live in a high altitude and I ended up adding another half cup of corn starch for it to work.

  10. Trey

    5 stars
    This was a great recipe and goes amazing with Alligator meat however instead of 1/2 teaspoon of salt,i found a whole teaspoon gives it better flavor.Otherwise its bland.Thank you though.It was great otherwise and the club soda makes a difference

  11. larry

    i worked at longjohn silvers as a teenager i was a cook the batter came dry in 5lb bags and you just add water

  12. Steve

    3 stars
    Batter turned out fine, but something tasted missing. More paprika? More sugar? It was very bland to the taste.


    5 stars


    This was s great tasting. But we had trouble with the batter all coming of the fish. Any suggestions would be appreciated

    • Stephanie

      Pat the fish dry with a paper towel. Slowly lower the fish into the oil, give it a bit of time to crust up before you release the fish into the hot oil.

      • Debera

        5 stars
        ya some people don’t get it.. YOU HAVE to dry off your fish/meat AND I do know bout lowering the fish slowly til it does it’s thing..same with french fries and onion rings.. good cooking Steph…

  15. Lisa

    5 stars
    Our family loved this! My 7 year old ate two huge pieces. I used tilapia and the batter was thick, not runny at all. Thank you so much, this one is going in our rotation!

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