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The Best Fish and Chips Recipe

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Fish, Chips and Mushy Peas

Fish, Chips and Mushy Peas

Photo © Elaine Lemm
Fish and Chips are a British institution, they are one of our national dishes and everyone loves them. You can buy them from one of the thousands of fish and chip shops all over the country - including the world famous Harry Ramsdens - or you can make them at home with this easy recipe.

Choose the freshest fish you can find, frozen is also fine but make sure it is thoroughly defrosted first. Prepare the batter and only dip the fish at the last moment before plunging into hot oil to fry. This way you will always have a light and crisp snap to the batter.

Use a floury potato for the chips, the best varieties are King Edward , Maris Piper and Sante.

Fish and Chips are not as unhealthy as most would have you believe (you wouldn't eat them every day even so) Compared to other take-away foods Fish and chips have: 9.42 grams of fat per 100 grams - The average pizza has 11; Big Mac meal with medium fries has 12.1) plus Fish and chips have 595 calories in the average portion with an average pizza around 871. Opt for vegetable oil over the traditional beef dripping for cooking.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Rest time for batter: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • For the Fish
  • 55g/ 2oz plain flour/ all purpose flour
  • 55g/ 2oz cornflour/corn starch
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 75ml/1/3 cup dark beer
  • 75ml/1/3 cup sparkling water
  • 4 200g/7 oz thick white fish fillets preferably sustainable cod, pollock or haddock
  • For the Chips
  • 1kg/21b potatoes, peeled (See intro for the best varieties)
  • 1 litre Vegetable oil, lard or dripping to cook

Preparation:

  • In a large roomy bowl mix together the all but 2 tbsp of the flour, cornflour and baking powder. Season lightly with a tiny pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Using a fork, and whisking continuously, add the beer and the water to the flour mixture and continue mixing until you have a thick, smooth batter. Place the batter in the fridge to rest for between 30 minutes and an hour.
  • Cut the potatoes into 1cm slices then slice these into 1cm-wide chips. Place the chips into a colander and rinse under cold running water.
  • Place the washed chips into a pan of cold water, bring to a gentle boil and simmer for 3 - 4 minutes. Drain carefully through a colander then dry with kitchen paper. Keep in the fridge covered with kitchen paper until needed
  • Meanwhile, lay the fish fillets on a sheet of kitchen paper and pat dry. Season very lightly with a little sea salt.
  • Heat the oil to 120°C in a deep-fat fryer or large, deep saucepan. Blanch the chips a few handfuls at a time in the fat for a couple of minutes. Do not brown them. Once they seem drier and slightly cooked remove from the fat and drain. Keep to one side.
  • Place the 2 tbsp of flour reserved from the batter mix into a shallow bowl. Toss each fish fillet in the flour, shake off any excess, dip into the batter then carefully lower each fillet into the hot oil. Fry for approx 8 minutes or until the batter is crisp and golden, turning the fillets from time to time with a large slotted spoon.
  • Using the same slotted spoon, once cooked remove the fillets from the hot oil, drain on kitchen paper, cover with greaseproof paper and keep hot.
  • Heat the oil to 200°C then cook the chips until golden and crisp about 5 mins. Serve immediately with the hot fish accompanied by your favourite condiment. Debate always rages over what to serve. See what other readers suggest I like a little salt and a dollop of Mushy Peas

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