Fish and Chips

Fish and Chips Recipe

It’s been over three years since my last fish and chips post. While there was nothing wrong with it, I’ve always been a fan of the adage “if it ain’t broke, then take it apart and make it better”. Yep, I was “that kid” that would take apart a brand new Nintendo (amongst other household items) to figure out how to make it play foreign games. Today, I blame credit that inquisitive nature for my penchant for cooking without recipes.

When I get asked if I follow my own recipes, I usually give a long answer that includes the definition of the word “recipe”, but my short answer is “no”. Some people want consistency when they make a dish. For me, I relish the small variations that occur when cooking without a recipe. Part of it is the element of surprise, but it’s also driven by the small chance that a change will make a big improvement in the finished dish. It’s a process of culinary evolution and lessons learned in one dish often carry over to many others.

I’ve always double fried french fries, but I’d assumed I’d end up with a dry tough brick if I tried applying the same technique to meat or fish. After realizing a double fry was the secret to making crispy tebasaki, I decided to try this technique in other fried dishes.

As it turns out, double frying works brilliantly with fish and chips, rendering the beer batter light, crisp and keeping it crisp long after coming out of the oil. I’m leaving the old post up because the curry sauce is just as delicious as it was three years ago, but the double fry for the fish is a must.

Equipment you'll need:

Fish and Chips
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Fish fillets with a light crispy beer batter and crunchy chips.
Fish and Chips
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Votes: 5
Rating: 3
You:
Rate this recipe!
Fish fillets with a light crispy beer batter and crunchy chips.
Servings Prep Time
10minutes
Cook Time
20minutes
Servings Prep Time
10minutes
Cook Time
20minutes
Ingredients
  • 4 medium potatoes I used a mix of yukon gold and russet
  • 4 medium fish fillets cod, haddock and albacore work well
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup very cold beer you may need a little more
Units:
Instructions
  1. Scrub the potatoes well, then cut into 1/4" thick batons. Dry thoroughly with paper towels and leave them sitting on paper towels to allow the surface of the potatoes to dry out for about 30 minutes. You can skip this step if you're pressed for time, but your potatoes won't turn out as crisp.
  2. Mix the flour, cornstarch, paprika, and onion powder in a medium bowl until well combined. Dust each fish fillet with the flour mixture on all sides.
  3. Add 1 1/2" of vegetable oil to a heavy bottomed pot and heat to 330 degrees F. Line a 2 wire racks with 2 layers of paper towels each.
  4. Fry the potatoes in batches until a light tan color and the edges are just starting to brown. Transfer the fried chips to one prepared rack to drain.
  5. When the potatoes are done frying, add the baking powder to the flour mixture and whisk together. Then add the cold beer to the flour mixture and lightly whisk together. It's okay if there are still a few lumps, just make sure you do not overmix the batter or it will end up heavy.
  6. Dip the fillets in the batter and fry them in batches. Flip the fillets over with tongs when you see the edges start to turn light brown. Transfer to the second prepared rack as they finish frying.
  7. When the fish is done frying, increase the heat of the oil to 375 degrees F. Fry the chips a second time until they are golden brown and crisp. Drain on a rack and sprinkle with salt.
  8. Fry the fish a second time at the higher temperature until golden brown. Drain on a rack. Serve the fish and chips with lemon wedges or vinegar.
Categories
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  • christina

    that looks good to eat

  • zbynio4

    This looks yummy and easy. Thanks for sharing.

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  • http://twitter.com/jakehills Jake Hills

    Just tried this, fantastic (no) recipe! My suggestion to others is to get the oil HOT, don’t be afraid, just be more careful :)

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  • Mark

    Awesome man, fish and chips, proper Briitsh food- fish looks really good man, so crisp and great colour.
    Speaking as a Brit I do have one chef’s technique to make the crunchiest crispiest chips ever which really works after trying it.
    Have you heard of the Heston Blummenthal?
    His three time fried chips take a bit of time and prep but well worth it.
    Check it out in Youtube!

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Yep I’ve seen it! But for me, fish and chips are fast food:-)

  • Ann

    What non-alcoholic substitute can I use instead of the beer?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Cold seltzer water

    • CJames Fines

      how bout non-alcoholic beer?

  • Dom

    Looks absolutely yummy!! I love proper British chips that are cut thick unlike “fries”. I like to eat my fish and chips with the traditional accompaniments too, mushy peas, lots of salt and vinegar (it must be brewed malt vinegar) and preferably by the sea.

  • Safi

    we don’t have to put white wine??

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      I’ve never done it with white wine. Beer works better because of the carbonation.

  • kat nichols

    Hi Marc, I love your approach to cooking without a recipe. I have been doing it for years and like you said… “love the small things that can make a big change in flavor etc” my favorite no recipe is my beef stew made with grass fed beef and organic vegies but the seasonings constantly change depending on the mood and what I have and sometimes even throw in a beer or a dark red wine…always good and even better always different! and the same applies to my meat spagetti. I wanted to share a recipe that never changes and is one of the best pasta sauces ever, never in 30 years had a complaint, kids and adults love it!

    I- large can of Cento crushed tomatoes made in Italy (Excellent)
    Extra virgin olive oil
    about 6-7 fresh garlic cloves
    Bunch of Fresh basil leaves
    grey salt and fresh ground pepper.

    Slice your garlic cloves in very thin slices
    just cover the bottom of your fry pan with olive oil heat and add garlic just when it begins to sizzle pour in your crushed tomatoes, at this point I dump the whole thing in a large bowl and use a wire wisk to incorporate the tom and oil and put back in pan, that is just my thing… add your salt and pepper to taste and julienne and chop your fresh basil leaves I use about 12 large ones. let cook for about 8-10 min pour over your fav spagetti noodles
    It is the easiest and most delish of pasta sauce ever and when you have little time but want a good meal it is perfect! You would not think something so simple could taste so good! I hope you try it

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Kat, thanks for the note and sharing your pasta sauce. Cento is one of my favorite brands of canned tomatoes too, it’s so good you really don’t need to do a whole lot to it:-)

  • Joe H

    Perfect batter recipe!!! Maybe I’ve been messing up all this time adding egg.

  • Tippi

    I’m not a fish eater, but make it for my family if I had a late lunch. Normally just bake a filet with oil and lemon, but they wanted something different. This was so easy and they loved it!!! Follow the oil temp recommendations and you can’t go wrong.
    This has made it to the top 10 of the family. I’m sure it will be a bit different every time since I also never follow a recipe!!
    Thanks Marc!!

  • Chris

    My wife is allergic to cornstarch. What does its inclusion do for the batter, and can I substitute arrowroot or another starch to similar effect?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Chris, use potato starch. It give the batter a lighter more crisp texture than just using all purpose flour.

  • Flonn

    Hi Chefy, I’m allergic to baking powder, will it affect the texture of the fish batter if i leave it out?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Flonn, the baking powder is there to leaven the batter. Without it, the batter will not be light and airy. You’ll need to figure out another way to introduce air into the batter. What do you normal use to leaven cakes and cookies and such?

      • Flonn

        I’m a newbie, I just started a few days ago in the kitchen, and really I’m still figuring out lots of stuff, it would be great if you could give me some advice. Thanks =)

        • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

          HI Flonn, it won’t be quite the same, but try replacing some of the beer with an egg. To measure it out, you can crack an egg into a liquid measuring cup, then fill it up to the 1/2 cup line with beer.

    • andythebouncer

      Out of curiosity, which ingredient in baking powder are you allergic to? You’re sure that this is an allergy and not a sensitivity? Aside from the corn that sometimes is used in baking powder, I wasn’t aware that an allergy to these chemical ingredients was physically possible. I’d like to know more if you have any more information.

  • kmd90

    Would coconut oil (expeller pressed, not virgin) work ok?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Provided it’s been refined, it should have a smoke point closer to 450 degrees F which should be fine for this.

  • Erin Amirian -Patterson

    Every loves fish, right? YUM!

Welcome!

I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques and give you the confidence and inspiration so that you can cook without recipes too!