Fish and chips is a hot dish consisting of fried fish in batter, served with chips. The dish originated in England, where these two components were introduced from separate immigrant cultures. It is unknown who created the culinary fusion that became the emblematic British meal. In the U.K., fish and chips is a very specific meal made in a specific way. However, in America, we have adjusted and adapted this meal to fit every type and style of fries.
Fish and chips can’t just be any kind of fish though. The best fish to fry are white fish. When fried, white fish becomes tender, flaky, and light. It also is the best fish for the batter to adhere to. Some great options for frying are grouper and flounder, but the most popular choice is Cod. Cod has a mild flavor, is extremely tender meat, and when battered and fried creates a big contrast between the crunchy outer shell and the delicate white fish inside.
While the fish tends to be the same, the fries part of this meal in the U.S. is quite a bit different than the “chips” from the U.K. Fries in the U.S. can be just about any sliced potato that is fried. British fries are usually thicker with a super crunchy exterior and a light and fluffy interior.
So how do you make Fish and Chips at home? It’s pretty simple actually. You will need some thicker cuts of a white fish. At Pawley’s Raw Bar we use Cod and recommend you do the same. Here is the ingredients list.
For the fish:
● 7 tablespoons all-purpose flour
● 7 tablespoons cornstarch
● 1 teaspoon baking powder
● Sea salt, to taste
● 1 pinch of black pepper, to taste
● ⅓ cup dark beer
● ⅓ cup sparkling water
● 4 – 7 ounce fish fillets (COD)
For the chips:
● 2 points potatoes, peeled
● 1-quart vegetable oil, for frying.
Directions: Set aside 2 tablespoons of flour. In a large, roomy bowl, mix the remaining flour with the cornstarch and baking powder. Season lightly with a tiny pinch of salt and pepper. Using a fork to whisk continuously, add the beer and the sparkling 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 1 hour. Meanwhile, cut the potatoes into a little less than 1/2-inch-thick slices, then slice these into 1/2-inch-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 to 4 minutes. Drain carefully through a colander, then dry with paper towels. Keep in the fridge covered with paper towels until needed. Meanwhile, lay the fish fillets on a paper towel and pat dry. Season lightly with a little sea salt. Heat the oil to 350 F in a deep-fat fryer or large, deep saucepan. Cook the chips a few handfuls at a time in the fat for about 2 minutes. Do not brown them. Once the chips are slightly cooked, remove them from the fat and drain. Keep to one side. Place the 2 tablespoons of flour reserved from the batter mix into a shallow bowl. Toss each fish fillet in the flour and shake off any excess. Dip into the batter, coating the entire fillet. Check that the oil temperature is still 350 F. Carefully lower each fillet into the hot oil. Fry for approximately 8 minutes, or until the batter is crisp and golden, turning the fillets from time to time with a large slotted spoon. Once cooked, remove the fillets from the hot oil and drain them on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt. Cover with greaseproof paper (parchment paper) and keep hot. Heat the oil to 400 F, then cook the chips until golden and crisp, or about 5 minutes. Remove from the oil and drain. Season with salt. Serve immediately with the hot fish accompanied by your favorite condiment.
Tips: Make sure you use fresh fish. Prep the batter but only dip the fish at the very last minute. For the best fries, use a russet or Yukon gold potato.
PRO TIP: Pawley’s Raw Bar can make it for you! We will gladly make you some beer-battered cod and fries and serve it to you with our house-made Old Bay tartar sauce. Want a cold beer to go with it? We can do that!
Beer Battered Fish N’ Chips are just one of the many delicious offerings on the menu at Pawley’s Raw Bar. Check out our menu here.
Want some additional information on the types of fish we serve? Check out our blog from March 2021 here.