England - Fish and Chips
With fish and chips, beer is not optional… for the batter of course! And maybe some sipping too.
When I went to London a few years ago, fish and chips was definitely something I absolutely had to try, especially given that that’s what they are known for. My bf and I went to this restaurant called The Victoria. It was a really cool restaurant bar set up, and the fish was extremely crispy. While it was definitely insanely good, there was just a lot of batter, and a little bit of fish. The ratio was slightly off, but it was extremely flavorful. Naturally, I wanted to recreate my own version of fish and chips, and as you can see, one thing I did not include was the mashed peas. I know, I know. I should have.
Also, one thing I just cannot get right, no matter how many times I try, the fries. They always turn out limp and sad. Never crispy like you find at restaurants or even the ever so crispy fries from fast food places. If you guys have any tips on this, do let me know! But either way, the flavor on the fries, and especially the fish, with a squeeze of lemon? Yum. Can’t go wrong. The beer batter is the way to go!
Potatoes (peeled and cut)
4 cod fish filets (or haddock)
6 oz plain flour + more for coating
1 tsp baking soda
Salt and pepper (to taste)
8 oz beer
1/2 lemon (juice)
Heat a deep pan or medium sized pot to medium-high heat. Add oil, and wait until the oil is ready. When you peel the potato, cut them to size, whether that be McDonald’s sized, or chunky size. Up to you. Rinse and make sure to pat them dry. Any water residue will cause the oil to splatter.
Fry the fries in the oil for about 3 minutes until they have softened. You do not want them to be golden in color yet. Put the fries onto a paper towel so they can dry. Set aside. We’ll come back to the fries after the fish, but keep the oil.
Dredge the fish fillets in the flour on all sides and crevices. This apparently helps the batter to stay on after you fry it! Set aside and on to the batter!
In a mixing bowl, add the flour, baking soda, salt and pepper and give it a proper mix. Add the beer slowly and continually mix. You want it to be thick, not watery, so make sure to keep an eye on how much beer you add. Whisk thoroughly until smooth – we don’t want any clumps! Add the lemon juice and give it a final mix.
If you want, use the oil from the fries to fry the filets one at a time. It’s best to slowly lower the fish into the oil by the tail. It’s best if the fish is completely submerged in oil rather than frying it side after side. Depending on the thickness, the fish can take anywhere between 6-10 minutes to be thoroughly cooked. Place on a tray lined with paper towels.
Raise the heat to high and let the oil heat up. Add the French fries back into the oil, little by little. We definitely do NOT want them to be overcrowded otherwise they will not turn crispy. When the fries are golden, take them out and put them on a paper towel. Immediately season with salt.
You are ready to serve! Plate it up and serve with a wedge of lemon to squeeze on top of the fish!
Note: any time I’ve tried making French fries, I’ve had terrible luck with limp fries. I hope you have better luck than me! And if you aren’t confident in this method, please do let me know if you find an alternate foolproof method. I’ll gladly try it!
Recipe adapted from Genius Kitchen.