If I was to say to you “The Great British seaside holiday” many of you would recall wonderful nostalgic memories of ice creams, sticks of rock on the pier, crabbing in rock pools, lazy afternoons paddling in the sea and traditional seaside fish and chips wrapped in cones of newspaper.
Unfortunately, due to the rather blustery and wet conditions us Brits endure in the winter months, all these things might seem like a far off memory, so I thought what better way to relive that warm summery feeling than creating a recipe for traditional chip shop fish and chips. Give it a go this weekend and share your pictures on our Facebook page!
So, to feed 4 people you’ll need:
- 4 fillets of white fish (something like sustainably caught Cod, Haddock, Pollack etc.)
For the batter:
- 225g of plain flour
- 285 ml of ice cold sparkling/soda water or beer (something like a dark ale)
- A couple of teaspoons of baking powder
- A pinch of salt and pepper
For the chips:
- About 8 – 10 potatoes (King Edward or Maris Piper)
- Oil for deep frying (sunflower or vegetable works best)
- Mushy peas
- Condiments like vinegar, salt and pepper, tartar sauce, ketchup or brown sauce
Right – let’s cook seaside fish and chips!
- In a big bowl whisk the flour, beer and baking powder together until smooth and shiny. You should have a runny mixture, but that’s thick enough to coat the fish. Leave this to rest whilst you prepare the rest of the dish.
- Heat up your oil in a deep pan – or use a deep fat fryer if you have one. Heat the oil to around 140c. Chop the potatoes into chips. I prefer to keep the skins on and cut them fairly thinly, but thick-cut works just as well! Give them a rinse in cold water to wash of the excess starch, and then pat them dry with some kitchen paper or a clean tea towel. It’s important to make sure they’re dry at this stage so that when they go into the hot oil they don’t spit and splash. Plus, they’ll go really crispy.
- In batches, fry your chips in the oil for around 8 minutes. You don’t want them golden at this stage – they will be cooked but shouldn’t have any colour. Once all your chips have had their first cook, turn the oil up to 180c. Once hot, add the chips back in and cook for a further 4 – 5 minutes until they’re golden, delicious and crispy. Take them out, drain on some kitchen paper, season and keep them warm in the oven whilst you cook your fish.
- Season your fish fillets and then dust them with a small amount of flour. Dip them into your batter, making sure they’re completely covered. Let the excess batter run off and then place them carefully into the oil. Cook the fish for around 4 – 5 minutes until the batter is golden and crispy.
- Serve with mushy peas, a dash of salt and vinegar and then you’ll have to make the decision whether to have brown sauce (right answer) or ketchup!
And there we have it – the perfect recipe for seaside fish and chips. The next time you go to Butlins, I’d recommend heading into Rock & Sole in Skegness, Finnegan’s in Minehead or The Beachcomber Inn in Bognor Regis to get your fix of delicious fish and chips.
Happy eating – James
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