How to Cook Perfect Fish and Chips
This is a classic British supper that is easily cooked at home. When cooking in oil do a few pieces at a time, rather than filling the pan, otherwise the oil temperature is lowered and the coating of your food not as good as it could be.
Cod fillet is traditionally used in a fish and chip supper but haddock, plaice, huss and skate wings are good too.Here we look at three different versions; two types of coating batter and one egg and breadcrumb coating.
Suggestion One to Serve 4
- 675g cod fillet, skinned and divided into 4 pieces
- 675g potatoes for frying
- 115g self-raising flour
- 150ml approximately cold water (For a really naughty version, use cold lager instead!)
- Beef dripping (traditional) or oil for deep frying
- Salt to season and lemon wedges to garnish
Sift the flour and a pinch of salt together into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and slowly add the water (or lager.) Whisk until a smooth batter is formed then leave to stand for about half an hour.
Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1cm wide strips, about 5cm long. Rinse well in cold water then drain and dry. (Wrap them in a clean plain tea towel to absorb the moisture then use absorbent paper.)
Heat the oil to 150C-this is best done in a deep fat fryer or a large heavy pan with a wire basket. To avoid overloading the pan, lower batches of the potato chips into the hot oil for 5-6 minutes. Shake the basket now and then. Do not let the chips brown just yet, at this stage they should be softened but remain pale. Remove chips from the hot oil and drain on absorbent paper. Keep the batches warm on a hot serving dish.
Turn the heat of the oil up to 190C. Give the batter a good stir then dip each piece of fish into it, coating it thoroughly, than allowing the excess to drain off. Lower the fish into the hot oil-do this in batches too if necessary. Fry for 6-8 minutes until the batter is crisp and golden.
Now pop the batches of chips into the hotter oil and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. They should become crisp and golden at this stage.
Drain on absorbent paper and serve with lemon wedges.
- 115g plain flour
- 1 egg
- 150ml milk
Sift flour and a pinch of salt together into a bowl. Make a well in the centre and break the egg into the hollow. Beat together with a wooden spoon. Add the milk a little at a time and beat the mixture until a smooth batter is achieved. Use as in first suggestion.
If you like an even crisper finish and a lighter batter, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the flour and salt. Beat the yolk of the egg only with a little milk (3-4 tablespoons) then when you are ready to use the batter, beat the egg white and fold into the batter. Dip the fish in flour then in the batter before frying.
Egg and Breadcrumb Coating
Not everyone likes batter so this is a tasty alternative. The fish can also be baked instead of fried. This is a simple method of cooking fish and a slightly healthier option than the deep-fried battered version!
Using one fillet per person as before, roll each fillet in flour that has been lightly seasoned with salt and pepper. Dip the flour-coated fish in beaten egg then straight into a plate of dry breadcrumbs to cover the fish. Press the breadcrumbs in to make an even covering but allow loose surplus breadcrumbs to drop off.
Either deep fry at the same temperature as the previous recipe or bake in a buttered dish in the oven, pre-heated to 180C, for approximately 20 minutes and serve with a baked potato instead of chips.
For the full effect serve your perfect fish and chips with mushy peas, pickled eggs, bread and butter, vinegar and ketchup or brown sauce!