Like really, really, really crispy batter.
Have you ever had fish and chips? It is an English classic. It’s either soggy and boring, or crispy as fuck and plain delicious. We’re making the latter. Traditionally it’s served with a lemon wedge, malt vinegar and/or tartar sauce. So let’s make some delicious tartar sauce while we’re at it.
Prepare the tartar sauce
- A handful of gherkins or pickles
- If you like capers, add some of those.
- Four tablespoons of mayonaise
- Half a lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Chop up the pickles/gherkins/capers
- Add lemon, mayo and combine
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Done. Put it in the refrigerator until it’s time to serve.
Prepare the crunchy fries
These are the “chips” part of the “fish and chips”.
- Potatoes (about two large ones per person)
- Baking paper
- Oil (with a high cooking point, for example peanut oil, rapeseed oil. Not olive oil)
- Thermometer (strongly recommended)
- Wash the potatoes, but don’t peel them. The skin is where most of a potato’s flavor comes from. In fact, if you ever make mashed potato where the peel wouldn’t look too appetizing, put the potato peels into some full-fat milk, and let it simmer for 20 minutes until the milk take up all the potato flavor. Then mix the milk into your potato mash. But that’s another story, back to the fries… Don’t peel them.
- Cut really thick fries. Or thin ones, it’s up to you, but I prefer thick ones in this case because of the method we’ll be using that makes them soft inside, and crispy on the outside.
- Boil salted water. Don’t be afraid to salt a lot, if you have a lot of water. A tablespoon per liter is a good way to go.
- Boil the fries for 10 minutes until they’ve softened a little but are still too hard to eat. If you made thin fries, boil for five minutes instead.
- Spread out the fries on a sheet of paper. One layer of fries only, don’t stack them.
- Let them cool for at least 30 minutes. Steam will be coming out of them, and that’s good. You want them to dry out. The longer, the better. If you have time, let them dry over night.
- Heat up oil to 170°C. Without a thermometer, things get a little more complicated. A trick is to look at the oil in good lighting conditions. You’ll see the oil starts to simmer, like shapes floating around. That’s when it’s 170°. Too abstract? Get a thermometer.
- Put the fries in, and let them cook until they have some color but are still too pale. About 5 minutes. Then take them out!
- When cooking the fish, put the fries in there too to cook them one last time to perfection, just before serving.
How to fry the perfect fish
- Keep the oil at 170 degrees C.
- 150 g of pain white flour plus a little for dusting
- .5 grams of baking soda (not baking powder although that will work too)
- 2 tsp of turmeric (just for the color, but damn fine color it is!)
- 1 egg
- A bottle of fancy beer (about 150 ml, right?). Don’t use a too bitter one. It’s in it for the touch of flavor and the bubbles.
- About 200 grams of fish per person. I use fresh cod, but I know some prefer turbot. Either way, remove the skin. It gets boiled in there, inside the batter crust, and boiled fish skin is no good. If you don’t eat fish, you can use halloumi cheese. It comes out nice.
- Mix flour, baking soda, egg, turmeric and beer into a batter. Now hurry before the bubbles get out of there!
- Take out the refrigerated fish. Cut it into nice pieces, about 100 grams per piece.
- First, dust them in flour all over, to help make the batter stick.
- Then into the batter.
- Don’t drop the fish into the oil, or it will sink to the bottom and stick. Hold a piece of the fish in the hot oil for 15 seconds, and then drop it. The puffed up part will keep it afloat.
- Now it needs about 5-8 minutes. At the end, put some extra batter on there to get some extra crust.
- Now add the alomst finished fries, and give them some color. They need about 5 more minutes, so it will be perfectly timed.
Serve the fish and chips!
- I put some crumbled up baking paper on a plate
- Lemon wedge!
- Sauce on the side!
- Some chopped parsley for the vitamins and color and… Well, it goes well with the rest.
- You now have a delicious fish and chips dish. Enjoy!