Classic British Fish And Chips Recipe

Is there any meal more quintessentially British than fish and chips? If you take a quick stroll down any street in England, there's bound to be a local chippie nearby. They are the perfect accompaniment to a walk along the promenade at any seaside town, or a Friday night dinner with the family. Although, the days of fish and chips being served wrapped in newspaper are long gone, since health and safety concerns regarding printing ink contaminating food overtook the iconic tradition.

Fish and chips can't get much simpler as a meal option. The chips, also known as french fries, are fried, and then the fish is dipped in a quick beer batter, and fried in the same oil. Plus, there's no better accompaniment to fish and chips than homemade tartar sauce. Tartar sauce is a delicious mixture of creamy mayonnaise and pickles, along with other sharp elements, like malt vinegar and lemon.

British-born recipe developer Jennine Rye recommends enjoying this meal with an optional side of fresh or mushy peas, as well as a generous serving of malt vinegar, to round off the authentic experience of British fish and chips.

Gather the ingredients for classic British fish and chips

To make this fish and chips recipe, first you will need to gather the ingredients. For the homemade tartar sauce, you will need mayonnaise, parsley, cornichons, capers, malt vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt and pepper. For the fish and chips, you will also need potatoes, flour, baking powder, salt, beer, and cod or haddock fillets. Either type of fish will work well, and both are commonly used in fish and chip shops across Britain.

To serve, you can add lemon wedges, additional malt vinegar, and some peas, if desired. 

Make the tartar sauce

The first step in this recipe is to make the tartar sauce. Mix together the mayonnaise, minced parsley, minced cornichons, minced capers, malt vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper in a small bowl until combined. Once it is mixed, place the finished tartar sauce into the fridge, until the fish and chips are ready to serve. Preheat the oven to 325 F.

Double fry the chips

The trick to achieving perfectly cooked, crispy, and fluffy chips, is to double fry them at 2 different temperatures. First, heat a deep fat fryer to 250 F, and allow the peeled and chopped chips to fry for around 10 minutes, until they are cooked through, but not browned. Then, take the chips out, and allow them to drain well on paper towel. Increase the heat of the oil to 375 F, and then fry the chips again for 3 to 4 minutes, until they are crisp and golden on the outside. Remove them from the oil, and place them in the oven to keep warm while frying the fish.

Batter and fry the fish

In a large bowl, whisk together ¾ cup of flour with the baking powder, salt, and beer to form a batter. Coat the fish fillets with the remaining ¼ cup of flour, before dredging them in the batter, and dropping them straight into the oil heated to 375 F. Fry the fish for 2 to 3 minutes, until the batter is golden and crisp, and the fish is cooked through.

Once the fish is fried, serve it immediately alongside the chips, and the homemade tartar sauce. To keep it authentic, you can optionally add a side of peas, a slice of lemon, and a healthy shake of malt vinegar — just like the British do. 

Classic British Fish And Chips Recipe
5 from 20 ratings
Fish and chips is a classic British dish, and this recipe is just as good as the kind you would get in a pub.
Prep Time
15
minutes
Cook Time
20
minutes
Servings
2
Servings
plates of fish and chips
Total time: 35 minutes
Ingredients
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley
  • 1 tablespoon minced cornichons
  • 1 tablespoon minced capers
  • ½ tablespoon malt vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound potatoes, peeled and chopped into batons
  • 1 cup plain flour, divided
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup beer
  • 2 4-ounce cod or haddock fillets
Optional Ingredients
  • lemon wedges, for serving
  • additional malt vinegar, for serving
  • peas, for serving
Directions
  1. To make the tartar sauce, in a small bowl mix together the mayonnaise, parsley, cornichons, capers, malt vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste. Place this aside, until ready to serve. Preheat the oven to 325 F.
  2. Heat a deep fat fryer to 250 F, and once the oil has reached temperature, add the potatoes. Allow them to fry in the oil for 10 minutes, until they are cooked through but not browned. Remove the chips from the fryer, and drain them well in a bowl layered with a paper towel.
  3. Turn the deep fat fryer up to 375 F, and allow it to reach temperature before adding the chips to the oil for a second time. Cook them for 3 to 4 minutes, until they are crisp and golden. Remove them from the fryer, and place them in the oven to keep warm.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together ¾ cup of flour, baking powder, salt and beer to form a batter.
  5. Coat the fish fillets with the remaining ¼ cup of flour, before coating them thoroughly in the beer batter, and then dropping them into the hot oil heated to 375 F. Fry the fish for 2 to 3 minutes, until the batter is golden, and the fish is cooked though.
  6. Serve the fish and chips straight away with the tartar sauce, a slice of lemon each, and a side of peas, if desired.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 933
Total Fat 45.9 g
Saturated Fat 6.9 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 83.8 mg
Total Carbohydrates 92.6 g
Dietary Fiber 7.4 g
Total Sugars 2.2 g
Sodium 1,329.0 mg
Protein 30.3 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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