Traditional Fish & Chips

Traditional Fish & Chips

My family used to own a fish and chip shop in Penzance in the 70's so I know a bit about batter and how to make the best of your ingredients! If you want to evoke memories of times gone by, wrap them up in newspaper and sit outside to eat them!!
ServesPrep / Cooking TimeDifficulty
8 45 minutes 2

It would be expensive to give everyone a full fish so why not go for half filllets or mini fish as they are now called. You can buy these fresh but if cooking for a large group, frozen fillets (defrosted) are great value and very tasty.


Don't skimp on the cooking of the chips - homemade are best, done in proper fat or oil - do away with the oven chips, just for one day!



2 kilos of Maris Piper potatoes peeled, and cut into chips
Malt vinegar
8 pieces of a white fish of your choice (Pollock, haddock, cod or whiting)
Vegetable oil enough to fill a deep fat fryer
Sea salt and freshly grated black pepper
2 packets of dried yeast
650ml lager
500g plain white flour
4tsp sea salt


  • In a large mixing bowl, mix 4 tablespoons of the lager with the yeast until you get a paste forming.
  • Using a whisk, slowly add the rest of the lager, whisking all the time.
  • In a second mixing bowl, sift the flour and salt into it and make a well in the centre.
  • Add the lager mixture and continue to whisk until you end up with a smooth batter.
  • Cover and leave at room temperature for between 60-90 minutes to 'rest'.
  • When that time is reached is the time to start cooking the chips.
  • Set the deep fat fryer temperature to 145°C. However, if you are using a chip pan, you will need to check the temperature by using a thermometer or throw in in a piece of bread into the hot oil and if it browns in less than a minute the required temperature is reached.
  • Cook the chips in batches depending on the size of your chip basket or pan and cook each batch for 5-6 minutes, making sure that you do not brown the chips.
  • Drain each batch on kitchen paper and reserve. With the chips blanched, it is now the fish's turn!
  • Increase the temperature of the oil to 165°C or if using a chip pan if a cube of bread browns in 45 seconds the required temperature has been reached.
  • Lightly salt the fish fillet and then dip into the batter allowing the excess to drain off.
  • Lay carefully into the hot oil and cook for about 7 minutes or until the batter is golden brown. Test that the fish is done by lifting out it of the oil, lift a piece of batter with a knife so you can see the fish beneath - the fish should be opaque in colour.
  • Drain each fish on kitchen paper and keep warm while you cook the chips for the second time.
  • Now increase the temperature to 190°C or if using a chip pan when a cube of bread browns in 30 seconds
  • Deep fry the chips in batches for 3-4 minutes. To check that they are cooked, lift a chip out of the oil and squeeze it. There should be a crunching sound and the inside of the chip should be white and fluffy
  • Drain the chips on kitchen paper
  • For a bit of fun for cool nights on the patio under the heater, rather than serve on a plate, place a piece of greaseproof paper into the centre of a sheet of newspaper (double thickness), add a portion of chips, lay the fish on top and season with sea salt. Fold the newspaper in to make a parcel - this will keep the Fish and Chips warm and allow you to serve them easily. Don't forget your jumper!!
  • Place vinegar and salt on the table or serving area so that your guests can help themselves and add to their own personal taste. Happy Memories of times gone by!!
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