Beer-Battered Fish & Chips

Beer Battered Fish & Chips

Details

This fish is fried in a light, yet crispy, beer batter and is served with homemade chips. Serve with malt vinegar, fresh lemon juice, tartar sauce and/or mushy peas for that classic English touch.
  • Serves: 4
  • Active Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 25 mins
  • Views: 26,239
  • Success: 100%

Steps

Step 1: Blanching the French Fries

• 4 large russet potatoes*
• frying oil (grapeseed, peanut or canola)

Method

To begin, pour enough oil to reach about 2" -inches high. Heat the oil over medium heat until it reaches between 300-325 F (150-170 C).

*Note: To make French fries, it’s best to use high-starch potatoes, such as russet potatoes.

Peel the potatoes and cut into strips about 3/8" -inch by 3/8" -inch wide, or however large you like them. Place the potatoes into the water to prevent browning and also to rinse off the excess starch and surface sugars. The potatoes can be cut and stored in the refrigerator up to one day in advance.

To blanch the potatoes, first set up a baking tray with paper towels or a clean kitchen cloth. Then gather a spider and make sure the oil is at the correct temperature.

Dry a handful of potatoes with another clean kitchen cloth. The potatoes must be dry so they do not splatter when they hit the oil. Working in small batches, place the potatoes onto the spider and gently lower them into the oil. Blanch for about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or just until softened slightly. When blanching the potatoes, they should not turn golden at all. They should be just cooked through but still have some resistance when you squish them. Once ready, remove them from the oil and place onto the baking tray.

Once all of the potatoes have been blanched, arrange them on the tray so they do not stick together. Then chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour to ensure they are nice and cold. However, they can be stored for up to one day before cooking.

When ready to cook the fish and chips turn the heat up to 375˚F (190˚C).

Step 2: Mixing the Batter

• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 cup beer
• 2 large egg whites
• 1/4 to 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper (optional)*
• 1/2 tsp kosher salt

Method

Note: Be sure to mix the batter only after you have prepared all of your mise en place and just before you are ready to start frying.

To mix the batter, first mix together the flour, salt, pepper and beer. *Note: The black pepper adds a nice touch of heat and flavor to the batter, but it is optional as it does add little black flecks to the coating. This presentation may not be desirable to some.

Next, whip the egg whites until you reach stiff peaks. Then gently fold them into the batter.

Step 3: Frying the Fish

• 4 fillets of halibut, cod or haddock*
• 1 cup all-purpose flour (for dusting)
• kosher salt (to taste)

Method

*Note: The size of the pieces of fish depends on how big you want the portions to be. Somewhere between 6 to 8 ounces per person should be plenty. Just be sure they are all roughly the same size so they cook evenly.

Before you start, make sure the oil is at the correct temperature (it should be between 350-375˚F or 180-190˚C).

At this point, you have the option to fry the fish one order at a time. Doing it this way allows you to potentially cook an order of chips/fries at the same time. However, this way does take a bit more organization and timing and everyone will potentially eat at different times. If doing it this way, refer to the last step for cooking the chips/fries.

Alternatively, you can fry the fish first and place it into a warm oven while you quickly cook the fries. This way also works well, but the fish may lose a tiny bit of its crispiness.

To fry the fish, first lightly dust it in flour. Shake off any excess and then dip it into the batter. Gently place the fish into the hot oil and fry until golden and cooked through. Carefully flip if necessary to ensure the pieces brown evenly.

Once done, drain the fish and season with a bit of salt while it is still hot. Then either place into a warm oven or serve immediately with the chips/fries.

Step 4: Finishing the French Fries

• kosher salt (to taste)
• freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
• 1 lemon (optional)
• malt vinegar (optional)
• tartar sauce (optional)

Method

First, be sure the oil is at the right temperature (if possible, the heat can be turned up to 400 F (or 200 C) this just cooks them a bit quicker.

To cook the chips/fries, place a handful of the potatoes onto a spider and lower into the oil. It can take anywhere from 1 1/2 to 5 minutes, depending on how crunchy you like your fries and how thick they were to begin with, etc. Once crisp and golden, remove them from the oil and place them directly into a large stainless-steel bowl. Season to taste.

Toss and serve immediately with one piece of the fish. Garnish with lemon wedges and serve with malt vinegar and tartar sauce, if desired.

Continue to work in batches with the remaining fries until all of the fish and chips are served. Enjoy!

9 Comments

  • Rebecca B
    Rebecca B
    Why do you blanch -- double fry -- the fries? Further, why is the oil for blanching under 375 degrees F? BTW: Very good fish batter. Thanks!
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    Blanching is a very common practice when it comes to making fries. The first cooking at a low temperature is to cook the interior of the potato. The second cooking is to crisp up the outside. You might want to check out this video recipe for Pomme Frites for more information. Cheers!
  • Elle R
    Elle R
    I used some old oil and the fish and chips soaked up so much grease.. It was literally inedible. I am not sure if it was my oil or the batter. I have to keep converting cups into grams/ml etc so that may had been the wrong ratio (I halved the batter recipe) Is there any way you could insert grams and ml into your recipes? It becomes frustrating having to keep looking at conversions. Also I am not sure if they are correct. Saying that, the oil wasn't heating up to the proper temperature after the first batch so I imagine it was the oil. So greasy.. Time for a takeaway haha
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Oh no! It sounds like the oil was not hot enough. It's best to test the batter a bit by dropping a tiny amount in the hot oil. It should bubble and cook immediately. Here is handy converter link for you - I hope it helps. http://www.goodtoknow.co.uk/recipes/531168/cups-to-grams-converter
  • Elle R
    Elle R
    I know such a disaster, I heated the oil up to about 190 firstly but the first batch was just as greasy. I have made it before but it never ended up this bad! So I'm wondering what went wrong. Could it be the oil? The batter was a little thinner but it still adhered to the fish. Thank you for the link :)
  • Andy N
    Andy N
    Hi, having had some trial and error with this myself I can add a few notes. Even though your oil may start at the right temperature (180-200°C) as soon as you add the (room temperature) chips or the fish to the oil it's temperature will drop considerably. It's important to keep the heat high under the oil to compensate for this. If you have one, a probe or candy thermometer in the pan will easily show you what's going on. Greasy fried food is a result of the oil being too cool for the short cooking time. Sometimes when you add a lot of food to the pan it will take 2-4 minutes for the oil to recover to the desired temp. Keeping the heat below the pan high and cooking in small batches, depending on the size of your fry pan sounds like the fix. Hope this helps.
  • Naznin P
    Naznin P
    Is there any good non-alcoholic substitute for beer? I've tried fizzy drink in another recipe before...
  • Andy N
    Andy N
    Beer is favoured because it adds agreeable flavour to the batter, but is by no means essential. Many traditional batter recipes call for forms of CO2, because carbonation adds air and lightens the consistency. Any carbonated (or fizzy) drink would do, but to avoid unwanted flavour, the simplest substitution would be to replace the beer with soda water.
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Great comments Andy. Yes, you can just add soda water - that is an easy way to add "lightness" to this dish. Good luck! ~Ken

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