Fish and chips are a national treasure and a global symbol of our seaside nation – so we of course had to make our own recipe. Inspired by our recent trip to Sutton and Sons we set out to recreate the classic British chippy dish at home. This looks like a lot of work but you can prep your sides in advance and just reheat on the day, it’s worth the effort!
There is lots of debate as to who started this humble dish, but its reported by the Federation of Fish Friers that fish and chips were first served together as a complete dish around 1860 – the Malin family of London and the Lee’s of Mossley, near Manchester both staking claims to be the first.
Timings: 40 minutes
For the fish and chips:
- 2 x firm white fish fillets (we used cod)
- 400g Maris Piper potatoes
- 500g plain flour
- 500ml sparkling water (as cold as possible)
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- ½ teaspoon of turmeric
For the curry sauce (Inspired by Gizzi Erskine’s Katsu Curry sauce) :
- 1 carrot
- 1 onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- Hot curry powder
- Bay leaf
- Tablespoon of soy sauce
- Teaspoon of honey
- Chicken stock
- Tablespoon of flour
For the tartare sauce:
We used Felicity Cloake’s Perfect Tartar Sauce recipe
- 2 egg yolks
- Generous pinch of salt
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 125ml sunflower or groundnut oil
- 1 heaped tbsp salted capers, rinsed and chopped
- 125ml olive oil
- 1 heaped tbsp cornichons, chopped
- 2-3 tbsp pickling liquor from cornichons, to taste
- 1 heaped tbsp chopped parsley
- ½ tbsp chopped chives
For the pea puree:
- 200g of frozen peas
- Handful of mint
- 25g butter
- Start off by making the batter. The water needs to be as cold as possible (we put ours in the freezer for about half an hour before). The sparkling water creates a really light and fluffy batter.
- Mix the flour with the baking powder and turmeric (this just adds a lovely colour to the batter) and slowly whisk in the sparkling water.
- In a pan get some oil (we used vegetable oil) to 180degreesC. If you don’t have a thermometer an easy way to test is just by dropping some batter in, if it rises to the top and sizzles you are good to go.
- Place the fish fillets into plain flour before into the batter and into the oil.
- Turn around three minutes in, for another two minutes. The batter should be a lovely golden brown colour.
- Place on kitchen towel before on a baking tray and into a low oven to keep warm.
- Remove the large pieces of batter from the oil and add the chips in batches. These will again take around 5 minutes. If the chips are browning too quickly but aren’t quite cooked in the middle turn the heat down and cook for longer. Once done place in the oven with the fish until all of the chips are done.
For the tartar sauce (taken from Felicity Cloake):
- Mix the egg yolks, salt and mustard together in a food processor, or with electric beaters, or a whisk.
- Once well combined, very gradually drip in the oil, beating all the while, until you have mayonnaise – don’t be tempted to add it too fast, especially near the beginning, or it will curdle.
- It will be very thick at the end, but don’t worry, the pickling liquor will thin it down.Stir in the pickling liquor, followed by the remaining ingredients. Taste and see if it needs seasoning, or indeed any extra pickle juice. Serve at room temperature.
For the curry sauce:
- Finely chop the carrot and onion and place into a pan on a medium heat. Cook for 5-8 minutes until softened and starting to get some caramelisation. Add the chopped garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add the tablespoon of flour and curry powder and stir in the pan until all of the vegetables are coated.
- Slowly add the chicken stock. Add a tablespoon of soy sauce, teaspoon of honey and a bay leaf and leave to simmer for around 20 minutes until the sauce has thickened up.
- If you like a chunky sauce you can serve as is, but we served ours blended.
For the pea and mint puree:
- Cook the peas in boiling water for three minutes.
- Drain and add to a blender along with the mint, butter, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth.