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Fish And Chips

1 1/2 pounds baking potatoes
2 pounds firm white fish fillets
(such as haddock or cod)
2 quarts vegetable oil -- for frying
Lemon wedges -- and/or
Malt vinegar -- for serving
Tartar Sauce -- (see recipe)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
2 eggs -- separated
1 cup beer (not dark)

Scrub the potatoes under cold water and dry well, leaving on the skin. With a chefs knife or slicer, cut the potatoes into 1/4-inch slices, then across into 1/4-inch sticks. Immediately put the cut potatoes into a large bowl of cold water to prevent discoloration and wash away the starch; let sit in the water for 15 to 20 minutes. If necessary, trim the fish fillets to uniform size.

Heat about 2 inches of oil to 375 degrees in a deep-fryer. Drain the potatoes and dry them thoroughly on paper towels. Add about one-quarter of the potatoes to the hot oil and fry until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain on paper towels and keep warm in a low oven. Fry the remaining potatoes in the same way.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt and pepper. Add the egg yolks and beer and stir to combine. Beat the egg whites to moderately stiff peaks and fold into the batter.

Dip the fish into the batter, coating them well and allowing the excess to drip off. Add 1 to 2 pieces of fish to the hot fat and fry until crisp and golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes, turning the pieces once or twice as they cook. Drain on paper towels and fry the remaining fish in the same way.

Arrange the fish and chips on a large platter or individual plates, passing the lemon wedges, malt vinegar and Tartar Sauce alongside.

This recipe yields 4 servings.

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