Chip Shop Fish & Chips Kinda

Proper Chip Shop fish and chips are a thing of great beauty and possibly the most evocative memory of growing up in the UK.

Proper Chip Shop Fish & Chips are a thing of great beauty and possibly the most evocative memory of growing up in the UK.

Chip Shop Fish and Chip Recipes.

I had so much fun planning, shooting and cooking my chip shop Fish & Chips recipe.

It is not something we cook very often for a host of reasons but every now and then it is good to say ‘take a stroll’ to all the health nonsense. Just cooking and eating something that makes you clap your hands like a child is always fun.

Fish & Chips does that to me, I love it! The aroma of malt vinegar and properly cooked chips in dripping and a crunchy battered fish. In many ways it is as evocative of my childhood as Toad in the Hole!

Regular readers will know I am also not averse to deep frying on occasion. If you are that way inclined you really should check out my deep fried goats cheese! or indeed my crispy salt and pepper squid.

Sure you could find ways to roast or bake things, but it just is not the same.

Even the process of cooking this is evocative of so many memories as an Englishman of standing in a chip shop slowly watching your dinner bubble away in a bath of hot oil. Coming out steaming hot and…  well just perfect.

Oven roasted wedges or potatoes are good! But fried chips are heavenly and turn that into Fish & Chips then I am all yours!

Proper Chip Shop Fish & Chips are a thing of great beauty and possibly the most evocative memory of growing up in the UK.

Fish and Chips in Newspaper!

I even purchased my first newspaper in probably the best part of 10 years to get the full effect for this fish and chips recipe. When I was young when you went to the chip shop your Fish & Chips always came wrapped in newspaper.

I can’t really remember when the practice died out. But to be honest I can understand why it did.

But the memory still lives on in my mind and probably in the minds of many British folk, even those that are too young to remember it.

In fact there was a really popular chip shop in Birmingham that bought specially printed paper with newsprint on it.

When I say this place was popular, I mean insanely popular.

It had queues around the block for about half an hour before opening! And it only opened at lunchtime and it was in the middle of nowhere.

Unfortunately the last time I went back to the UK a visit to the fish and chips shop was a less than satisfying process.

There was an appearance of some strange polystyrene tray and I had to ask for vinegar. Which the person behind the counter added after the salt, what, what indeed!

How incredibly dense, everyone knows that the vinegar goes on first as that permits the salt to cling to the Fish & Chips.

How these practices die-off is a constant source of consternation and disappointment to me, but do it at home and you are guaranteed to get it right!

Proper Chip Shop Fish & Chips are a thing of great beauty and possibly the most evocative memory of growing up in the UK.

The Perfect Chips!

If my Chicken Balti recipe was a taste of me growing up then my Fish & Chips recipe is a taste of my childhood.

Getting perfectly golden chips that are fluffy inside but a little crispy on the outside. Served with a crunchy battered piece of flaky white fish was the ultimate treat as a child and one I still love today.

Forget the triple fried perfectly formed chips that seem ubiquitous in trendy pubs. They will also no doubt be served in a plant pot on a wooden board. Go old school or go home for this treat.

The potatoes must be peeled and not uniform. The chips should be cut thick enough to not be french fries. But you equally don’t want doorstops, everything needs to be just right and don’t forget the scraps!

As for condiments, I will let you argue that among yourselves. I personally favour tomato ketchup and I am a squirt it all over kinda guy.

But my wife likes it in a neat pile and some tartar sauce on the other side for the fish.

Now far be it from me to say that is wrong, but it is wrong, just don’t tell her I published that.

Just one more thing, ditch the knife and fork, eat with your fingers! The batter is firm and crispy enough to hold up to tearing a piece off and anything eaten with your fingers tastes better!

Proper Chip Shop Fish & Chips are a thing of great beauty and possibly the most evocative memory of growing up in the UK.
Chip Shop Fish & Chips... Kinda

Chip Shop Fish & Chips... Kinda

Yield: 2 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Proper Chip Shop fish and chips are a thing of great beauty and possibly the most evocative memory of growing up in the UK.

Ingredients

  • 600 g Potatoes
  • 150 g Plain Flour
  • 50 g Cornflour
  • 1 Pinch Salt
  • 150 ml Beer
  • 300 g Pollock
  • Malt Vinegar, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil for deep frying

Instructions

  1. Preheat your deep fat fryer to 140°C or 285°F.
  2. Diced your potatoes into chips roughly 1cm in profile. Don't worry about the roundness, keep aiming for 1cm the smaller chips go crispy giving the little crispier parts which are my favourite.
  3. Add your chips to the oil, if possible use beef dripping or lard... But I will let the health conscious of you out there use what ever oil you like... Who said I am not generous?
  4. Cook your chips until they are soft to the tip of the knife and remove from the oil and drain immediately on some kitchen towels.
  5. You can freeze your chips at this stage if you like, but ensure first that they have been thoroughly drained of oil by laying out in a single layer with kitchen towels above and below.
  6. Turn your deep fat fryer up as high as it will go 180-190°C or 350-375°F.
  7. Sift together the Plain Flour and Cornflour add the salt.
  8. Mix the beer with the flour and cornflour to form a thick batter, don't worry if it is a little lumpy, you will have more batter than you need but don't worry there is a plan for some of that.
  9. Dredge your fish with a little flour and place in to the batter.
  10. even coat the fish with batter.
  11. Place in the oil and hold in the oil for a moment until the batter crisps to prevent the fish from sticking to the bottom of the deep fat fryer.
  12. Cook for approximately 5-7 minutes until the batter has puffed up and gone golden, remove from the oil and drain.
  13. Add the chips to the oil and cook for 2 minutes, remove and drain.
  14. Finally pass some of the batter through a slotted spoon and cook for 2 minutes, fish & chips just aint right with out some batter scraps.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 858 Total Fat: 10g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 8g Cholesterol: 137mg Sodium: 560mg Carbohydrates: 131g Fiber: 9g Sugar: 11g Protein: 54g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

41 thoughts on this Recipe:

  1. We called them batter bits!!!! And I wasn’t far from Birmingham. Fortunately for me my mam worked in a chippy. ?. Always loved getting a bag of chips and tearing the top off and eating those wonderful steamed beauties walking home. Miss that and I’m going to try your recipe. All the chips in Toronto are cooked in canola oil and are awful! Now I just need a pukka pie and a battered sausage.

    • Haha, don’t get me started on different British names for the same produce 😉 It is very rare to find decent chips in Hungary, you either get ‘French fries’ or steak wedges, both have their place but the real chip is missing 🙁

      You comment may have me thinking about creating a batter sausage recipe 😮

  2. These look perfect! The funny thing is I was never a fan of fish and chips when I was growing up. They’re one of those things that I avoided for years and then recently my husband persuaded me to try them and I love them! I have definitely been missing out over the years!

  3. Think your fish and chips look way better than most chippies! I agree the smell of vinegar and the eating out of paper is very much an experience. We used to get a bag of scraps sometimes too. Your lovely pictures are bringing back lots of memories!

    • Ha ha I mention scraps in the post, they were never put in a separate bag unless they were asked for separately. My mate Mum from school worked at our local chippie so the scraps were always generous 😀

  4. I now live in Italy, but am a Brit who loves fish and chips! Have never thought of making it myself. You have inspired me to give it a try. Hope my Sicilian hubby will like it too! Although if not, I can eat his as well!

    • Haha, I have spent years working on everything from Fish and Chips to Sausage rolls, Pork Pie to Chicken Balti 😀 Odd really as a cook in Britain I always cooed food from ‘elsewhere’, British food has become much more prevalent in my cooking in the 10 years since I left. Nowt as strange as folk 😉

  5. While watching a documentary the other day we learned fish and chips were not rationed during WWII which was probably a good thing since all the other proteins were rationed. I’ve yet to come across fish and chips in Spain and I’m not sure why. I think they’d be very popular as batter fried cod is widely available (look for tajadas de bacalao) as are patatas fritas. I’m sure if I ventured to the Brit enclaves in the south I’d run into them :).

    • I remember my Grandmother telling me about the queues that formed at Fish and Chip shops for that very reason, but she also said that it was a treat as it became really expensive and the quality of fat reduced due to other rationing and made it not very enjoyable. Oddly enough as a Brit I have not spent a great deal of time in Spain but we get a Hungarian version of Battered Fish using Harcsa which is a fresh water Cat fish that works really well.

  6. You sure know how to eat well! I’m saddened to hear that some of these traditions have faded. I’ve never been to England, but it’s on my bucket list and traditional fish and chips in a newspaper wrap is something I’ve wanted to try. But, hold the malt vinegar – I can’t stand the smell. In fact, I’ve been in a fish and chip restaurant here in the Toronto, and have asked the server to move me to another table because the couple next to me were loading up on the malt. Just salt for me, please. 🙂

    • I’m not one for confirming to stereotypes but you will get sent to the Tower of London for such heresy Byron 😉 Although I will say this very quietly, my wife does not like malt vinegar on her fish and chips either, that is why we had to leave the UK, our secret is out hahahahaa.

  7. My boyfriend is English and when we traveled to England last year he couldn’t wait to take me to a “proper chippy” for fish and chips. It was a great experience for me, but I think he mourns the loss of newspaper wrapping and for him the experience now isn’t exactly what he remembers growing up. Nonetheless, it’s still a great tradition and the batch I had greatly exceeded anything I’ve had in the US – I would love to surprise him and make it at home sometime, so will bookmark this. Your version looks great 🙂

    • Thank you April, I am sure the Newspaper thing is all built on nostalgia but it is such a powerful feeling that it should not be discounted, I have two nieces that look at me in disgust when I say that fish and chips used to be wrapped in newspaper 😉 I hope this does the trick and reminds your husband of home 🙂

  8. YES! i adore fish and chips! I will think of this blog post now, when I order fish and chips at our local kiosks. It’s my ‘go to’ food choice for shopping hungries. I bet I could make this at home but I have NEVER deep fried anything! Your tempting me to give this a try. Maybe in avocado oil? anyway, Love your story. enjoy that fish!

    • Thanks Diane, I have never used Avocado oil *whisper mode on* in fact I hate avocado 😮

      I don’t deep fry food very often but on rare occasions there really is no subsitute to my mind fish and chips is definitely one of them 🙂

  9. My grandparents used to take me to this little hole-in-the-wall fish & chips place, and it was SO good. This recipe and your photos reminded me of those memories 🙂 Thanks!

  10. Haha! Yes- healthy choices, take a stroll for awhile ’cause I’m going to devour these fish and chips! They look amazing and sooo worth a cheat day!

  11. Wow! I love beer battered fish! I’m still trying to make the perfect fry [chip], but your recipe looks and sounds perfect!! Yum!

    • I love anything battered fried although the Scottish notion of doing it with a mars bar or pizza is a little extreme 😉 If you are making chunky chips then frying them twice or even three times and drying in between is a real game changer.

  12. Wow! My husband will got crazy over this. Would you mind if I switched up the regular flour for gluten-free and the beer for cider? This way I can enjoy this wonderful looking dish.

    • Yowsers, of course not… I would never dare to say anyone is cooking something wrong 😀 Please let me know what your experiences are with gluten free flour, I find that flour alone leads to a batter that gets soggy earlier so I add cornflour to stabilise… But you could experiment with just the batter and drop it into some hot oil and see how it goes and then drink the rest of the cider whilst experimenting. On the cider front it sounds like a great idea so long as it is sparkling, it is the bubbles that give it that lift 🙂

  13. I love Fish and Chips and I am loving your version, Brian 🙂 I don’t actually add beer but your recipe is definitely worth a try, beer included! 😀

    • Ha ha, thank you… It works just as well with ice cold sparkling water but naturally the batter has less flavour, you could supplement that with some herbs or spice though 🙂

  14. Such an awesome post, the fish n chips looks so yummm. Even i miss those days when we got fish wrapped in newspaper….! Reminded me of my trip to ‘Poppies’ in london…..

  15. Oh my, that looks unbelievably good! I might have to try a gluten free version of this for my husband’s birthday next week 🙂 We have lots of ‘fries’ here in the US but none that even come close to proper chippy chips, and most of the fish where I live is freshwater like Bass and Catfish which I don’t much care for.

    • I’d love to hear how that goes, I have no idea about gluten free flours so your experiences will be interesting… I quite like fries, they have a place but certainly not in a chip shop, hahahahaha. I live in landlocked Hungary so most of our fish is fresh water too and have made this with catfish and it works ok but you do need some fillets from big old catfish!

  16. Brian,
    I cannot wait to make these fish and chips! One of my favorite foods too. And like you said, I enjoy eating them with my fingers too- no fork and knife please:)

  17. This sounds so good. I love fried fish and have always heard the real English Fish and Chips were good. This recipe has my mouth watering. I will be saving it so we can try it out here!

    • The brits are somewhat fond of deep fried food and this sits right at the top of the tree, not one to eat every day but certainly a naughty treat that is worth an extra jog around the block if you care about that sort of thing 😉

  18. Loved reading your post and lovely recipe indeed!
    You know, here in Pakistsn, we still get food wrapped or in the bags made out of the newspaper or any paper taken out from an old book 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!

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