The Best Homemade Fish and Chips

Fish and chips is such a great recipe for the whole family. It is easy to make and oh so good. The chips are perfectly crisp on the outside with a light and fluffy inside. All you need is some malt vinegar, a great beer and some mushy peas.

I love fish and chips. As a matter of fact, if I go into an Irish or English pub it is the first thing I order. This recipe is near and dear to my heart because I have gotten the stamp of approval from so many of my friends from across the pond. Whenever I tell them I am thinking about making dinner and ask what they want this has become one of their most requested meals. This recipe does take a bit of time and several steps but it is well worth the effort. 

In this recipe

There aren’t a lot of ingredients to this recipe but there are some ingredients that you make sure you pay attention to. 

Cod: is one of the best go to types of fish for frying. It tends to be the go to for fish and chips. However you can use haddock or pollock as well. 

Vodka: a little goes a long way and it will make the fish extra crispy.

Guinness: adds a nice flavor to the batter as well as additional bubbles to keep the batter nice and flakey. 

Ingredients for fish and chips on a wooden cutting board
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Fishy smell?

Cod has a tendency to have a fishy smell the minute it is sliced open. This is due to it being a cold-water surface-dwelling fish. The enzymes that break down fish after they are caught and killed go to effect quickly and they are in high abundance. To make sure your fish is fresh squeeze a lemon into some cold water and submerge your fish for no longer than 2 minutes and rise and pat. The odor should disappear. If it is still heavily present then it has permeated all of the fishy and will taste like that. 

Potatoes in a Dutch oven in water
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Cooked potatoes on a cooling rack
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Chips on a cooling rack after the first fry
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Chips on a cooling rack
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Checking the fish's texture

Another thing you want to pay attention to is how the fish looks. There shouldn’t be a lot of separation in the flesh and it should spring back if touched. Making sure you have fresh fish is essential for this recipe. Because fish is rather delicate and can break apart while frying having the freshest fish will help prevent this. 

Beer batter ingredients
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Beer batter in a mixing bowl
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Floured cod on a cooling rack
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Fried fish on a cooling rack
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Adding vodka to fish and chips?

That is because it is a secret weapon. It is the key to getting a crispy and light batter on the fish. As a matter of fact adding a shot of vodka to all batters when you fry them will make everything better. This is because vodka evaporates faster than water when cooked. This creates more air bubbles which increase surface area and causes crispiness. 

Another key to frying is keeping the oil at about 350F or 175C. This is the optimal temperature to cook the fish but not make it oily. 

A platter of fish and chips with a serving of malt vinegar
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Making the best chips

The most time intensive part of this recipe is the chips. They are simmered first and then fried twice. It is important to make sure that the water is cold when you cook the potatoes to ensure they cook evenly. When you simmer the potatoes you need to make sure that the water never boils. This will keep the potatoes from bursting. The first time you fry you will want to cook them until the potatoes start developing a crust that doesn’t darken. Allow them to cool completely and dry out. I use the freezer to accomplish this. 

fish and chips on a white platter
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Looking for other fish recipes?

A platter of fish and chips
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The Best Homemade Fish and Chips

Sean
The crispiest fish and chips around.
4.50 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Cooling Time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine British, Irish
Servings 4 servings
Calories 736 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

Fish

  • 2 pounds cod portioned evenly
  • 11.2 ounces Guinness 1 bottle
  • 1⅔ cup all-purpose flour sifted, divided
  • ¼ cup rice flour sifted
  • 2 tablespoons vodka
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Chips

  • 5 potatoes russet
  • 2 quarts canola oil

Instructions
 

Making the Chips

  • Wash potatoes, peel, cut 1 ¼-inch thick and place in a strainer. Run under running water until the water runs clear.
  • In a large pot add 8-10 cups of cold water, season with salt and add the potatoes. On medium heat, gently heat up the water, do not let it get to a vigorous boil as it will cause the potatoes to split. Cook for about 20 minutes or when a fork will pass through easily. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the cooked potatoes and place them on a cooling rack to dry out. If you have time place in the freezer. If you don not have time make sure to wait until the potatoes have cooled completely.
  • In a deep fryer, Dutch oven, or large pot heat the oil to 250°F or 120°C.
  • Add potatoes to the oil and fry in small batches until a light crust forms and they should still look pale. Remove from oil and drain on wire rack with foil or paper towels beneath it.
  • Put the potatoes back on a wire rack and place them in the freezer for an hour if time allows. If not make sure the potatoes have cooled to room temperature.
  • When you are ready to cook the fish, place the frozen potatoes in the oil and fry the chips until dark golden at the same time as the fish.

Making the Fish

  • Preheat vegetable oil in a deep fryer to 350°F or 177°C.
  • In a large bowl, Mix ⅔ cup flour, rice flour, baking powder, cornstarch, and salt.
  • Gently whisk the Guinness into the flour, until it doesn't have lumps and is the consistency of pancake batter. Add vodka and gently mix for no longer than 20 seconds.
  • Season the fish with salt. Add all-purpose flour to a plastic bag, add the fish and gently toss to coat. Shake off the excess the flour. Coat fish in batter, gently place into the deep fryer and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Using a slotted spoon gently remove fish from oil on to wire rack or lined plate with a paper towel.
  • Season with salt immediately.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 736kcalCarbohydrates: 78gProtein: 49gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 98mgSodium: 245mgPotassium: 2095mgFiber: 7gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 96IUVitamin C: 55mgCalcium: 132mgIron: 5mg
Nutrition Disclaimer*
Keyword Comfort food, Fried
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fish and chips Pinterest pin
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