I was taught how to cook fish and chips by my mum when I was about 12 years old; we were living in Hong Kong at the time and it was my mum's way of treating us to a little bit of home as a treat! My mum had this recipe written down on the back of an old envelope stuck inside her Be-Ro cookbook from 1952 - I never use any other method now! One trick is to make sure that everything is prepared and assembled ready for frying takeoff!!! If you are cooking for two or more people, have your oven on with a lined tray to keep the fish and chips warm. If you really want to be totally authentic, cut up squares of greaseproof paper and sheets of newspaper - place the fish and chips onto the greaseproof paper and then into a sheet of newspaper. All you need now is a pickled onion, salt and MALT VINEGAR! TIPS for CHIPS: I notice one reviewer had difficulty with the chips. Here are a few tips or tricks for chips: Make sure they are DRIED thoroughly. Make sure the fat is VERY hot - 190 degrees C. Certain potatoes are better for chipping, such as King Edwards, Desiree, Majestic, Maris Piper, and Romano. You can soak the chips for an hour before the first frying - it extracts excess starch, which helps in the "crisping" process! Always drain them thoroughly before serving. I hope these tips will help!
- Heat fat up in a chip pan or automatic deep fat fryer - mine has a chip setting which is 190°C.
- Peel the potatoes and cut into chunky sized chips. Rinse and dry thoroughly.
- Fry chips for about 3 minutes until soft but NOT coloured. Drain and shake well and set to one side.
- Put some flour onto a plate. Dredge the fish fillets in the flour thoroughly - this is VERY important, it stops the batter sliding off when fried! Leave the fish fillets in the flour whilst you make the batter.
- Some people say you should make the batter at least one hour before - I have found little difference - so make it before if it is convenient or now!
- Put flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and pepper into a large roomy bowl. Add the beer gradually, stop when you have a thick coating type of batter. Drink any beer that is left! Whisk thoroughly until it is smooth and there are no lumps.Add the lemon juice OR a splash of malt vinegar if desired. Mix thoroughly again.
- Have your plates, newspaper or whatever ready for eating!
- Adjust deep fat fryer to fish frying temperature of 160°C.
- Take one fillet of fish at a time and holding it by the tail or thin end (!) swirl it around the batter until well coated - plunge into hot fat immediately. As soon as it has crisped up and set, add your other fillets one at a time, taking out the first ones as they cook - about 6 to 10 minutes depending on the thickness. Place onto a tray and keep warm in the oven.
- Turn up the heat setting to 190°C again and cook your chips until golden and crisp.
- Serve on plates or newspaper with salt & vinegar!
- All you need now is a pint of warm beer and Coronation Street on the TV to set the scene!
- This batter is great for small fish goujons, chicken goujons and also tempura vegetables too.