Classic British Fish and Chips

British fish and chips

The Spruce

  • Total: 40 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Rest time for batter: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
479 Calories
3g Fat
62g Carbs
47g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 479
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 4%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Cholesterol 111mg 37%
Sodium 870mg 38%
Total Carbohydrate 62g 22%
Dietary Fiber 6g 20%
Protein 47g
Calcium 146mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Classic fish and chips are a British institution and a national dish that everyone can't help but love. You can buy them from one of the thousands of fish and chip shops all over the country including the world-famous Harry Ramsden's—or you can make them at home.

Use one pot to fry the chips, then the fish, then the chips again (for that crisp exterior and fluffy interior) to ensure both fish and chips are ready to eat at the same time. Serve with a pint and bring the pub home.

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Click Play to See This Classic British Fish and Chips Recipe Come Together

Ingredients

  • For the Fish:
  • 2 ounces/55 grams all-purpose flour (divided)
  • 2 ounces/55 grams cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup beer (dark beer)
  • 1/3 cup sparkling water
  • 4 (7-ounce) fish fillets (thick, white fish, preferably sustainable cod, pollock, or haddock)
  • For the Chips:
  • 2 pounds potatoes (peeled)
  • 1 quart/1 liter vegetable oil (or lard for frying)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for fish and chips
    The Spruce
  2. In a large, roomy bowl, mix all but 2 tablespoons of the flour (set aside) with the cornstarch and baking powder. Season lightly with a tiny pinch of salt and pepper.

    Mix flour with spices
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  3. Using a fork to whisk continuously, add the beer and the sparkling water to the flour mixture and continue mixing until you have a thick, smooth batter. Place the batter in the fridge to rest for between 30 minutes and an hour.

    Add beer to flour mix
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  4. Meanwhile, cut the potatoes into 1-centimeter slices (a little less than a half an inch), then slice these into 1-centimeter-wide chips. Place the chips into a colander and rinse under cold running water.

    Cut potatoes for chips
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  5. Place the washed chips into a pan of cold water. Bring to a gentle boil and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.

    Par-boil the cut potatoes
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  6. Drain carefully through a colander then dry with kitchen paper. Keep in the fridge covered with kitchen paper until needed.

    Dry potatoes on paper towels
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  7. Meanwhile, lay the fish fillets on a sheet of kitchen paper and pat dry. Season lightly with a little sea salt.

    Season fish for fish and chips
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  8. Heat the oil to 350 F in a deep-fat fryer or large, deep saucepan. Cook the chips a few handfuls at a time in the fat for about 2 minutes. Do not brown them. Once the chips are slightly cooked, remove them from the fat and drain. Keep to one side.

    Fry the potatoes
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  9. Place the 2 tablespoons of flour reserved from the batter mix into a shallow bowl. Toss each fish fillet in the flour and shake off any excess.

    Coat fish with flour
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  10. Dip into the batter, coating the entire fillet.

    Dip fish into batter
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  11. Check that the oil temperature is still 350 F. Carefully lower each fillet into the hot oil. Fry for approximately 8 minutes, or until the batter is crisp and golden, turning the fillets from time to time with a large slotted spoon.

    Fry the fish
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  12. Once cooked, remove the fillets from the hot oil and drain on kitchen paper. Sprinkle with salt. Cover with greaseproof paper and keep hot.

    Set the fried fish on paper towels to drain
    The Spruce
  13. Heat the oil to 400 F then cook the chips until golden and crisp, or about 5 minutes. Remove from the oil and drain. Season with salt.

    Finish frying the potatoes
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  14. Serve immediately with the hot fish accompanied by your favorite condiment.

Tips

  • When making this classic version, be sure to use the freshest cod, pollock, or haddock you can find for the best results. Frozen is also fine, but make sure it is thoroughly defrosted and dried with paper towels first.
  • Prepare the batter and only dip the fish at the last moment before plunging into hot oil to fry. This way you will always have a light and crisp snap to the batter.
  • Use a floury potato for the chips. The best varieties are King Edward, Maris Piper, Sante, and Yukon Gold.