The best fish and chips

The best fish and chips

By
From
Man Food
Serves
4
Photographer
Billy Law

I know it’s a big call, but I promise that this is the easiest way to create the most incredible fish and chips at home with the lightest and crunchiest batter. I learned this secret recipe from a generous fish 'n' chip shop owner on Kangaroo Island, South Australia. Who'd have thought that all you need is flour, water, vinegar and bicarbonate of soda?

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1kg potatoes, such as Dutch Cream, Sebago or Golden Delight
oil, for frying
75g plain flour
8 firm white fish fillets, such as flathead, barramundi or snapper
sea salt flakes, to taste
lemon cheeks, to serve

Tartare sauce

Quantity Ingredient
300g mayonnaise
1 tablespoon capers, finely chopped
1 dill pickle, finely chopped
1 teaspoon wasabi paste
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
pinch salt

Batter

Quantity Ingredient
300g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 tablespoon white vinegar

Method

  1. To make the tartare sauce, combine all the ingredients in a bowl, stir to mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. To make the batter, put the flour in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour 250 ml water into the well, and slowly whisk the flour into the water. Gradually add a further 250 ml water. Whisk until smooth. Add the bicarbonate of soda and vinegar, give it a quick whisk and now you should have a smooth batter with the consistency of thick pancake batter. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  3. Peel and wash the potatoes, then cut them into chips, about 1.5 cm thick. Put the chips in a large saucepan of boiling water and parboil for 10–12 minutes until soft but still holding their shape. Drain, place on a wire rack to cool down, then transfer to the freezer for 1 hour to draw the moisture out.
  4. Use a deep-fryer if you have one. If not, fill a wok or a large saucepan with oil to about one-third full and bring the temperature up to 130°C. Fry the chips in small batches until they are blond and a light crust forms, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towel.
  5. Put the flour in a shallow bowl or on a tray. Take the batter out of the refrigerator and give it a quick stir before using, be gentle and try not to knock too much air out. To work more efficiently, set up a production line by placing both flour and batter bowls next to the frying workstation.
  6. Heat the oil up to 180°C. One at a time, dredge the fish fillets in the flour then pat and shake off any excess. Dip each fillet into the batter, allowing the excess to drip back into the bowl. Carefully lower the fish into the hot oil, deep-fry for 4–6 minutes, turning occasionally, until they are golden and crisp. Remove and drain on a wire rack over a baking tray to catch the oil. Sprinkle salt over the fish when they’re still hot.
  7. Bring the oil temperature up to 190°C. In batches, fry the chips for the second time, for 6–8 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp. Remove and shake off any excess oil, place chips in a bowl, season with salt and toss well.
  8. Serve the fish and chips with tartare sauce and lemon cheeks on the side.
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