Fish and chips is a beloved British dish that has gained popularity among people of various nationalities. It is so widely loved that you can find many chain stores and restaurants serving it all around the world. But if you prefer to cook at home instead of going out to a restaurant, read on to learn the recipe and tricks for making fish and chips. Make sure to give it a try!
Where Did Fish and Chips Originally Come From?
Contrary to popular belief, Fish and Chips did not actually originate in England. The true history of this beloved dish can be traced back to 15th-century Portugal, where it was first invented. Like many other famous culinary creations, Fish and Chips came into existence out of necessity rather than through a stroke of culinary genius. Let’s delve into the fascinating history of Fish and Chips and how it eventually became an iconic part of British cuisine.
Here’s an interesting fact: did you know that the first Friday in June is celebrated as National Fish & Chips Day? This annual celebration has been observed since 2021, and this year it falls on June 4. At Skull Creek Dockside, we take pride in serving a classic rendition of this dish, which inspired us to explore its origins. What we discovered might surprise you.
What to Do to Make the Best British Fish and Chips?
Here are some valuable tips to help you create the best fish and chips:
Opt for Sebago potatoes, as they are a floury variety that yields perfectly fluffy chips. In case they’re not available, Golden Delight or Coliban potatoes can be used as alternatives.
2. Before the first fry, ensure that the chips are thoroughly dried with paper towels. This step removes excess starch and prevents them from sticking together in the oil, resulting in crispier outsides.
3. If you’re using a saucepan for frying, make sure it is large enough to accommodate batches of fish and chips without causing the oil to overflow once they’re added.
4. Invest in an oil thermometer to gauge the temperature accurately. A cube of bread should turn golden brown in 15 seconds at 180°C and in 10 seconds at 190°C. This will help you maintain the ideal frying temperature.
5. It is crucial to ensure that the oil is hot enough. Insufficient heat can lead to excessive oil absorption by the chips and batter, resulting in a greasy and soggy texture.
- Avoid overcrowding the pan while deep-frying to prevent the oil temperature from dropping significantly. Overcrowding leads to the food absorbing excess oil as it tries to reheat.7. Cooking the chips twice is a secret to perfection. The first fry cooks them through, while the second fry imparts the desired crispy crunch.
8. To prevent the oil from acquiring a fishy flavor, cook the chips before frying the fish. This way, the oil retains its neutral taste.
9. For evenly cooked and moist fish, cut it into even pieces approximately 10cm long and 3-4cm thick. Test its readiness by checking if it flakes easily with a fork.
10. If you enjoy a classic tartare sauce with your fish and chips, you can make your own by combining mayonnaise, capers, lemon juice, chopped gherkins, and fresh dill. This tangy and flavorful sauce complements the dish perfectly.
Ingredients For British Fish and Chips Recipe
– 55 grams of flour
– 55 grams of cornstarch
– 1 teaspoon of baking powder
– Salt and black pepper to taste
– 1/3 cup of classic lager beer
– 1/3 cup of sparkling water
– 4 fish fillets
– 900 grams of potatoes
– Cooking oil, as needed for frying
How to Prepare the British Fish and Chips?
Step 1: In a medium-sized bowl, mix the flour (set aside 2 tablespoons), cornstarch, and baking powder. Sprinkle some salt and black pepper over the mixture and stir well.
Step 2: Gradually add the lager beer while whisking the batter with a fork. Now it’s time to add the sparkling water and continue whisking. Then, refrigerate the batter for about 30 minutes to an hour.
Step 3: Wash and peel the potatoes, then cut them into thick fries. Place the fries in a colander and rinse them with cold water.
Step 4: In a pot, pour some cold water and add the fries. Let it come to a gentle boil (approximately 3 to 4 minutes).
Step 5: Once boiled, drain the fries using the colander. Place a few kitchen towels on a plate and arrange the fries on top. Cover them with more towels and refrigerate.
Step 6: Place the fish fillets on the kitchen towels to remove excess moisture. Sprinkle some salt over them.
Step 7: Pour cooking oil into a deep pan and wait for it to heat up (around 176 degrees Celsius). Then, add the potato fries without waiting for them to turn golden. Once they slightly cook and change color, remove them from the oil.
Step 8: Take the 2 tablespoons of reserved flour and pour it into a plate. Place the fish fillets in the flour and remove any excess. Then, dip both sides of the fillets into the prepared batter.
Step 9: Pour cooking oil into a frying pan and fry each piece of fish gently until the batter becomes crispy and golden (approximately 8 minutes). Flip the fillets occasionally to ensure both sides are evenly cooked.
Step 10: Once the fish is well cooked, remove it from the oil and place it on a kitchen towel to absorb any excess oil.
Congratulations! Your classic British fish and chips are ready to be served. Place them in your preferred dish and enjoy! If you’re fond of seafood dishes, you can also try making prawn pasta with garlic and lemon sauce, fish fingers, tempura prawns, or salmon with creamy tartar sauce. Cooking fish and chips at home allows you to savor the traditional British flavors while enjoying the comfort of your own kitchen. So why not give it a go and surprise your taste buds with this delicious and crispy dish?
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