English Fish and Chips

Okay so maybe not Fish and CHIPS as I am still practicing but I am happy with at least this batter for the fish.  I will gladly take suggestions as I am hoping to open an English Pub here in the states and want to make it as authentic as possible.  I know I have some UK followers.  Another disclaimer I have before I get onto this recipe,  I have not perfected frying  🙂   I attempted this two ways…in a deep fryer and on the stovetop.  I don’t fry much so this will take some time but the pieces that came out perfect were delicious and what I would expect if I ordered Fish and Chips.  So try this batter and use your best frying technique- sorry I am not much help…yet…with the deep frying. My daughter did tell me if you are using a deep fryer don’t put your fish in the basket then the basket in the fryer.  The basket should already be in the oil, otherwise the fish will stick to the basket.  You also don’t want to put too many pieces in the fryer or pan at once as it will lower the oil too much.


Cod or Haddock, cut into pieces (I had about 1 1/2 – 2  lbs)- rinse and patted dry

2 1/2 Cups flour, divided

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 Tablespoons malt vinegar

1 Tablespoon honey

2 Tablespoons sweet pickle juice

1 bottle of beer (I used Smithwicks Ale)

  1. Place 1/2 cup of the flour along with the paprika into a bowl. Dip the fish pieces into the flour, shake off and let rest.
  2. Add to the bowl or you can use another bowl the rest of the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper and mix.
  3. Add in the malt vinegar, honey and pickle juice and then slowly add the beer.
  4. You want a pancake batter consistency.
  5. Dip the fish in the batter and fry.

The batter came out light and fluffy.  You can use any type of beer..some prefer a light lager and some prefer using a heavier beer.  I figure Smithwick’s is somewhere in between.  The one thing I would not skimp on is the malt vinegar.  Fish and Chips is not fish and chips without malt vinegar.  I always ask if a place has malt vinegar even if I just get fries.

If you haven’t had or tried malt vinegar DO NOT think you can substitute white vinegar or another vinegar in place.  YES, a waitress actually brought me a bowl of white vinegar once when I asked for malt vinegar.  I didn’t have the heart to tell her and had to control my laughter.


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