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British Fish and Chips

British fish and chips: it’s an institution over there. But what is it that makes the dish such a source of national pride? I set out to create an ultimate recipe, complete with my take on chip shop mushy peas and curry sauce. And yes, I’m well aware many Brits would likely choose one over the other, but I’m me – and I’m wanting all the things. See which side takes your fancy and ditch the other, or copy me and make the whole shebang. Either way, you won’t regret it.

WATCH THIS RECIPE

British Fish and Chips

PREP TIME
15 minutes + overnight soaking
COOK TIME
1 hour 15 minutes + cooling
SERVES
4
Ingredients

4 x 150g (5 oz) pieces firm white fish (e.g. snapper, barramundi or cod), kept in fridge until ready to cook

sea salt

 

Mushy peas

200g (7 oz) dried green peas (marrowfat peas)

1 tsp bicarbonate (baking) soda

1 tsp sea salt

½ tsp white sugar

30g (1 oz) butter

30ml (1 oz) thickened (heavy) cream

 

Fish batter

200g (7 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour, put in the freezer for 15 minutes before using

1½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp ground turmeric

1 cup cornflour (cornstarch)

300ml (10.5 fl oz) cold soda water

 

Chip shop curry sauce

60g (2 oz) butter 

1/4 cup plain (all-purpose) flour 

1 tbsp mild curry powder

½ cup apple juice 

2 cups chicken stock

3 tbsp ketchup (tomato sauce) 

1 tsp sea salt, plus extra if needed

 

Triple-cooked chips

6 large potatoes, peeled, cut into chunky chips

sea salt

vegetable oil, for deep-frying

malt vinegar, to serve

Steps
  • Step 1

    You need to start the mushy peas a day ahead. Place the dried peas and bicarb soda into a large bowl (they tend to expand, so make sure you leave room), then cover with boiling water. Allow to soak overnight. The next day, drain the soaked peas and rinse well. Place the drained peas in a medium saucepan and cover with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and gently cook for 40-45 minutes or until they become mushy. Stir through the salt, sugar, butter and cream. Cover and set aside until ready to serve (you can warm them gently on the stovetop before serving).

  • Step 2

    For the chips, place them in a large pot of room temperature, salted water. Bring to the boil and then cook for about 12–15 minutes or until they just turn tender on the outside. Drain the chips and then spread them out on a tray. Transfer to the fridge for around 20 minutes or until cool. Pat them dry well with some paper towel (moisture is the enemy of all things crispy).

  • Step 3

    Fill a saucepan or wok to about one-third capacity with the vegetable oil. Heat over high heat. Once the oil is hot (165°C/330°F, or when a wooden spoon dipped into the oil forms small bubbles), add the chips and fry for 12 minutes or until tender all the way through, but not at all crispy (they still won’t be coloured at this point). Use a slotted spoon to transfer the chips to a tray lined with kitchen paper to drain. Spread them out, then transfer the tray to the fridge and leave for 20 minutes or until the chips are cool to the touch.

  • Step 4

    In the meantime, for the chip shop curry sauce, heat a pan over high heat. Add the butter to the pan. When the butter is melted and foaming, add the flour. Cook, stirring, over medium heat for 1 minute or until the mixture bubbles. Whisk in the curry powder (at this stage it will look dry and lumpy). While whisking, add in the apple juice and chicken stock. Then add the ketchup. Keep whisking until smooth. Add the salt, then taste and season with extra salt if desired. Cover and set aside. The sauce can be reheated (add a little water if it’s too thick) by whisking over a medium heat.

  • Step 5

    When you’re ready to serve, reheat the oil until it’s 165°C (330F) again. Add the chips and cook for 5–6 minutes or until golden and crisp. Drain on paper towel and then toss in a tray with plenty of salt.

  • Step 6

    To make the fish batter, whisk together the cold plain flour, baking powder and turmeric in a large bowl. Place the cornflour in a large, wide bowl or tray.

  • Step 7

    Whisk the cold soda water into the plain flour mixture. Salt your fish pieces, then coat each piece on all sides in the cornflour. Shake off the excess and then dip the fish into the batter before gently placing into the hot oil. Use your fingers to drizzle over extra batter to make crispy bits. Repeat with remaining fish fillets. Cook for 5–6 minutes or until each piece is golden, crisp and cooked through.

  • Step 8

    Transfer the chips and fish pieces to serving plates. Season with salt, then splash over some malt vinegar. Serve with curry sauce and mushy peas on the side.

Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite. Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite.

What our customers say

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Great website

May 3, 2024

Have enjoyed her recipes since I first saw her.

Avatar for Trish
Trish

Mushy peas to accompany British fish and chips

September 12, 2023

Hurray. Finely a mushy pea recipe that isn’t overladen with mint and sweetness like the canned versions I have come across! I remember my Mum making mushy peas using marrowfat peas soaked overnight with a sodium carbonate tablet, then rinsed and boiled till mushy. I can’t remember if she added salt and probably no sugar. I’m pretty sure she didn’t add cream or butter either, but we yummed it up with her chips anyway. I’m going to try your version and sail down memory lane! Cheers, Marion!

Avatar for Sue H
Sue H

Beautiful Easy Mid week supper

June 20, 2023

As a twist I added 2-3 teaspoon of grated lime skin to the batter. Really amazing twist 🥰🤣 tried it for the first time tonigh with lime/lemon skin, really good, also double fry my fish 😮 3min / 3min extra crispy 🥰💃💃👬

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Leon

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