Fish and Chips

Fish and Chips
Fish n Chips Header

A Fish & Chips recipe that will Hook Ya ! This recipe produces the best Fish & Chips hands-down, and for the fraction of the cost of ordering out. Superior Crunch Batter with perfectly cooked Cod or Haddock with some Seriously Good Homemade Fries. Plate it up with a side of Coleslaw & some Tartar Sauce.

Enjoy it for your next Seafood Saturday or Sunday!

What Fish to use for Fish & Chips

When it comes to Fish & Chips, the most commonly used fish are Cod & Haddock. These white, flaky fish are known for their mild flavor and ability to hold up well in the frying process. Both fish varieties offer a delicious and satisfying eating experience.

Go with Fresh if you can, since frozen fish fillets will be water logged, which can create a mushy fish. That’s not to say you can’t use frozen fish fillet, I almost always do. But the drying out process is much more extensive. Either Fan Drying the fillets out or refrigerating them for quite some time.

Fresh Fish Fillets

Fresh Fillets are by far the best but pricey. You still need to dry the fish out, but fresh fillets are not waterlogged like frozen fillets are. Fresh fish fillets are usually thicker than the frozen variety, too. Drying out Fresh Fillets can be as simple as patting it dry with paper towel or resting them on a rack and refrigerating for one hour or so.

Thawing Frozen Fish

The simplest way is to take the fish out of the freezer and place into the refrigerator to thaw overnight. I still opt to remove the fillets from the packaging and place on a rack on top of a pan so that they are not left sitting in water and instead air drying a bit with any excess water dripping into the pan below.

Fan Drying Thawed Fish Fillets

This method is for previously frozen fish fillets and does a wonderful job at drying out the fish, so they cook up with flaky meat.

Place thawed Fish Fillets on a rack and lightly season with salt. Place a fan pointed directly at the fish and leave for 2+ hours to air dry. Flip the fish over halfway through. It is ready to be battered when the fish is dry to the touch and has formed a skin on it.

Drying Cod Fillets on a Rack

Fan Drying Fish

Once the fish fillets are thawed, place on a wired rack. Season lightly with Salt or Salt & Sugar and fan dry for about 2 hours for Frozen Fillets that have been thawed.

Salt & Sugar Seasoned Cod fan dried for 2 hours

Fan Dried Fish Fillets

These Cod Fish Fillets have been thawed in a bowl of cold water while still in their packaging. Patted dry, seasoned with Salt and Fan dried at room temp for 2 hours.

Quickly Thaw Frozen Fish

Thaw Frozen Fish out in a bowl of cold water for about 10 minutes, or until completely thawed in its original packaging. Remove from the packaging and pat dry with a paper towel. Once thawed, you will still need to dry the fish by either refrigerating it or placing in front of a fan.

If your fish does not come individually packaged, most often seen with boxes of Fish you can purchase. Then place them into a Ziploc bag and thaw as above.

Thawing Cod Fillets in Packaging

Thawing Fish

Fill a bowl up with Cold water and place the fillets still in their package into the bowl to thaw for about 10 minutes.

Thaw and dry the fish fillets any way you feel is ideal. The objective is to get rid of as much water as possible. So much so that the Fish Fillet is dry to the touch. This is very important for the batter to adhere well and create flaky white meat.

Deep Fried Fish Batter

The secret to this Fish Batter is in the combination of JAH Poly Flour & Cornstarch that creates the Crispiest coating for Deep Fried Fish. It’s an all-around excellent batter for deep-frying, producing some major crunch.

Make the JAH Poly Flour first, which is needed in order to make the Deep Fry Batter. Then when ready, add Vinegar & Water to make the batter.

Poly Flour

Poly Flour

  • 3 C Flour
  • 1/2 C Lard
  • 2 Tbl Baking Powder & Sugar
  • 1 Tbl Kosher Salt
Deep Fry Batter

Deep Fry Batter

Fish Batter Consistency

Add liquid and mix. Not too thin like Tempura, but not too thick as well. This gets kind of tricky. Add more liquid to the batter if necessary to get a pancake-like consistency. This recipe errors on the side of thick, which is easier to fix by adding more liquid to adjust the consistency.

You should be able to batter the fish, holding it by the tail. Pick it up and let excess batter drip off then slowly lower into the oil allowing the thicker part to cook first and crust up then lay down the rest of the fish gently.

The batter should be just thick enough that when the fish is placed into the Oil, it doesn’t fall apart. The amount of water in the fish and in the batter is what needs to be right for this not to happen.

Deep Frying Fish

Deep Frying Fish

The Fish is deep-fried at 375 F for about 5 minutes. If everything is done properly you will get the best Tender Flaked, Crunchy, Deep Fried Fish. If the Fish has been dried efficiently, it will stay crunchy.

Beer Battered Fish

Use Beer instead of Water. Everything else is already there in the batter to create that nice golden crisp batter.

Deep Fried Fish
Deep Fried Fish

Fish batter Seasoning

With the base Batter down, you can choose to season the batter to add extra flavor. Experiment here, I often do. Use Old Bay Seasoning, Cajun, or Creole Seasoning. One of my favorites to add to the batter is the below. It really has a nice flavor for fish.

  • 2 tsp Dry Mustard
  • 1/4 tsp each of Ginger, Garlic, and White Pepper
Deep Fried Fish
Deep Fried Fish

JFC Fried Fish

There is another version, JFC Fried Fish, that uses JFC Breading for a Southern Style Fish & Chips.

JFC Fried Fish
JFC Fried Fish

Homemade Fries

These Homemade Fries are just too good. You can just deep-fry some store bought fries, but if you have the time, definitely makes these. Extremely Crispy with the Potato Flavors really coming through.

Baked Potato Fries
Baked Potato Fries

Deep Fried Fish FAQ

The main troubleshooting for Fish & Chips is really all going to come down to water content.

You will see from the FAQ below, that if you ensure your fish is dried through and that the batter is the consistency of thin pancake batter with the oil at 375 F you eliminate a lot of potential issues that can arise from Deep Fried Fish.

Why is my batter not sticking to the fish

The Fish should be dry to the touch when battering. Some people will dredge the fish in flour before battering. But this still ignores the fact that the fish contains too much water. It also creates a paste film around the fish. For proper deep-fried fish, ensure that the fish fillets are dry to the touch. This also ensures the Batter stays crunchy.

Why does my Batter flake off

Your batter contains too much water and is too thin. Another cause is that the Fish is still too wet, not allowing the batter to stick and instead flakes off when it hits the hot oil.

If at first, you are fine, but then the last few fish are flaking off. The Fish is still wet. When dipping the first few pieces in, it’s fine, but the added water from the fish into the batter is thinning it out.

Why does my fish batter go soggy

Your fish contains too much water, which is steaming the batter as it sits. Make sure that the fish is dried, and you are deep-frying at a high temp, 375 F is best.

Why is my Fish mushy

You either have waterlogged fish or low-quality fish. The Fish must be really dry. Other reasons may be your Oil is not hot enough or the batter is too thick, not allowing water to escape and trapping it in the fish.

Why is my Fish Rubbery

You dried the Fish too much or cooked for too long. About 5 minutes is all that is needed at 375 F.

Should I dredge the Fish in Flour

Dredging the fish in flour is still ignoring the fact that you are not starting off with dry fish. This may help the batter stick, but can still cause the cooked batter to go soggy because of extra moisture in the fish. Dredging the fish in flour also causes a thin paste to form around the fish, which is undesirable.

Batter is too thin

Add equal amounts of JAH Poly Flour & Cornstarch to thicken the batter. Keep in mind that this also thickens a bit when refrigerated.

Batter is too thick

Add more liquid to thin out. Keep in mind that this also thickens a bit when refrigerated.

Fish & Chips Side Dishes

Bring to the table some Tartar Sauce, a bottle of Heinz Chili Sauce or French’s Ketchup, and some Malt Vinegar and/or Lemon Wedges. Don’t forget the carbonated drinks.

Heinz Chili Sauce

Heinz Chili Sauce

Baked Potato Fries

Homemade Fries

Seriously the best Homemade Fries with Superior Crunch and Flavor. The Perfect pairing for Deep Fried Fish & Chips.

Switch it up and make some Cottage Fries! Prepared the same way and Deep Fry.

JAH Coleslaw

Coleslaw

If you plan on making the Coleslaw, start this the day before. This is an awesome side dish to have and makes quite a bit.

Use it up with Fish & Chips, JFC Fried Chicken, BBQ Chicken Burger, or as a side for BBQ Meats.

Onion Rings Deep Fry Batter & Panko

Onion Rings

Onion Rings are a very nice side to have once in a while and are perfect here to use up the remaining Batter.

Make them the Classic Way just by dipping them in the Fish batter or breaded by dipping them in Panko Flakes or Bread crumbs after battering.

Fish n Chips Pin

Fish & Chips

Seriously, the Best Fish & Chips with Fresh or Frozen Fish. Tender Flaked, Crunchy Deep Fried Fish. Serve with Tartar Sauce and some Chips!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Dry Time1 hour
Servings: 2 servings

Equipment

  • 1 Deep Fryer
  • 1 Mixing Bowl & Whisk
  • 1 Rack For drying the fish fillets

Ingredients

  • 4 Fillets Cod or Haddock - Dried to the touch
  • Kosher Salt - as needed to season the fish very lightly
  • 1 portion Homemade Fries

Deep Fry Batter

  • 1/2 C JAH Poly Flour
  • 1/2 C Cornstarch
  • 1 Tbl Vinegar - or Lemon Juice, Rice Vinegar, Malt Vinegar
  • 1/2 C Cold Water or Cold Beer - more if needed to adjust consistency
  • Herbs & Spices - Optional, See notes

Instructions

  • Place thawed or fresh Fish Fillets on a wired rack and season lightly with salt. Either refrigerate or place in front of a fan to air dry until the fillets are dry to the touch.
  • Heat up the Deep Fryer to 375 F.
    Mix Deep Fry Batter with 1 Tbl Vinegar and 1/2 C Water or Beer and refrigerate 10–15 minutes. It will thicken slightly. Adjust the consistency if needed. You are looking for a thin Pancake batter consistency.
  • Mix the batter again and dip the Fish Fillets into the Batter by the tail. Lift the fillet up and allow excess batter to drip off. Slowly lower into Deep Fryer by the Tail end, allowing the thicker part to set.
  • Deep Fry for 5 minutes and flip them over halfway through. Lift the Basket and stand the fish up, let excess oil drain off and plate. Optionally, on some paper towel to absorb more oil from the fish.
  • Deep Fry the French Fries. Serve the Fish & Chips with some Coleslaw, Onion Rings, Tartar Sauce and/or Cocktail Sauce.

Notes

Make sure the outside of the fish is dry to the touch before battering.
Additional Seasonings that can go into the Fish are Mustard, Ginger, Black & White Pepper, Cayenne Pepper, Garlic, Onion. One of my favorites to add is 
  • 2 tsp Dry Mustard
  • 1/4 tsp Ginger
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic
  • 1/4 tsp White Pepper
 
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Keywords: Deep Fried Fish, Fish & Chips
Author: JAH
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