Recipe: Traditional Homemade British Fish & Chips
Check out our trusted recipe to learn how to make the classic British meal of fish and chips at home.
Fish and chips is a classic British dish that consists of battered fish served with thick-cut chips and a side of mushy peas.
The origins of this meal can be traced all the way back to the 19th century, when it emerged as a popular working class meal in the coastal regions of England. The availability of fish from the North Sea and the affordability of the potatoes made it an ideal meal for the working class population.
By the early 20th century, fish and chip shops began to rapidly pop up throughout the country. These establishments were often referred to as "chippies" and became a staple in many British towns and cities, serving fresh fried fish and chips, wrapped in newspaper.
Fish and chips continued to be a popular dish throughout World War II, in post-war Britain, and beyond. Today, in the 21st century, fish and chip shops have evolved and become more modernized, but the traditional dish remains cemented as a beloved part of British culinary culture.
We know that many expats living abroad miss the tradition of a "chippy tea". Why not follow our trusted recipe to recreate the traditional British fish and chips experience in your very own kitchen?
For the battered fish:
- 4 large white fish fillets (such as cod or haddock)
- 120g all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 250ml cold sparkling water (this makes the batter light & airy!)
- Vegetable oil, for frying
For the chips:
- 4 large potatoes (such as russet or Maris Piper)
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Salt, to taste
For the mushy peas:
- 2 cups frozen peas
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup vegetable stock
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tsp mint sauce (optional)
Start by preparing the chips. Peel your potatoes and cut them into thick-cut chip shapes. Rinse them under cold water to remove any excess starch, then pat them dry with kitchen towel.
Heat vegetable oil in a deep pan or fryer to about 165°C (325°F). Fry the chips in batches for about 5-7 minutes, or until they are golden and crispy. Remove them from the oil and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside.
Now, let's make your delicious mushy peas. Boil the frozen peas in a saucepan of salted water for about 3-4 minutes until they are cooked. Drain the peas and transfer them to a blender or a food processor.
Add the butter and the vegetable stock to the blender/food processor with the peas. Blend until smooth, but still slightly chunky for a bit of bite. Season with salt and pepper to taste. You may wish to add mint sauce here. Keep the mushy peas warm on a low heat while you continue to prepare your fish and chips.
For the fish batter, in a shallow bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and black pepper. Gradually add in the cold sparkling water while whisking, until you have a smooth batter.
Dip each fish fillet into the batter mixrture, making sure each is well-coated. Shake off any excess batter and gently place the fish onto a plate.
Heat vegetable oil in a large, deep pan or fryer to about 175°C (350°F). Carefully place your battered fish into the hot oil, making sure that you don't overcrowd the pan. Fry the fish for about 4-5 minutes on each side, or until golden and crispy.
Once cooked, remove the fish from the oil and drain on a paper towel-lined plate to remove any excess oil.
Season the chips with salt while they're still hot.
There, now you can enjoy the classic British fish and chips experience right at home with this traditional recipe. Don't fancy making the mushy peas yourself? Not to worry - you can buy tins of mushy peas, and so many more popular British foods, at British Corner Shop. All your favourite, most nostalgic British treats, delivered right to your door.