Butter Fish and Chips Recipe: A Quick and Easy Guide – Seaco Online
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Butter Fish and Chips Recipe: A Quick and Easy Guide

Butter fish and chips is a classic British dish that has been enjoyed for generations. Originated in the working-class communities of England, this dish was created as a cheap and filling meal that could be enjoyed by everyone. During the Second World War, fish and chips became a staple food, and it was during this time that the first chippy opened in London.

Golden-brown fish fillets sizzling in a bubbling pot of oil, surrounded by crispy, salted chips on a checkered paper-lined tray

Preparing the perfect batter is the key to making delicious butter fish and chips. The batter should be light and crispy, with just the right amount of seasoning. To make the batter, you will need flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and beer. The beer gives the batter a light and airy texture, while the baking powder ensures that it is crispy and golden brown.

Cooking and serving butter fish and chips is easy. First, you need to heat the oil in a deep fryer or a large pot. Once the oil is hot, dip the fish in the batter and carefully place it in the oil. Fry the fish until it is golden brown and crispy, then remove it from the oil and place it on a paper towel to drain. Serve the fish with a side of chips and tartar sauce, and enjoy!

Key Takeaways

  • Butter fish and chips is a classic British dish that originated in the working-class communities of England.
  • Preparing the perfect batter is the key to making delicious butter fish and chips.
  • Cooking and serving butter fish and chips is easy and requires only a few simple steps.

Preparing the Perfect Batter

A bowl of batter sits next to fresh butter fish and potatoes, ready to be coated and fried for the perfect fish and chips

Making the perfect batter for your butter fish and chips is key to achieving the perfect texture and flavour. Here are some tips to help you create the perfect batter.

Choosing the Right Ingredients

To make a great batter, you'll need to carefully select the right ingredients. Here are some of the key ingredients you'll need:

  • Flour: All-purpose flour is the most commonly used flour for making batter, but you can also experiment with other flours such as cornstarch for a crispier texture.
  • Beer: Beer is a crucial ingredient in making batter. It adds a unique flavour and helps create a light and crispy texture. Use a light beer or sparkling water for a lighter batter.
  • Water: Water is used to thin out the batter and make it easier to coat the fish. Use cold water to help keep the batter light and airy.
  • Egg: Eggs are added to the batter to help bind everything together. Use one egg for every cup of flour.
  • Baking Powder: Baking powder is added to the batter to help it rise and become airy. Use one teaspoon of baking powder for every cup of flour.
  • Salt and Pepper: Salt and pepper are added to the batter to enhance the flavour of the fish.
  • Ale: Ale is used to add a distinct flavour to the batter. Use a mild ale for a subtle flavour.
  • Light Beer: Light beer is used to create a lighter batter. It also adds a unique flavour to the batter.

Mixing Techniques

Mixing the batter correctly is important to achieve the perfect texture. Here are some tips on mixing the batter:

  • Mixing: Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper in a bowl. Slowly add the beer and water, whisking constantly until the batter is smooth and free of lumps.
  • Resting: Allow the batter to rest for at least 30 minutes before using it. This will allow the batter to thicken and become more cohesive.
  • Dipping: Dip the butter fish in the batter, making sure it is fully coated. Gently shake off the excess batter before frying.
  • Frying: Fry the fish in hot oil until it is golden brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels before serving.

Cooking and Serving

A sizzling butter fish fillet is being fried in a pan, while golden crispy chips are being served on a plate

Frying the Fish

To make the perfect butter fish and chips, you need to start with fresh white fish fillets such as haddock, cod, hake, pollock, halibut, or catfish. Cut the fish into bite-sized pieces and season with salt and pepper.

Next, you need to prepare the batter. You can use a simple beer batter made with flour, lager or beer, and baking powder. Dip the fish pieces in the batter and carefully lower them into the hot oil. The oil temperature should be around 180°C, and you can use a thermometer to check it. Fry the fish for 5-7 minutes until golden brown and crispy.

Once the fish is cooked, remove it from the oil and place it on kitchen paper to drain any excess oil.

Crisping the Chips

The chips are just as important as the fish in this dish. Peel and slice the potatoes into thick chips and season with salt. You can either bake the chips in the oven or fry them in a deep fryer. If you are frying them, make sure the oil temperature is around 160°C. Fry the chips for 5-7 minutes until golden brown and crispy.

Once the chips are cooked, remove them from the oil and place them on kitchen paper to drain any excess oil.

Final Touches and Presentation

To serve your butter fish and chips, place the fish and chips on a baking tray or baking sheet and keep them warm in the oven until you are ready to serve.

You can serve the dish with pickled onions, homemade tartar sauce, malt vinegar, and lemon juice.

For a healthier option, you can bake the fish and chips instead of deep-frying them. You can also use frozen French fries instead of making homemade chips.

One serving of butter fish and chips contains around 800 calories and 30g of protein. If you have any leftovers, store them in the refrigerator and reheat them in the oven or microwave.

Frequently Asked Questions

A plate of golden-brown fish and chips with a side of tartar sauce, surrounded by a scattering of lemon wedges and a sprinkle of fresh parsley

How can I make a simple butter fish and chips at home?

To make a simple butter fish and chips at home, you will need fresh butterfish fillets, potatoes, flour, salt, pepper, and oil for frying. First, cut the potatoes into thin slices and fry them until they are golden and crispy. Then, season the butterfish fillets with salt and pepper, coat them in flour, and fry them until they are golden brown. Serve the fish and chips with your favourite sauce and enjoy!

What's the best alternative to beer in a fish and chips batter?

If you don't want to use beer in your fish and chips batter, you can use soda water or sparkling water instead. These options will give your batter a light and crispy texture without the beer flavour. You can also experiment with other carbonated drinks to see which one you prefer.

What are the top tips for the crispiest fish and chips?

The key to making crispy fish and chips is to use fresh ingredients and to fry them at the right temperature. Make sure your oil is hot enough (around 180-190°C) before adding the fish and chips. Also, avoid overcrowding the pan, as this can cause the temperature to drop and make the food soggy. Finally, drain the excess oil from the fish and chips by placing them on a paper towel before serving.

Which fish varieties are recommended for a classic fish and chips?

The most popular fish varieties for fish and chips are cod, haddock, and plaice. These fish have a mild, flaky texture that pairs well with the crispy batter and chips. However, you can also use other white fish such as pollock, halibut, or sole.

Can you suggest a good sauce to complement my fish and chips?

The classic sauce to serve with fish and chips is tartar sauce, which is made from mayonnaise, pickles, and capers. Other popular options include ketchup, malt vinegar, and aioli. You can also try making your own homemade sauce by experimenting with different ingredients.

Why do my fish and chips sometimes turn out soggy and how can I prevent it?

There are several reasons why fish and chips can turn out soggy, including using old oil, overcrowding the pan, and not draining the excess oil properly. To prevent this, make sure to use fresh oil and avoid overcrowding the pan. Also, drain the excess oil from the fish and chips by placing them on a paper towel before serving.