Beer. Dark beer. Without it, the batter does not turn out as fluffy nor as richly flavored.
But does it have to be dark beer? If you want the best results, yes. We’ve tried using pale pilsen but the result wasn’t as good. We’ve tried light beer and the result was so disappointing that we might as well have used plain water. So, for the best fish and chips, it’s dark beer.
Fish and Chips
- 4 fish fillets about 600 grams total weight (tilapia is used here)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 800 grams potatoes
- cooking oil
- vinegar or lemon wedges
- lemon pepper seasoning (optional)
Season the fish fillets
- Place the fish fillets between stacks of paper towels and press to remove surface moisture.
- If cooking the fish with the skin, score the skin a few times. This will prevent the fillet from curling during frying.
- Sprinkle both sides of the fish fillets with salt and pepper.
- Leave to marinate in the fridge.
Soak the potatoes
- Half fill a large bowl with water and stir in the salt until dissolved.
- Rinse and scrub the potatoes.
- Wipe the potatoes with a kitchen towel.
- Cut the potatoes into half-inch slices then cut each slice into half-inch sticks.
- Place the potatoes in the prepared bowl of water.
- Leave to soak for 30 minutes.
Cook the chips (first frying)
- Drain the potatoes and spread in a kitchen towel.
- Optionally, peel the potatoes.
- In a large frying pan, heat enough cooking oil to reach a depth of at least three inches.
- When the oil is hot (350F if you're using a thermometer), dump in the potatoes and cook just until beginning to turn golden.
- Scoop out and spread on a rack.
Make the batter
- Start reheating the cooking oil (yes, the same oil where you cooked the potatoes).
- Take the fish out of the fridge.
- Whisk together the flour and potato starch.
- Take one-fourth cup of the flour-starch mixture and set aside.
- To the remaining flour-starch mixture, add the baking powder, salt and dark beer. Stir until smooth.
- Coat each fish fillet with the reserved flour-starch mixture.
- Dip each fish fillet in the batter and slide into the hot oil and cook until a deep golden crust forms (do this in batches if your pan is not very large).
- Rest the fried fish fillets on a rack.
Cook the chips (second frying)
- Dump the partially cooked potatoes in the hot oil (see notes after the recipe) and cook until browned and crisp.
- Scoop out and dump into a strainer.
Serve your fish and chips
- Place the fish and chips on plates.
- Optionally, sprinkle the fish with lemon pepper seasoning.
- Serve with vinegar or lemon wedges on the side.