Now that you know where to buy your fish (Aquarius Fish Company - 314 West Broadway - next to Caputo’s here in Salt Lake City), how to cut your chips and make your tartar sauce (unless you‘re going with malt vinegar), it’s finally time to batter and fry the shining star: the fish. Authentic fish and chips are usually made with a mild white fish like halibut, cod or haddock.
Start by making the batter. Most restaurants use a beer based batter because it is lighter and adds a nice “maltiness” to the overall flavor. Use a lager or light colored beer - ale or stout is a little too powerful for the mildness of the fish.
- 4 - 6 oz. fish filets
- 10-12 oz. cold beer (lager)
- 1 cup flour sifted with
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- OR 1 cup self rising flour
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Additional flour for coating fish
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. After you finish the first fry of the chips (see part two), heat oil to 350 degrees. Mix the beer (start with 10 oz.) with dry ingredients. Mixture should be smooth and fairly thick. Lightly season fish with salt and pepper, dust with flour. Dip two of the filets in the batter and gently place in oil. Watch temperature, keeping it at 350 degrees. Cook 8-10 minutes, turning gently, until rich golden brown. Drain on rack and keep warm in oven. Repeat with remaining fish.
Some people like lots of crusty batter on the outside of the fish while others like to keep it on the light side. It’s easier to lighten the batter with just a little more beer.
After cooking fish, return chips to hot oil (350-375 degrees) for 2-4 minutes until golden. Drain chips, sprinkle with salt and serve immediately. Enjoy your fish and chips plain, with malt vinegar, a little lemon, the tartar sauce found in part one, or all of the above!
Don’t forget to crack open another beer - one for the fish, one for you. Cheers!
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Source: BBC, Food Channel, Aquarius Fish Company