Best Fish and Chips

This traditional English favourite is even more delicious when made at home using this crispy beer batter to coat the fish.

YOU WILL NEED

Beer batter

  • ¾ cup (180 ml) cake flour
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) cornflour
  • 1 t (5 ml) Ina Paarman's Seasoned Sea Salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 T (15 ml) oil
  • 1 cup (250 ml) beer or soda water
  • 1 egg white

Fish

  • 600 g fish fillets with skin on. Hake, Cape Salmon, Dorado or any other white fish is suitable
  • Ina Paarman’s Fish Spice
  • clean canola oil for frying
  • beer batter

Chips

  • 5 medium/large potatoes
  • 1½ T (22,5 ml) potato starch (sometimes called potato flour) or cornflour
  • clean canola oil for frying
  • Ina Paarman’s Potato Spice
Method

A light and fluffy batter, ideal to coat fish, chicken and vegetable bites. Instead of beer, use soda water for a non-alcoholic variation. It is best to make the batter an hour in advance to give the flour time to swell. Fold the beaten egg white in just before needed as this gives extra lightness.

Beer Batter

Mix all the ingredients except the egg white in a food processor or with a whisk. Just before use, fold in the stiffly beaten egg white.

Fish

Season the fish lightly with Fish Spice. Leave in the fridge to firm until ready to cook.

Preheat the oil in a large heavy based frying pan. If you are using a deep fat fryer, set the temperature to 180°C. Test the temperature of the oil with a drop of the batter – it must sizzle and brown quite quickly. Just before frying, dip the fish in the batter to coat it all round. Cook over medium heat. When fish is browned on one side, gently ease it over using a spatula and fork.

When browned on both sides remove and drain on absorbent kitchen paper or crumpled brown paper.

Serve with lemon wedges and crispy chips.

Chips

Chips must be crisp on the outside, soft inside and not absorb a lot of oil. At last I have found a simple solution to the problem: potato starch or rice flour, available from the health section of your supermarket.

Peel the potatoes. Rinse and dry completely. Now cut them into chips. Do not rinse again. Toss the sliced chips with the potato starch or cornflour to coat them lightly. The starch will absorb the excess moisture on the outside of the chips.

Preheat the oil to a moderate temperature, 180°C if you have a deep-fat fryer. Cook the chips until crisp and golden. Drain on absorbent paper. Season with Potato Spice and serve.

Ina's Tip
Potato know how

The best varieties for chips are Van der Plank or Fianna. You will recognize both of these because they have an elongated oval shape with the one end more pointy (like an egg). The skins are also quite white and the flesh a creamy colour.

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