Few dishes scream of Britain in quite the same way as fish and chips. At times it is to the detriment of Great British cuisine as an isle often perceived as subsisting exclusively on this dish by our mainland onlookers – yet there is little arguing to the merits of this comforting classic. Light, crispy batter encasing perfectly cooked fish alongside glorious golden chips and a host of classic accompaniments – it’s a wonderfully nostalgic and comforting dish.
We’ve used Aonori in our beer batter. The dried flakes of seaweed give a really pretty flecked green appearance to the batter, more importantly, it really enhances the flavour of the fish – bringing the taste of the sea to your fish and chips. Golden and crisp triple-cooked chips too!
4 Large Cod Loin Fillets, about 150g each, or any firm white fish
Generous Pinch of Salt & Pepper,
50g Plain Flour
150g. Plain Flour,
50g Rice Flour,
2 tsp. Baking Powder
5 tbsp. Aonori Seaweed,
Generous Pinch of Salt
TRIPLE COOKED CHIPS
700g. Marris Piper Potatoes, peeled and cut into chips, about 1cm thick
Generous Pinch of Salt
Pinch of Aonori Seaweed
SALTING THE FISH
Season your cod fillets liberally with salt and return to the fridge for about an hour.
TIP – The fish needs to be as dry as possible to ensure the batter will be crisp – salting the fish beforehand will help to extract any additional moisture and firm the fish up slightly. It will also ensure the fish is well seasoned within the batter.
THE AONORI BATTER
In a large mixing bowl, combine the two flours, baking powder, salt and Aonori. Using a whisk, gradually add the larger and whisk together until you have a smooth batter roughly the consistency of double cream. Keep chilled until needed.
TIP – You can make the batter the night before and leave it to rest in the fridge – this will actually improve the texture of the batter.
THE CHIPS – FIRST & SECOND COOK
Place the chipped potatoes in a large bowl under running water for a minute or so to wash off the starch.
Transfer the chips to a large pan and cover with cold water and a good pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Once boiling, cook the chips for 4-5 minutes.
Carefully, drain the chips and transfer to kitchen paper to absorb any last moisture.
Fill a saucepan with groundnut oil, suitable for frying to a depth of about 10cm. Heat the oil to a temperature of 130ºC (about medium-low heat on the hob). Alternatively, use a deep fat fryer – this will give you greater control of temperature.
Add the chips to the hot oil and fry for 5-6 minutes until a light crust has formed but there is no colour to the chips. Remove from the oil and leave to drain on kitchen paper. You may need to work in batches.
FRYING THE FISH
Increase the heat to the oil to a temperature of 180ºC (about medium heat on the hob).
Pat the cod fillets dry with kitchen paper and then dredge in seasoned flour, making sure the fish is entirely coated in flour.
Drop the fish into the batter, ensuring it is completely submerged. Lift the fish from the batter, allowing any excess batter to run off. Lower the fish halfway into the oil and hold it there for 10-15 seconds before letting it go. If you drop it straight into the oil it will sink to the bottom and stick.
Fry the fish for 4-5 minutes until golden and crisp. Remove the fish from the oil and drain on kitchen paper. You may need to do this in batches.
Keep warm in the oven whilst you finish the chips and/or cook the rest of the fish.
THE CHIPS – THIRD COOK
Heat the oil to a temperature of 180ºC (about medium heat on the hob).
Add the chips to the hot oil and fry for 3-4 minutes until golden and crisp. Remove from the oil and leave to drain on kitchen paper. You may need to work in batches. Season with salt.
SERVING THE FISH & CHIPS
Add a sprinkle of Aonori flakes to the chips and then serve the fish and chips with mushy peas, tartar sauce, lemon wedges and maybe a lager!