Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 30 mins
about 1 litre sunflower oil, for frying
2 thick skinless fillets of whiting, ling, pollock,
haddock or cod (about 150g each)
For the chips
2 large Maris Piper potatoes
1 tsp malt vinegar, plus extra to serve
For the batter
75g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
small pinch of ground turmeric
125g cold lager or fizzy water
For the tartare sauce
1 tsp capers
handful of parsley leaves, chopped
5 tbsp mayonnaise
Cut the potatoes into chips and soak in cold water for 5 mins,
then wash until the water runs clear. Tip into a pan of cold water
with a pinch of salt and 1 tsp vinegar. Bring to a simmer, then turn
down the heat and simmer gently for 10-12 mins until cooked
through but not falling apart. Drain gently, then place on a tray in
a single layer and chill until needed. Can be prepared a day ahead.
To make the tartare sauce, chop the cornichons, capers and
shallot (finely chop if you prefer a smooth sauce), then combine
with the parsley, mayo and a pinch of salt. Will keep chilled for up
to 24 hours.
When you’re ready to fry, prepare the batter. Tip the flours and
turmeric into a bowl with a pinch of salt, pour over the beer or
fizzy water, and mix quickly until everything just comes together
to the consistency of double cream – do not over-beat, a few
lumps are fine. Keep chilled.
Pour the oil into a deep, wide pan like a wok, or heat a deep-fat
fryer to 180C. If using a pan or wok, ensure that it is no more
than two-thirds full with oil. Heat the oil until it is shimmering and
carefully lower in the chips using a slotted spoon. Fry for 8-10
mins, gently stirring occasionally until golden and crisp. Transfer
to kitchen paper to drain.
Put a little flour in a dish, then bring the oil you used to cook the
chips up to 185C, if you have a thermometer, or until a drizzle of
batter sizzles and crisps in less than a minute. Working quickly,
dust the fish in flour, then dredge through the batter. Hold the
fillet above the batter to let the excess drip back into the bowl,
then carefully lower into the oil. Fry the fillets for a minute until
the batter is just starting to set, then take a spoon and drizzle the
fillets with extra batter to create an even crunchier, wispy coating.
Fry the fish for about 4 mins, turning once, until deep golden and
crisp. Lift onto some kitchen paper to drain for a minute, then
serve with the chips, tartare sauce, and plenty of salt and vinegar.