International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Fish and Chips

Fish and Chips Recipe (English batter-fried fish with fried potato wedges)

(English batter-fried fish with fried potato wedges)

Image Creative Commons by Salim Virji

Average: 3.5 (84 votes)

As simple as it is satisfying, fish and chips is classic English street food. The first chip shop opened in London in the mid 19th century, and by the 1930s the shops were located in towns all over England. Fish and chips is classically served in a rolled up newspaper with a sprinkling of salt and a shake or two of malt vinegar.

4 servings


  • Flour -- 1 1/4 cups
  • Salt -- 1 teaspoon
  • Beer -- 1 1/4 cups
  • Egg yolk -- 1
  • Oil -- 1 tablespoon
  • Baking potatoes, peeled, cut 1/2-inch thick slices and soaked in cold water -- 4
  • Oil -- for deep frying
  • Fish (any firm white fish), cut into serving size pieces -- 1 1/2 to 2 pounds
  • Salt and pepper -- to taste
  • Egg white, beaten until it forms stiff peaks -- 1
  • Flour -- 1 cup


  1. Sift the 1 1/4 cups flour and 1 teaspoon salt together into a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add the beer, egg yolk and 1 tablespoon oil. Beat well with a whisk until smooth, and then set aside to rest for about 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 200°F and heat oil in a fryer or deep pot to 365-375°F. Drain the potatoes and pat dry. Add potatoes to the hot oil in batches, dropping in one at a time to keep them from sticking together. Fry until well browned, then drain and transfer to a paper towel-lined pan in the oven to keep them warm. Let the oil return to the proper temperature between batches.
  3. Season the fish fillets with salt and pepper. Gently fold the whipped egg whites into the prepared batter with a spatula. Place the 1 cup flour into a large bowl. Dip the fillets into the flour, coating them on all sides and shaking off the excess. Set aside on a plate or platter.
  4. Working in batches, dip the floured fish fillets into the batter and then gently drop into the hot oil. Fry until browned on all sides. Remove from the oil and hold in the preheated oven while you fry the remaining fillets.
  5. Serve the fish and chips on tabloid newspapers with malt vinegar, tartar sauce, a sprinkling of salt and a nice English ale.

Fish and Chips Variations

  • Fish: Cod, haddock, sole and plaice are the fish most commonly used to make fish and chips, but any firm, white-fleshed fish will do.
  • Batter: This beer batter is especially tasty, but you can use your own favorite batter recipe. Or try one of these 5 Basic Batters for Fish and Seafood.


Thank you for a great recipe! I surfed the net and reviewed four recipes for fried fish batter. I picked this one, because I sensed that it would be the best, from my research.

I wanted to cook a homemade meal for my mother's birthday. She loves a fish fry. During Lent, Catholics love their Friday Fish Fry, and fish frys in general. Well, my mother doesn't like to go out to eat anymore and I did not want to pay for a take out, so I decided to make my own fish fry dinner.

Instead of searching through my collection of cookbooks, I found this web site and appreciated the format and information regarding an authentic English batter.

This recipe was easy to follow and superb! The beer batter (Molson Canadian)tasted great and the fish was not greasy, like it is in the restaurants. My parents were so happy with their meal. My boyfriend and I worked as a team, in the kitchen, to produce Fish and Chips. We'll make this recipe again! I gave a portion to my friend, last night, at his hair salon, for supper.
I received kudos. I told my other friend, about this recipe and she wants it!

I can't forsee ordering out fish fry, anymore. This recipe rocks!

I can hardly wait to try this recipe I have looked everywhere for one. I have some halibut fillets. I was also wondering if Budweiser would work in this recipe or not. Thanx.

Corona does, Bud should.

What utter rot. If you want to poison your friends serve the fish and chips in newspaper and let the formaldehide from the ink soak into the food. The fish and chips were wrapped in plain bleached paper (Butchers paper) and then wrapped in newspaper for insulation. because people had to WALK home.

It would be nice to know what kind of oil people use for this (and other) recipes. Often it's the oil that makes the difference.

correct the oil mail all the difference

If you want to poison your friends serve the fish and chips on newspaper so that it can soak up the formaldehide in the ink. Fish and chip shops wrapped the fish and chips in plain paper which was then wrapped in newspaper as insulation since most peiple had to walk home in the winter. How do I know? Because from 1948 that's what I did and that's why I now live in Australia. However you can't beat the basic recipe but beer batter is an affectation of recent years. Beef dripping is the only fat in which to fry the ingredients but most modern fryers will not accomodate this so oil is the next best thing.

FYI...they switched to Mineral oil based inks sometime WAY after 1948....

When I was knee high to a grass hopper fish and chips where alway fried in beef dripping If you have never had your fish and chips this way you really don't know what you missed.

Thanks for the tip about formaldahide posoning from
newsprint, I'll fry the fish, wrap it in newspaper
and put it the fridge till tomorrow, I'll then refry
quickly and give it to the MOTHER-IN-LAW, thanks again

American newspapers switched to non-toxic soy-based inks way back in the 1970s. They are safe to wrap food in. Newspaper is also part of the recommended mix for backyard compost heaps, and you can safely use the compost in your vegetable garden. In compost there's probably more danger from residual pesticides on the food scraps than from the newspapers. As for formaldehyde, only trace amounts are found in newspapers, probably about as much as forms naturally when you make toast or roast coffee beans. Now the real threat to your health would be from eating fish fried in beef fat!

Thank you for informing us about the formaldehide in the ink. I wasnt aware of it. Thanks for the warning!

From 1965 till 1969 I lived with my family of three sons and ate fish and chips with the newspaper. My son's are all about 6'2" tall have children and no one ever got a problem with the newspapers. Maybe there has been a change but this particular recipe is NOT from Buckinhamshire! It seems as though they have take the USA Chips, which is French Fry's and changed the fish to something that was not British which uses Carp!

This is the best batter for fish I've used. It is well-worth the time and effort for it's preparation. I'm going to use the leftover batter to make fried onion rings.

Thank you for adding the suggestion of using left over batter for onion rings. What a great idea - my family enjoyed both the fish and chips and the onion rings which we had the following day!

Dear Friend,

i have been a "fish and Chip" digger as my job is to keep hoping around my country(India) and around the world and have tried all sorts of versions of Fish and Chips, believe me i randomly went through the internet and wanted to surprise my family and friends with my own self cooked Fish and chips this time.... all thanks to your recipe, it was a success and i got appreciated for the entire dish (little changes- garlic flavoured mash potatoes with brown sauce)...
Thanks man...

Thank's i had tried to cook by your recipe and it was very delicious, but i should do a little modified and subtituted with ingredients, because i was a muslim so i subtituted beer with water and lemon juice. my friend said " delicious and good taste it was not different if i used beer"

When I first read the recipe I noticed a couple of things that would improve it:

1. The egg white need to be beaten to a soft peek as this will incorporate into the batter, stiff peak will dissolve into the batter and will not give the desired lightness. Stiff peak is only used for making meringues.

2.Do not add the salt to the beer/flour mixture as it will kill the yeast in the beer also making the batter less light.Add a pinch of sugar that will activate the yeast and help to give it a rich color when cooked. Add the salt just before you add the egg whites.

3. The batter is a bit heavy and needs 1 and 1/3 cups of beer.

4. The batter was wonderful with these corrections.

First British fish and chips uses Carp.
Second British fish and chips uses doubly frying the chips.
I lived in Buckhinghamshire for 3 years and NEVER had this recipe!

The most common fish used for fish in chips in Britain are cod, haddock and plaice. Carp - an oily, bony fish - is definitely not common. But as noted in the variations, you can use whatever fish you like.

You can double fry the chips if you like, but that is more common with French fries, not chips.

My husband and boys loved the batter it was really wonderful and my 6 year old went for seconds which is ''big'' for him. My husband has been been an east coast fisherman for 8 years so we always have lots and all types of fish to cook at our home. I mainly eat a light swordfish with white wine ane herbs but tonight I tried the ''John Dory's " we happened to have in the freezer with your batter recipe and it was really1 really! awesome!! Thanks for the recipe it is a new additon for our house for sure =) =)

British Stereotypes debunked-

1) Fish and chips is NOT served in newspaper. It hasn't for a VERY long time (like over 40 years!)
2) Fish & chips is NOT the UK's favourite 'street food'. Chinese and Indian food are now WAY more popular than FnC especially in younger age groups.
3)MOST fish and chip shops in England are in fact run by CHINESE!
4) BTW MOST English people, again especially in younger age groups drink way more coffee than tea - Starbucks and other European coffee chains are on every street corner just like NA!

Hope that helps straighten this constant misrep of 'all things British'

Well then my mum must have lied about my age because I am 30 and grew up eating fish and chips out of newspaper!

And who cares who runs the chippies.....they may well look Chinese or have Chinese heritage but be English.