The origins of the infamous battered fish
A British favourite, crispy battered fried fish has been a staple along our coastlines for
decades. Originally, the dish was inspired by the ‘Pescado Frito’ brought to our little island by the Western Sephardic Jews in the 17th Century before it was introduced to the streets of London in the South and in Lancashire in the North, although who was first has been up for debate.
As the dish began to catch the taste buds of the nation with its irresistible salty batter, fish and chip shops surged in numbers, becoming family run businesses in their front rooms. By the late 19th Century fish, chip shops were commonplace across the country as the industrial revolution went into full swing.
The crispy staple became so popular, that by the Second World War, it was one of the few foods to be rationed, with queues of hungry punters lining up outside shops for hours to get their hands on a piece of freshly battered fish served in newspaper and lashings of salt and vinegar.
How to make fish batter crispy
Pat the fish dry with paper towels and dust it with flour before battering; this will help achieve a crisper finish. If you’re using frozen fish, it’s especially important to ensure that it’s properly defrosted. Sustainable palm oil is one of the best oils to use for deep frying your favourite fish as it has a smoking point of around 220°C making it the most stable. Combined with some quality cold beer, you can create the irresistible crunch and taste of your favourite chippy at home with a few simple ingredients and your choice of freshly caught local fish.
What is fish batter made of?
Traditionally, batter is made from a combination of beer, white flour, baking soda and salt to taste. So to honour the dish here is a guide to the best batter mix so you can create this mourish classic British dish at home as if you were in a chip shop.
Recipe for the Best Batter for Fried Fish
4 175g Fish Fillets (We recommend using Cod)
120g Plain Flour, plus extra for dusting
100g Rice Flour
1 tsp baking powder
130ml Soda Water
Salt & Black Pepper to taste
1 tsp Sugar
Frymax Palm Oil for deep fryer
1. Pour the Frymax Palm Oil into a deep or large pan and heat the oil temperature to 190°C/375°F.
2. In a large bowl, mix both the flours, baking powder and sugar
3. Add the soda water and beer and whisk together until shiny and smooth, like semi-whipped double cream so it sticks to the fish you’ll be coating. Don’t over mix.
4. Mix ½ a teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper to season the fish fillets allowing excess water to be removed and ensuing the fish is meaty.
5. Dust the fillets in a little flour and dip into the batter. Allow the excess to drip off.
6. Gently lower the fish into the fryer and cook for 4 minutes or until the the batter is a golden brown colour and crispy. Remove the fish with a slotted spoon and leave to drain on kitchen paper.
7. Serve with your favourite chips and a wedge of lemon.
For the best quality fish and chips, always choose a premium frying oil. Made from sustainable palm oil, Frymax has been used by the UK’s finest fish and chips shops for decades, ensuring the highest quality of fried foods at a reasonable price. Get in touch to discuss what we have on offer and how we can help you.