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Fish and Chips

Fish and chip... the meal that commonly eaten across British. One source said it's the most favorite take away food nationally. It's so popular among the British even beat Mac D ( 8 fish and chips outlets every 1 Mac D's outlet)

The potato is thought to have been brought to England from the New World in the 17th century by Sir Walter Raleigh although it is believed that the French invented the fried potato chip.

Both Lancashire and London stake a claim to being the first to invent this famous meal - chips were a cheap, staple food of the industrial north whilst fried fish was introduced in London’s East End. In 1839 Charles Dickens referred to a “fried fish warehouse” in his novel, 'Oliver Twist'.

The populace soon decided that putting fried fish and chips together was a very tasty combination and so was born our national dish of fish and chips!

A combination of Britain’s new railways and trawler fishing meant that fish could be reliably supplied inland, which coincided with chip shops spreading rapidly. It provided an exciting meal for the family that otherwise had to make do with the bleak fare of the Industrial Revolution.

Starting with just one chip shop in 1860, by 1910 there were roughly 25,000, and by 1927 there were 35,000, which shows just how popular the meal had become.

Fish and chips also had a role to play in both world wars. Due to their popularity, the government kept them off the ration list to increase morale and ensure basic nutrition for the munitions workers. Queues were often hours long once word got around that the chip shop had fresh fish! Winston Churchill even referred to them as the “good companions”.

So, there you have it; fish and chips, a national institution that’s considered by many outside it to be quintessentially British, owes its introduction to 15th century refugees, has provided nutrition and a morale boost during the Industrial Revolution and two world wars, and tastes great to boot!

Oh my... who am I talking much about history... From some sources I read.. traditional British fish and chip use beer to make the batter... so since we only consume halal foods I substitute beer with seltzer water (or you can use unflavored soda water)... And it turns the batter into thick crunchy batter for my fish and chip. 

One night, I saw "from a mind of the chef" show on cooking channel ( I forget the chef's name at that time, it was a British woman chef). She shared a secret how to fry crunchy and tasty potato chip... fry it 3 times! Yes... three times. 
She explained, 1st frying is to make potatoes absorb the oil which make them tasty. Second frying is to cooked thoroughly the potato but didn't make them crunchy outside. Then last frying is to make potatoes crunchy and golden brown outside.

For fish batter recipe I adapted from Greatbritishchef.com with my minor adjustment below.

Serve 4 (or 2?? hahahha..)

  • about 700 gr haddock fillets (original recipe calls for 4 @170g)
  • 100 gr of plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
Note: I use mezgit balığı from local market here

Fish batter ingredients:
  • 200 g of plain flour --> I use 195 gr plain flour + 10 gr cornstarch
  • 150 ml of lager beer --> I use 150 ml local seltzer water  (*)
  • 5 g of salt
  • 5 g of pepper
  • 5 g of mild curry powder
  • 150 ml of ale --> I use 150 ml seltzer water
(*) You can use unflavored soda water

To make the fish batter combine all the ingredients, flour,seltzer water, salt, pepper, and curry powder in a bowl and whisk until smooth. 

To fry the fish:
I heat enough oil for deep fry in wide non stick pan. When oil is hot you can start to fry. Toss fish fillet with seasoned flour pat off the excess flour. Then dip into batter, lift the fillet to allow the batter run off the fish then slowly dip into hot oil. 
Fry them until golden brown over high heat. It took about 4 ~ 5 minutes each side.
Strain and drain the fish over thick paper towel to absorb excess oil.
For Potato chips:
  • About 700 gr potato. Cut into wedges
  • oil for deep fry
  • rock salt
Heat oil over medium heat. When it's hot enough but not steamy, put potato wedges into oil and fry for about 3 or 4 minutes. Strain them. 
Let your oil a bit steamy hot over medium heat, fry again potato from 1st frying process and cook them thoroughly about 5 to 7 minute. Don't make them brown yet!
Then at the 3rd stage, fry again your potatoes into high heat until they turn golden brown/ red.
Drain them over paper towel. Sprinkle with salt.
note: You may need to do this in batches for each step.

For the mayonnaise, I simply made from crushed garlic, salt, pinch of pepper, mustard and olive oil... mix all together and check the taste.

Serve hot with lemon and rock salt sprinkle.

History UK

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