British fish & chips are a national treasure and there’s no denying their popularity. Fresh cod is beer battered then shallow fried to golden perfect and served with a side of thick cut chips and peas.
Fish and chips shops in England seem like they are on every corner. You can’t walk down any high street without walking by a fish and chip shop and smelling the all-familiar smell of fried fish and chips.
Fish and chips are synonymous with going to the beach. Not the sitting in the sand in your bathing suit kind of beach visit. This is about a slow walk along the promenade with your fish and chips wrapped in paper, while taking in the sea air type of visit. And this all makes them taste just that much better.
The fish is made using a meaty cod or haddock. The batter is (of course) a beer batter, and the beer not only adds great flavor, but the combination of the bubbles and baking powder makes for a light and very crispy batter when fried.
Usually served with mushy peas or regular peas, I broke from tradition this time by taking inspiration from the last time I was in a hotel in the south of England where they served my fish and chips with a pea purée.
Fresh, cooked peas are blended with a little liquid (I used chicken stock), salt and pepper and blended until you get a thick consistency. It works so well with the fish and chips and the vibrant green color is stunning.
The chips are thick cut, not thin ones, those are French fries. These are proper British chips and you must call them that when you are in a ‘chippy’ (a fish and chip shop) or pretty much anywhere in the U.K.
As far as condiments, malt vinegar is a must, drizzled all over the fish and the chips if you like, and most people do. Ketchup is also a favorite along with a good tartar sauce, and that’s how you do fish and chips right.