A Conversation for British Fish and Chip Shops

When its done right

Post 1

Is mise Duncan

The fish supper can rival any cuisine in the world.

The fish should be cod, very fresh. The batter must be crisp and quite dry - and seriously hot, and the chips must be a decent size and not over cooked. Oh yes - and it must all be cooked in animal fat. If you want healthy, don't eat it in the first place. smiley - winkeye

Cod and chips and a portion of mush peas - ooh, I'm all homesick now!

When its done right

Post 2


Getting a decent portion on chips can be hard. They're too usually too greasy, too hard, too soft, or any combination of those.
The only decent acompaniment to them is a Hollands Meat pie and gravy smiley - smiley

When its done right

Post 3


Quick, Call the doctor and a crash team.

I can feel my heart failing just by reading this.

Body's defence system going in to overload.

Lunch time, I know what I'm having today!

When its done right

Post 4


A rarer delicacy is the mushy pea fritter. Simply mushy peas in batter.

When its done right

Post 5


My friends and I have a saying for this sort of food:

"Heart attack on a a plate"

When its done right

Post 6


typo, that should have only been one "a"

When its done right

Post 7


Are you sure you're not having chest pains yourself...
They don't do proper pies and gravy down south so I've got to wait till I get to see the folks next time smiley - sadface

When its done right

Post 8


Blue cod from that other great Scottish city, Invercargill in NZ. smiley - smiley

Most people in NZ seem to prefer Snapper, although I'm quite fond of Gurnard myself (when Cod isn't available).

When its done right

Post 9


Do many chip shops in the UK still use animal fat (dripping, lard, etc)?

I know that it is still used a lot in Ireland, but most places these days use vegetable oil, which doesn't get hot enough and has no taste.

Incidentally - does anyone know how to get really crisp dark brown fried bread when using vegetable oil?

Putting vegetable oil in your car seems a better use than cooking with it! (see my entry on Bio Diesel!)

Dripping with it...

Post 10

Is mise Duncan

Caistor Fry, Caistor, NE Lincolnshire use beef dripping from the local butchers shop next door - and brilliant it is too.

As for fried bread, you need to use those fancy light oils such as "crisp and dry"(tm), and have a deep layer in the frying pan.
I've gone off this for the local alternative - fried soda bread...yum smiley - winkeye

When its done right

Post 11


I grew up in NZ and also prefer schnapper, although most fish from an NZ chippie would have been lemonfish (=shark). Cod is endangered so we should eschew it - but then until fishermen learn about sustainable fishing no form of sealife is safe. Farming is perhaps better but exposes us all to antibiotics and hormones and all the moral issues of intensive farming. Vegetarian fish and chips doesn't bear thinking about though, so as fish and chip lovers what are we to do!

However the main point I wished to make was that in NZ the fish and chips are cooked after you order them (not before as in many english chip shops) and now owe perhaps more to japanese tempura than english beer batter style cuisine. As an avid fish and chip fan I was dismayed to find that standards in London at least are far below what my taste buds had come to expect from a traditional fry-day night meal. In NZ, the batter is light and crispy. The fish moist and flavoursome (NOT fishy) and the chips crisp on the outside, fluffy on the inside. Absolutely no vinegar for me but an unhealthy sprinkling of salt yes! None of these soggy chips cooked in fat that's too cold (is that really because vegetable fat won't heat as hot?) and half cooked batter around fish sitting soaking in cooling fat for half an hour before you place the order. Mushy Peas?! I thought my brother-in-law was pulling my leg! Has to be seen and tasted to be believed! Travel broadens the taste buds they say smiley - winkeye

When its done right

Post 12


Most Fish & Chip shops in the UK have now gone over to cooking in oil - Thankfully where I live (Yorkshire - the spiritual home of Fish & Chips and the original and best, Harry Ramsdens) they still virtually all use beef dripping to cook in

Mmmmmmmm Delicious

Oh, and by the way - anyone ever tried a Yorkshire fish cake? MILES better than the little patty covered in breadcrumbs you get "Darhn Sarf"

smiley - winkeye



When its done right

Post 13


So, it is five years later and we now have the CHINESE CATFISH SCARE.

What you don't know CAN hurt you!

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