Monday, 21 February 2011

Good ol' Fish & Chips

Time for another Chef & the Mum post!

This months ingredient chosen by Katrina (the Chef) was LOCAL FISH.

The Fish & chips is part of the recipe sharing idea called 'The chef & the mum'.  It was started by Katrina Higham (the Chef) and Mish Lilley (the Mum). They take turns in choosing the core ingredient & anyone is welcome to join in (click on Katrina's blog if you want to join in!).  A great way to share expertise & recipes.
 There are links for you to check out the other recipes at the end of my post- so be sure to check out what everyone else made!.

SO after doing a bit of research I discovered that Flathead and Schnapper are two local Melbourne fish.

My kids LOVE bank balance isn't so keen at nearly $40 a kilo!!!

But sometimes an indulgence is called for!

I love using flathead for Fish & Chips. It is a beautiful juicy, white fish with lovely soft flesh that fillets to be boneless (great for fussy fish eaters who get frustrated by bones).

I am a HUGE fan of a good beer batter for fish & chips. It makes the batter light and really crunchy. Soooo good!

If cooked well Fish & Chips doesn't have to be the oily, fatty sludgy mess that has gone soggy in the plastic bag dusted with a little sand for extra crunch that some of us remember from our childhood family beach trips.

For me a quick meal of bought Fish and Chips ends in me parting ways with a fair bit of cash to feed seven and a whole lot of dissapointment- so we don't do it that often.

And although Flathead isn't the cheapest if fish it actually ends up being significantly cheaper for me to cook it at home and I am happy to do that sometimes.

And there is nothing like the crunching through a good beer batter to bite into that slippery delicious fish! My kids were soooo happy when i made this for them on Friday after a very busy week of school. There wasn't a scrap left on any of their plates.

I love to serve it with a freshly made Tartare sauce and a couple of wedges of juicy lemon. One of the great examples of simple is best!

So here's my recipe for good ol Fish 'n' Chips.

I have a deep fryer at home as getting the temperature correct is key.

I make my chips via the two fry method (i.e: first fry at 110C for 6 minutes to parcook & then at 180C for another 4 minutes or until brown) and have always had good results. I know a debate rages about best chips.....but I think it is one of those arguments that will never be settled. Each to their own.



  • 700g flathead
  • 500g desiree potatoes- (I don't peel mine and cut them in to 2cm batons)


  • 3/4 cup sr flour
  • 1/4 cup cornflour
  • 5& 1/2 tblspn beer (whichever you like- i used Coopers Pale Ale this time)
  • 5& 1/2 tblspn cold soda water
Sift dry ingredients and then add wet and mix with a whisk. It will be quite a runny batter. It shouldn't be thick.
Cover and refrigerate for an hour.

As the batter refrigerates you can drink the remaining beer while you make the tartare sauce! BONUS!


  • parsley
  • dill 
  • cornichons
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 11/2 tsp dijon
  • 1 egg
  • lemon juice 1 tsp
  • 1tblsp white vinegar
  • 2 tblspns baby capers
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • canola oil

I use my thermomix to make this but it will be just as good made in a food processor.

Using the pulse function on yr food processor chop parsley, dill, capers & cornichons.

Add dijon mustard, pepper, lemon juice, egg & vinegar.

Now with motor running slowly drizzle oil in through the top in a slow stream until it is lovely and thick.



For the chips-
Heat fryer to 110C and place chips in fryer for 6 minutes (set a timer).
Lift out of oil and let cool.

I fry my fish next as it will happily sit and cool a little while the chips are finished. I can fit about 4 pieces fo fish in my fryer without overcrowding.

Take a piece of fish and dip it in the batter & wipe gently to remove excess batter.

Lower gently into oil and fry until nicely brown (about 4 minutes). Remove and sit on kitchen paper while you do the chips. They should come out looking plump and puffy!

Now place the chips that have been parboiled back into the oil and cook till brown and crispy looking.

Remove and drain on kitchen paper. Salt well.

Serve on plate with a dish of tartare sauce & some lemon wedges.


And this week Radiohead released a new album.....always makes me so happy to hear new stuff from them:


  1. Mouth waterly yummo and as I may have a wee, teensy hang-over, just what I need right NOW!
    Don't know WHERE you big-city folk ;) are getting your flathead...I get mine up here from an award-winning butcher who has it driven up from the markets daily and it's only $29.99 a kilo!

  2. Hmmmmm beer batter. Looks great!

  3. i wanna dance comme ça.....(im coming for fish and chips when we get back)

  4. My latest with fish is another one that is too easy, and way too yummy - ceviche. dont tell anyone its just sliced fish of your choice, marinated in lemon juice and whatever other flavours you like, maybe some fresh 'erbs or chilli, a sprinkle of zest, star anise, whatever. 5 - 10 minutes and it's ready!!! Munch down with some crusty bread or slurp down as it is.

    Did I say it was too easy, and too yum?

    Cheers, Greg

  5. Ha Greg! Great cooks minds eh!...I nearly did Scnapper ceviche...but my kids asked for Fish & that's what I did!
    Mmmmmm Ceviche.......

  6. you could just about put away the fryer, except raw spuds marinated in vinegar might need a bit of work ...

  7. Ruth, that looks VERY delicious and today is the perfect day for it (not roast lamb, as we're cooking tonight!). Can't wait to try and thanks for the always inspiring recipes. XX

  8. So, I finally got around to trying your recipe for the beer batter and it was sensational!

    I couldn't believe how crispy but also light it turned out. It was truly world's apart from the often soggy and heavy batter you get from most fish and chip shops.

    Thanks Ruth.


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