, Step by step

Fish and chips

This well-loved dish really shines when you use top-quality fish and potatoes.

Mark Stower, Director of Food and Service

Preparation Time: 40 mins

Cooking Time: 30 mins

Serves: 8


  • Step 1

    In a large bowl, mix together the cornflour, baking powder and flour. Season lightly with a tiny pinch of salt and pepper. Now, whisking continuously, add the sparkling water to the flour mixture and continue mixing until you have a thick, smooth batter. Place the batter in the refrigerator to rest for 30 minutes to an hour.

  • Step 2

    Cut the potatoes into 1 centimetre slices, then slice these into 1 centimetre wide chips. Rinse the chips under cold running water.

  • Step 3

    Place the washed chips into a pan of cold water, bring to a gentle boil to blanch. Drain carefully, refresh the chips in cold water and dry with kitchen paper.

  • Step 4

    Heat the oil to 120°C in a deep fat fryer. Blanch the chips a second time in the oil a few handfuls at a time for a couple of minutes. Do not brown them. Drain and keep to one side. Next, heat the oil to 180°C, ready for the fish.

  • Step 5

    Place the dusting flour into a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Coat each fish fillet in the flour, shake off any excess and dip into the batter. Then carefully lower each fillet into the hot oil. Fry for approximately 8 minutes or until the batter is crisp and golden. Remove and drain, and then keep warm.

  • Step 6

    Now heat the oil to 200°C and cook the chips until golden and crisp (approximately 5 minutes).

  • Step 7

    Serve immediately with the hot fish and lemon wedges.


Fish and chips is a classic British dish that we have been eating since the mid-19th century. Apparently they were first served together as a meal around 1860 and quickly became popular as a hot and nutritious working-class meal in industrial Britain. It’s estimated that at its peak, in 1927, there were around 35,000 fish and chip shops—today there are around 10,500.

Deep-fried fish was first introduced to London in the 16th or 17th centuries by Spanish and Portuguese Jewish immigrants, which may explain its later popularity in the East End.

Deep-fried potatoes, served in the form of chips, appear to be of Belgian origin, although the French lay claim to them as well. Traditional British chips are cut thickly—this is an advantage nutritionally, as larger and thicker slices of potato absorb less fat so that thick chips contain about one third fewer calories than the same weight of skinny fries.

Fish and chips is a surprisingly nutritious dish— containing good quality protein and a wide range of vitamins (including some vitamin C from the chips) as well as iron, selenium and other minerals. Obviously deep-frying increases the fat and calorie content of food, but if cooked using good quality vegetable oils and at the right temperature for a short time, the amount of fat that is absorbed is minimised.