Talk to me about fish and chips

Discussion in 'Camping, Hiking, Cooking' started by Nick Clayton, May 21, 2013.

  1. Nick Clayton Active Member

    Posts: 2,863
    Ratings: +1,143 / 4
    This past weekend I was invited out with a friend from work to do some bottom fishing. I've never done this sort of thing so I figured why not. Well after a long fishing day Saturday, and a long cleaning day Sunday, I ended up with around sixty pounds of halibut, ling, and sea bass fillets. The guys I went with are serious fisherman who go to great lengths to have quality final Product. These fillets have not a bone, not a speck of skin and are perfectly trimmed and vacuum sealed. Having never done any bottom fishing I have little experience cooking white meat fish.

    Anyhow, I am anxious to give a go at making some fish and chips, and just took a package of ling and a package of hali out for tomorrow. I have never made fish and chips so I would love to read any tips you pros have. Batter recipes, cooking tips... whatever ya got, I'd love to hear it!
  2. Gary Knowels Active Member

    Posts: 1,081
    Seattle, WA
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    As in all frying, temperature control is the biggest factor in a nice finished food. I never use a thermometer, I just drip some batter in and watch/listen to what happens and get a good feel for where the oil is at.

    Classic beer or tempura batters are great, but my favorite is a cornmeal breading found at every grocery store called Louisiana fish fry.

    Sent from my HTC_Amaze_4G
  3. Alex MacDonald Dr. of Doomology

    Posts: 3,321
    Haus Alpenrosa, Lederhosenland
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    Hehe... I just go to the Rockfish over in Anacortes for their fish&chips!
    Josh likes this.
  4. Jerry Daschofsky Moderator

    Posts: 7,722
    Graham, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +660 / 5
    I go traditional, beer battered. Remember, the style beer you use will change the flavor. Darker beers do put a nice flavor into it. I vary it up, but have used alot of ambers (like Alaskan) in my mix. Usually you go the 1:1 ratio of beer and flour. Pride of the West makes a phenominal flour designed for deep frying. What I use most of the time. And NO, you don't need to let the beer flatten before tossing it in. I just pour away, mix, and go. But what I do is season the fish FIRST. Usually simple, salt and pepper. Maybe a little garlic salt. Nothing fancy, try to let the fish do SOME of the work. Then toss the fillets in just plain flour (or for me, the frying flour), shake off any excess then toss that into the beer batter. The initial plain flour dredge gives the beer batter a little something to grab onto. Can do it without, but that step really helps the final product IMHO. Then toss into hot oil, around 325-350 until it turns golden brown outside. Make sure you do a flip of the fish (yes, I know guys who didn't do that and complained about the doughy texture on one side lol) and serve. I always toss mine onto drying racks. This lets any excess oil drip off while keeping the crunchy texture of the breading. Can do it on papertowels, but remember it'll be suspended in it's own grease. Will take some excess off, but will keep that piece of the breading next to the towel moist and will start to get gummy.

    Chips part is easy. Just cut up potatoes any way you'd like. Toss into a saltwater bath, then dry and then toss into the same temp above. I always fry my fresh cut fries twice. First to get the cook on. Toss them onto a rack to drip out. Then run them through again to get that nice crispy outside and still have a nice moist fry inside. A little fun thing to do on the second time you fry it. Take the leftover beer batter, and toss some of those "once cooked" fries into the beer batter and then toss them back into the fry pot. :)
    SHigSpeed likes this.
  5. David Prutsman All men are equal before fish

    Posts: 322
    Woodland Park, Colorado
    Ratings: +25 / 0


    There is more than fish n' chips to learn about in this video; well worth 20 minutes of your time.
  6. ribka Active Member

    Posts: 1,419
    E WA
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    I just cooked up some fresh caught halibut tonite.

    I like a light tempura batter with a little IPA beer to mix in. I prefer oil to be 360 to 370.

    Nice light batter

    Yep always twice cook fries in beer batter is damn good!
  7. Upton O Blind hog fisherman

    Posts: 2,158
    out of state now
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    Rice flour, mix in a bit of baking soda, then make your batter with club soda. Fry at 350+ but not smoking using peanut oil. Don't over load the oil with fish when you start frying, keep the oil hot, near 350 as much as possible.
  8. Hillbilly Redneck wishin i was fishin

    Posts: 424
    Whitehorse Mt.
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    I sometimes just dip the cod/halibut in some eggs and then dredge it in bread crumbs. Usually the Italian seasoned kind. Doesn't turn out as greasy as beer batter style.
  9. Salmo_g Active Member

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    Your City ,State
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    Nick,

    Vacuum packing is a first good step to quality fish product. Second is flash or near-flash freezing. The faster you can freeze your fish, the better it will be when you thaw it out. In my experience halibut keeps well as frozen product; ling cod and black rock fish, not so well. Use them up soon! The fastest way I know of for the home freezer to to freeze fish is to place your vacuum packages a couple at a time into a brine of rock salt and slush ice. You can get it down to near freezing in about 10 minutes, then put it into your home freezer. Salmon and halibut done this way are hard to tell from fresh when thawed out.

    Sg
  10. Jerry Daschofsky Moderator

    Posts: 7,722
    Graham, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +660 / 5
    If your fish and chips are coming out greasy you're either running your temp too low and/or putting too many pieces in the oil at once. Plus, never put on towels after taking out of the oil, toss them onto a drying rack. The ones I had in the UK were always greasy, but they always tossed them into paper and served.
    I'll have to try that. I've heard something about homemade flash freezing, but never knew anyone who had done it.
  11. Nick Clayton Active Member

    Posts: 2,863
    Ratings: +1,143 / 4
    Thanks for all the great tips everyone!

    I've made fish and chips twice now, and fish tacos once. All three came out excellent.

    The first time I used a basic batter of flour/beer/seasonings and it turned out very well. Last night I used a boxed type beer batter, and I didn't think it was all that great. Was still good, but not as good. I still am not quite dialed in on a few things, but the fish I'm currently making is quite delicious and gets devoured quickly in my house, so it can only get better from here
  12. Porter Active Member

    Posts: 6,442
    Kenmore, WA, USA.
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    Halibut, Beer Batter, ah shit...I just love to go to Ecola Seafoods in Cannon Beach...oh so good! Halibut (IMHO) is the best white fish .... some others are good too, Halibut YUM YUM!!!! Guess there is a place in Astoria that I am trying in July that does tuna fish and chips out of some little boat...supposedly very good...never thought of tuna and chips...but I have to try once at least :rolleyes: