Homemade Fish and Chips (and three tips for deep frying success)

There’s a place in South Bend, IN, I love to go for fish and chips. They often have live music, seating is community style, and it feels just like (what I imagine) an Irish pub does. And their fish and chips. Oh, man.

I’m not going to claim I can make fish and chips as good as theirs, but this does make a pretty decent batch! It will make enough for 4 hungry people–and I mean hungry.


I recommend serving with a cold beer (try a stout or a brown) and plenty of tarter sauce for dipping. Happy frying!


Fish and Chips with Tarter Sauce

Recipes based on Alton Brown and Rachael Ray

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup dill pickle relish
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 48 ounces canola or vegetable oil
  • 4 large potatoes
  • Salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 Tbs. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 bottle brown beer (cold!)
  • 1 pound white fish–(talapia, haddock, cod, or flouder)
  • Cornstarch


  • 5 quart dutch oven
  • Thermometer
  • Roasting rack

To make your tarter sauce:

1. Mix mayo, relish, and lemon juice. Cover and put in the fridge to chill and let the flavors blend. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

To make your batter:

1. Mix flour, baking powder, salt, and cayenne pepper in a bowl. While stirring, add beer.

2. Stir until their are no lumps. Cover and move to the fridge to chill for at least 15 minutes, but up to an hour.

To make your fries: 

1. Leave the skin on your potatoes and chop them into fries. Keep them sturdy–skinny fries won’t fry as well.


2. Turn your stove to medium heat and watch it carefully. Heat the oil to 320 degrees (F)-don’t let it get too hot.

3. Once the oil gets to temperature, work in batches (each potato is about a batch), and immerse the fries in the oil for 2-3 minutes. They’ll get pale and float at the top. Remove them from the oil onto a roasting rack to drain.


4. Once all the fries have been in once, increase the oil heat to 375 degrees. In roughly the same batch sizes, re-fry your fries for 2-3 minutes. They’ll be crisp and golden brown.

5. Season them with salt while they’re hot, and keep in a 200 degree oven.

To make your fish:

1. Chop your fish into 1 oz pieces (or so). This isn’t an exact science.

2. Heat oil to 350 degrees.

3. Put corn starch in a bowl for dredging, and get your batter out of the fridge. Dredge each fish piece in corn starch, and then in batter.


4. In batches of 4-5, drop into oil. As soon as the batter sets, flip them. Fry for 2 minutes.


5. Drain on roasting rack, and then move to your oven with the fries to keep warm.

6. Repeat until all your fish is fried!


Helpful tips for frying:

Oil temperature: adding something cold (potatoes or fish) to hot oil can drop the temperature 25-50 degrees (F). This is OK and is factored into the temperatures in the recipe. Just make sure to let your temperature get back to what it needs to be before you add the next batch of potatoes or fish.

Keeping everything warm: try not to stack your fish or fries too much–they’ll get soggy. As much separation as you can get is ideal to keep them crispy.

Utensils: wood or metal, please. No plastic!

To reheat:

We (happily) discovered that we had leftovers! Dare I say they were even better than the day we made them? To reheat fish, bake at 350 degrees on a cookie sheet for 15 minutes. Flip halfway through. When you flip, add the fries to the sheet.


One thought on “Homemade Fish and Chips (and three tips for deep frying success)

  1. Pingback: Beer Battered Fish Fry - The Gracious Wife

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