How to cook homemade perfect beer-battered fish and chips recipe, crispy, golden battered cod, fantastic flavors, simple recipe, a great meal with family & friends. The BEST EVER fish n chip recipe!

The BEST EVER Beer Battered Fish and Chips. How to cook homemade perfect beer-battered fish and chips recipe, crispy, golden battered cod, fantastic flavors, simple recipe, great meal with family & friends. The BEST EVER fish n chip recipe!

Classic British Beer Battered Fish n Chips! This is a fantastic fish and chip recipe!

Here, we're going to learn all about Fish and Chips, where they originated from, and how to cook perfect beer-battered fish, along with traditional chips, just like in a fish and chip shop.

Anyone who's ever visited Great Britain will have either tried Fish and Chips or at least walked past a Fish and Chip Shop. Ask any British person if they've ever been to a 'chippy' as it is affectionately known, and their answer will, sure enough, be a resounding 'YES'!

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A bit of history behind fish and chips

Fish and Chip shops came about as a result of the popularity of fishing trawls, and new railways which allowed for fresh fish to be transported further inland.

When did fish and chip shops first open?

The first Fish and Chip shop opened up in London in 1860, and it was a means to feed the working class with cheap, readily available fish. The fish and chips would be cooked in a big cauldron full of beef dripping, fired by hot coals.

It proved to be a main staple throughout the country, so much so, that during the Second World War, Fish and Chips was exempt from food rationing!

Fish and Chip Shop in Wales
You can smell the fish n chips outside!

These days, you will find fish and chip shops all over Great Britain, although many have now diversified and also sell pies, kebabs, burgers etc. That's mostly because the price of fish has soared, resulting in a decline of people buying this popular dish, and there have also been reports of some chippy's selling a cheaper type of fish when they are saying it is cod.

Fish and Chip Shop, showing the inside serving counter and overhead menu
So much to choose from the menu at the fish and chip shop!

What is fish and chip shop batter made of?

The success of this dish all rests on the batter. Every chippy has it's own 'secret' recipe, so what I have done is tried to work out what makes a good, tasty, light and crispy batter, and this is what I've come up with.

The classic recipe for batter is simply made up of flour, salt, water and salt, and pepper. For this recipe, I've used beer instead of water. This gives the fish extra flavor, and the fizz in the beer makes the batter light, crispy and golden.

If you do not want to use beer, you can use soda or carbonated water in the same quantities to achieve a light crispy batter.

What kind of fish is used in fish and chips?

Most chip shops use cod fillets or haddock. However, you can also use plaice, and nowadays, due to the price of cod, chip shops are using halibut, flounder, tilapia, pollock, whiting or catfish. 

For this recipe, I have used frozen cod fillets. You can also use fresh cod if it is available at your fishmonger's. I buy my fish fresh and then freeze in portions for convenience.

How do you get batter to stick to fish?

The trick of getting the batter to stick to the fish before frying is all in the flour.

Make sure you dab the fish dry with some kitchen paper and then completely cover the fish in a coating of seasoned flour. Shake off any excess and then go on to dip the fish in the batter so it is totally coated. The batter should now stick to the fish.

If you don't coat in flour first, the batter is likely to slide off the fish before it even gets to the fryer!

What potatoes do chip shops use?

Most shops use Ramos, Agria or Maris Piper potatoes. For this recipe, I've used Maris Piper as they are more available in the shops.

The Maris Piper potatoes are starchy and will give you a crispy coating and be fluffy on the inside. 

Here I will show you how to reproduce a little bit of Britain by sharing our easy homemade recipe for the Best Ever British Beer Battered Fish and Chips. 

Fish and Chips would normally be served with salt and vinegar which you would put on yourself in the chippy before they wrapped it up into a parcel using newspaper. The smell of the vinegar on the newspaper will evoke many memories to an expatriate if ever you were to mention it to them!

For any of you familiar with British traditions, a trip to the seaside is never complete without eating fish and chips on the seafront. No matter the weather, rain, cloud or shine, grabbing a portion of fish and chips and then sitting along the promenade and watching the tide come in or out is a must!

I even took a photo to show you my last trip to the seaside, and sure enough, the skies were dull and cloudy and the heavens opened before I could finish my fish and chips so I had to run quickly to the nearest shelter which happened to be a bus stop.

Never the less, I got to have fish and chips by the seaside to keep the tradition, even though I got soaked through in the end!

The BEST EVER Beer Battered Fish and Chips! Great flavours and don't forget your shake of vinegar and sprinkle of salt! By the seaside

These days, you can't get fish and chips wrapped in newspaper because of the hygiene, so now, they tend to serve you the fish and chips in a polystyrene box to take away.

This photo below shows some fish and chips with mushy peas in a container. Delicious!

British Beer Battered Fish and Chips from the chippy in container with mushy peas

But of course, if you're making this at home, you must use a newspaper and just pop a piece of parchment on the newspaper so your fish and chips are on that and not directly on the newspaper. You don't want newspaper print sticking on your fish!

So without further ado, let's see how we make our British Beer Battered Fish and Chips. You will love it!

Ingredients

The fish

Cod, haddock, pollock, whiting, catfish. Any 'meaty' thick filleted white fish is good. For this recipe, I have used frozen cod as fresh fish is extremely expensive!
1 cup flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
Vegetable Oil for deep frying. (calculate amount according to the size of your pan)
Allow approximately 150 g (5 oz) fish per person. Try and get fish fillets about 2 cm or more in thickness

The fish batter recipe

100 g or 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
7 Tablespoons Milk
1/2 Tablespoon Olive oil
1 Tablespoon water
Pinch of salt
6 Tablespoons of fizzy lager or beer. (A light beer works best). You can use fizzy water instead of beer.

The chips

Calculate roughly 2 medium-sized potatoes per person, peeled and cut into finger thickness (about 2 cm thick) chips
King Edwards, Desiree, Maris Piper all good potatoes for chips

Other ingredients

Salt and Malt Brown Vinegar for serving.

Equipment you will need

A saucepan large enough to fill 1/3 deep with oil, or a deep fryer.
Kitchen paper
Baking tray
Newspaper and greaseproof paper cut into halves. Allow a double layer of newspaper per portion.

Instructions

1. If you are using frozen fish, defrost it. Turn oven on to 150C, 300F, Gas 2

British Beer Battered Fish and Chips, showing fish portion sizes
Allow fish to defrost on kitchen paper

2. Heat up the oil in your fryer/pan until it reaches 180C / 350F.

3. Check over your fish for any bones. If you have a thick part and thin part of the fish, cut the thin part off as we will cook this separately to avoid overcooking. (see shapes of fish in photo). Pat dry with kitchen paper.

4. Mix your flour and salt and pepper well in a shallow dish 

seasoned flour for the batter

and cover the fish with the flour and shaking off any loose flour.

British Beer Battered Fish and Chips, showing fish coated in seasoned flour before frying
Make sure you shake off any excess flour before you dip the fish in batter

5. Make up the batter. Add all the ingredients EXCEPT the beer / fizzy water, and give it a light whisk. Don't worry if there are lumps in the batter. This is good!

fish batter ingredients, mixing together

6. Peel and cut the potatoes into chip shapes, then rinse and pat dry with a clean tea towel.

The potatoes need to be as dry as possible before frying to get them crispy.
We've got a great recipe for homemade oven fries if you prefer not to deep fry the chips. 

British Beer Battered Fish and Chips, showing size of chips cut and drying on tea towel
Make sure the chips are as dry as possible so they will be crispy in the fryer

7. Carefully place the chips into the fryer/pan and allow to cook gently for approximately 8 minutes. They should turn soft and still have a pale color.

You can check if the chips are cooked by using a sharp knife and feel if it's soft inside.


Take them out of the pan and place on your baking tray for now. We will refry them after the fish to give them a super crisp.

Top Tips

If you don't have a thermometer, drop a bit of batter or end of a chip in and see if it sizzles to the surface.

8. Add the fizzy beer or fizzy water to your batter and gently mix it. It should have the consistency of pouring cream or yogurt. If it is too thick, add a little of your fizzy liquid.

batter consistency for fish and chips


9. Increase your oil heat to 180C / 350F ready for the fish. Place a few sheets of kitchen paper in your baking tray.

We will use this to place the fish once it's cooked.

10. We will cook 1 or 2 pieces of fish at a time, depends on the size of your pan/fryer.

Taking the end of a piece of fish, place it in the batter and coat it well.

Take it out of the batter and leave the excess to drip off, say for about 5 seconds.

Then gently place it in the hot oil, and cook for 7 - 8 minutes until it becomes crispy and golden brown just like in the photos below.

If the batter starts going brown too quickly, turn the temperature down a little.

11. Place on the kitchen paper then keep warm in the oven, whilst you cook the other pieces of fish the same way and add to the oven.

The BEST EVER Beer Battered Fish and Chips! Great flavours and don't forget your shake of vinegar and sprinkle of salt!
Drain the fish on kitchen paper to remove excess oil

12. When you've finished cooking the fish, scoop out any bits of batter floating in the pan/fryer.

In Britain, these bits are known as 'scraps' and you can often get them for free from the chippy to eat with chips. Not very healthy though!

13. Return the chips back to the fryer and cook for 3 minutes until they are brown and crispy.

When done, drain off the excess oil (I use kitchen paper), and arrange, together with the fish on your newspaper & greaseproof paper like in the photos below.

Serve whilst still hot and crispy. Sprinkle some salt and shake some vinegar on your fish and chips and eat out of the paper with your fingers and ENJOY!

The BEST EVER Beer Battered Fish and Chips! Great flavours and don't forget your shake of vinegar and sprinkle of salt!

If you enjoy beer-battered fish, try our Crispy Beer Battered Shrimp / Prawns. So delicious!

We've also got a really quick and easy Pan Fried Cod Pasta Dinner, takes minutes to make and great for a weeknight meal!

We'd love to hear from you and what you thought of our British Beer Battered Fish and Chips recipe. Did you make any changes or add some other goodies? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading and happy cooking!

If you would like to make some of my Best Ever Tartar Sauce to go with this, click on the photo, or try our garlic butter sauce for seafood recipe. It's very quick and easy to make.

Best Ever Tartar Sauce - Easy to make and always a hit! Goes great with seafood, fish,burgers, salads. The sky's the limit!

We can also recommend a Yum Yum Sauce from Savory Experiments. It's easy to make and goes great with seafood.

Recipe Card

The BEST EVER Beer Battered Fish and Chips. How to cook homemade perfect beer-battered fish and chips recipe, crispy, golden battered cod, fantastic flavors, simple recipe, great meal with family & friends. The BEST EVER fish n chip recipe!

Traditional Homemade British Beer Battered Fish and Chips, with a classic easy batter recipe for crispy, golden fish

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

How to cook homemade perfect beer-battered fish and chips recipe, crispy, golden battered cod, fantastic flavors, simple recipe, great meal with family & friends. The BEST EVER fish n chip recipe!

Ingredients

The Fish

  • Cod, haddock, pollock, whiting,catfish. Any 'meaty' thick filleted white fish is good. For this recipe I have used frozen cod as fresh fish is extremely expensive!
  • 1 cup flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • Vegetable Oil for deep frying., calculate amount according to the size of your pan
  • Allow approximately 5 oz or 150 g fish per person. Try and get fish fillets about 2 cm or more in thickness

The Batter

  • 1 cup or 100 g All Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons baking powder
  • 7 Tablespoons Milk
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6 Tablespoons of fizzy lager or beer. . You can use fizzy water instead of beer., A light beer works best

The Chips

  • cm Calculate roughly 2 medium sized potatoes per person, peeled and cut into finger thickness (about 2 thick) chips
  • King Edwards, Desiree,Maris Piper all good potatoes for chips

Other ingredients

  • Salt and Malt Brown Vinegar for serving.

Instructions

  1. If you are using frozen fish, defrost it. Turn oven on to 150C, 300F, Gas 2. Heat up the oil in your fryer / pan until it reaches 180C / 350F.
  2. Check over your fish for any bones. If you have a thick part and thin part of the fish, cut the thin part off as we will cook this separately to avoid over cooking. (see shapes of fish in photo). Pat dry with kitchen paper.
  3. Mix your flour and salt and pepper well in a shallow dish and cover the fish with the flour and shaking off any loose flour.
  4. Make up the batter. Add all the ingredients EXCEPT the beer / fizzy water, and give it a light whisk. Don't worry if there are lumps in the batter. This is good!
  5. Peel and cut the potatoes into chip shapes, then rinse and pat dry with a clean tea towel.
  6. The potatoes need to be as dry as possible before frying to get them crispy.
  7. Carefully place the chips into the fryer / pan, and allow to cook gently for approximately 8 minutes. They should turn soft and still have a pale colour. You can check if the chips are cooked by using a sharp knife and feeling if it's soft inside.
  8. Take them out of the pan and place on your baking tray for now. We will refry them after the fish to give them a super crisp.
  9. TIP: If you don't have a thermometer, drop a bit of batter or end of a chip in and
  10. and see if it sizzles to the surface.
  11. Add the fizzy beer or fizzy water to your batter and gently mix it. It should have the consistency of a pouring cream or yoghurt. If it is too thick, add a little of your fizzy liquid.
  12. Increase your oil heat to 180C / 350F ready for the fish. Place a few sheets of kitchen paper in your baking tray. We will use this to place the fish once it's cooked.
  13. We will cook 1 or 2 pieces of fish at a time, depends on the size of your pan / fryer. Taking the end of a piece of fish, place it in the batter and coat it well. Take it out of the batter and leave the excess to drip off, say for about 5 seconds. Then gently place it in the hot oil, and cook for 7 - 8 minutes until it becomes crispy and golden brown just like in the photos below. If the batter starts going brown too quickly, turn the temperature down a little.
  14. Place on the kitchen paper then keep warm in the oven, whilst you cook the other pieces of fish the same way and add to the oven.
  15. When you've finished cooking the fish, scoop out any bits of batter floating in the pan / fryer.
  16. Return the chips back to the fryer and cook for 3 minutes until they are brown and crispy. When done, drain off the excess oil (I use kitchen paper), and arrange, together with the fish on your newspaper & grease proof paper like in the photos below.
  17. Serve whilst still hot and crispy. Sprinkle some salt and shake some vinegar on your fish and chips and eat out of the paper with your fingers and ENJOY!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 991Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 208mgSodium: 896mgCarbohydrates: 96gFiber: 5gSugar: 6gProtein: 86g

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This post is part of Twinkl’s VE Day Campaign, and is featured in their Best Wartime Recipes to Celebrate VE Day from Home post

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85 thoughts shared

  1. When I make home made fish & chips I find when I have battered my fish I gently start lowering the fish in the fryer from one end of the fish and let the fish almost soufflé at one end before fully lowering the whole piece of fish into the oil, I find I get a crispier batter!

  2. Comment author image

    Maddie (Calgary)

    says:

    Used ginger ale for the fizzy and put the batter in the coldest part of the fridge for 15 mins while doing the chips – absolutely fabulous! Reminds me of the chippy back home. Thank you!

  3. Comment author image

    Valerie waddell

    says:

    Thank you for the recipe. Born in Scotland, haven’t been home for many years. Miss morning rolls and fish and chips.

  4. I can’t see all the instructions and lists of ingredients due to the bar on the left hand side. Usually there’s an x or something to remove it. Did I miss it? I’m still going to try this recipe ,it looks yummie.

  5. Nice recipe, the photos look authentic. It is worth noting that fish & chips haven’t been wrapped in recycled newspapers for may years here in the UK due to public health concerns although back in the 50s & 60s the newspaper wrappings did give you something to read while eating the contents.

  6. I can’t wait to try this !!! When I was a child (during WWII) there was a Fish& chip Shop newspaper & all, on Broad St.,Providence , R.I.,USA – I’ve never seen another ! & PLEASE no Tartar Sauce !!! A 4th. Generation English – American. Thanks.

  7. This was delicious!!! I’m on a low fodmap diet and used rockfish, King Arthur Gluten Free All Purpose flour, almond breeze and grape seed oil… as replacements for flour, milk and olive oil (Just because I had a big bottle of grape seed oil) I whipped up my homemade tartar sauce (Mayonnaise and green onion green part only) I will definately make it again.. My hubby loved it too..

  8. I tried this recipe, and will be doing it again for sure. Not only did the fish (I used frozen cod) fry up nicely, but I have never before made crispy chip.s Mine were always soggy. I think your tip on making sure they were completely dry before frying was spot-on. And I never would have thought about returning them to the fryer after the fish was done. My new favorite recipe!

  9. Help please! I made the batter exactly as listed but it was more like bread dough before the beer. Is that normal? I added more milk and water but then it was to soupy so I added more flour then the beer. Whiting fish had great texture after being cooked, crunchy but very oily and not much flavor. Temperature in electric skillet was 350 for first batch then 400 for second. Didn’t make a difference. Any recommendations?

  10. Thank you. When I posted, my screen refreshed and there was the recipe! We had it for suooer and it was great. Even my brother liked it and he is not fond of beer or fish.

    1. That’s great Diana! Always nice to hear everyone enjoying the recipes. Just so you know for future, all of our recipes have a recipe card at the bottom of the post, so if ever you need to print, just scroll down there. If you get stuck, please do shout up and I’ll be happy to help.
      Have a lovely Sunday :)

  11. There is no print friendly button to be seen! And if I use my print button on the right of my tool bar, I get all the pictures!

    1. Hi Diana, If you scroll to the bottom, you will see a recipe card with just the ingredients and instructions and 1 small picture. To the top right of the recipe card is the print button and that will print only the recipe card and nothing else. Hope that helps!

  12. Thank you for your post. The fish sounds so good and I can hardly wait to try it. I am renting a house in Ecuador from a lady who lives in the UK. I asked her if she had a good fish and chips recipe, but she did not, so I was delighted to see yours on Pinterest. She has a deep fryer in the house I am renting so I thought fish and chips would be terrific.

    1. Hi Joyce. That sounds absolutely wonderful! I must say I haven’t ever visited Ecuador although I’ve heard some wonderful things about the country and would love to visit one day. I think you wil have to take a photo of your fish and chips and send to your land lady. I think she would be delighted!!

      Thanks so much for writing in and enjoy your fish and chips!