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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89 thoughts shared

  1. “In Britain, these bits are known as ‘scraps’ and you can often get them for free from the chippy to eat with chips.”

    Depends where you are! They’re scraps in Lancashire, but cross the border into Yorkshire and they’re known as “bits”.

    1. Comment author image

      Lovefoodies

      says:

      Hey Lukas! It’s funny you should say that! I lived in Yorkshire for 15 years in various places, and they were always called scraps back then. Maybe things have changed. It was 30+ years ago!!

    2. Comment author image

      Kathleen Gavin

      says:

      I live in Yorkshire for almost 30 years. The best fish n chips in the world can be found in almost every area. Never have I heard scraps referred to as bits.
      I now live in on the Wirral, Merseyside and have to travel miles to find a chippie which compares with any in Yorkshire. If anyone knows of one please let me know.

  2. Isn’t the first chip par-fry supposed to be done in lower-temperature oil (normally 150–160°C/300–320°F)? The recipe says to use 180°C/350°F for the first fry, but then says to “increase” the oil heat to 180°C/350°C for the fish and second fry, which is no increase at all. Is the 180C for the first par-fry a typo? Also, sounds like you don’t recommend blanching the chips before both frying sessions. Any qualitative difference in your opinion? Cheers!

    1. Comment author image

      Lovefoodies

      says:

      Hi Daron, thanks for writing in. The temperature is correct. What happens is when you have done the chips first time, the temperature of the oil drops so you need to get it back up to 180c ready for the fish otherwise, if the oil is not hot enough, the batter will absorb a lot of oil and will be very greasy.
      Because we’re double frying the chips, you don’t need to par boil first. There is a danger they will fall apart if par boiled so I wouldn’t advise and if you are double frying, they will be absolutely crispy delicious anyway so no need to do another step with par boiling. (We do recommend par boiling for roasted potatoes though).
      Oh, and if you do use a lower temperature for your chips for the first fry, such as 150c, I find again, the oil isn’t hot enough and the chips tend to absorb too much oil as opposed to letting hot oil (at 180) hit the surfaces of the chips and give them a good start to a crispy coating.
      Hope I’ve managed to explain it for you!

  3. 5 stars
    I made this dish for the first time using tilapia and it came out amazing! Would definitely make this again and recommend it to others!

    1. Hi, this look very delicious. What is fizzy water? We don’t drink beer, but I would love to make this recipe for my family, since they no longer have any Long John Silvers in Las Vegas.

  4. 5 stars
    This is my very first time cooking walleye and I was lucky to have fresh walleye! I followed the recipe to the T. I preferred the batter to be a litter thinner so I added a little more beer. I used Michelob Golden Light. The recipe was a hit with the family! I will be making it again for sure! Thank you!!!

  5. Comment author image

    pascal lemay

    says:

    I dont know about the 1 cup of flour in your recipe but it clearly need more liquid compare to the quantity of flour. I had to put way more beer and water

    1. Hey Pascal,
      You shouldn’t have needed to add any more liquid, so long as you added the milk, oil, water and beer. All those quantities combined will provide the right amount for the 1 cup of flour in the recipe. Perhaps you might have missed one of those ingredients and so you ended up having to add more liquid?

  6. Comment author image

    hoss mackinnon

    says:

    I have a fish & chip wagon and iam looking for a good recipe my batter has flour baking powder corn starch garlic salt onion salt white pepper salt dillweed turmic eggs campbells fish stock whireshire sauce and beer don’t know if I really needs all of this but it makes a good batter and people really likes it but I would like to know what is really a good batter mix

  7. 5 stars
    Look no further for beer battered fish and chips recipe! Mary has done the work for you! I cant count how many times I have made this, and making again tonight. BEST. FISH. EVER!!!

  8. 5 stars
    This was my first time frying fish. This recipe is a keeper!! The fish came out perfect. The batter is fantastic. This was better than some I’ve had in restaurants. Will definitely be making this again. Thanks for sharing!!!

  9. 5 stars
    I have made this delicacy before in ohio I use fresh cod but as I dislike vinegar I make tarter sauce also I prefer thin chips( fries) dislike thick the only british dish I like

  10. 5 stars
    I made this recipe for a Lord of the Rings dinner and it was easy to make and delicious!! I used onion rings with the same batter but used crinkle cut fries., my family loved it!

  11. The best fish and ship EVER! so good crispy crispy and crispy with tender fish I made it with fresh cod and it was the best I ever had thank for this recipe.