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Super Crispy Fish and Chips - learn the secret ingredient that makes a crisp batter.

Super Crispy Fish and Chips

Super Crispy Fish and Chips - after years of experimenting I've perfected my homemade version of fish and chips that uses part rice flour in the batter recipe for guaranteed crunch.
Course Dinner
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Barry C. Parsons

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of boneless skinned cod fillets
  • canola oil or peanut oil for deep frying

For the Fish Batter

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten
  • 2 1/4 cups cold soda water or beer

For the Lime and Caper Tartar Sauce

  • 1 cup plain mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp chopped capers
  • 2 tsp sweet pickle relish
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp chopped lime zest
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • pinch black pepper

Instructions

To prepare the fish batter

  1. Combine dry ingredients.
  2. Add the egg and soda water and whisk together just until the liquid is incorporated. Small umps in the batter are not a problem.
  3. Cut the fish into about 8 pieces. Season the fish with salt and pepper on both sides.
  4. Dredge the fish pieces in additional rice flour to help the batter stick to the fillets. Dip the pieces into the batter and carefully drop them into canola oil filled deep fryer that has been preheated to 375 degrees F.
  5. Fry for a few minutes, about 5 is fine depending on the thickness of the fillets; just until golden brown on both sides. Drain on a wire rack placed over a cookie sheet. Serve immediately.
  6. If you have to fry the fish in more than one batch at a time, hold the fish in a 200 degree F oven on the draining rack to provide air circulation all the way around the fried fish pieces to prevent the fish from getting soggy.

To prepare the Lime and Caper Tartar Sauce

  1. Stir all ingredients together until well blended.
  2. Let sit in the fridge for an hour or more to let the flavors meld before serving with the fried fish.

Recipe Notes

Although this recipe calls for 2 pounds of fish it can probably easily do twice that amount if fish. Feel free to halve the recipe if you like. I think I'd still use the whole egg, but maybe cut the soda water or beer back a little bit to compensate. You can add a little more of the soda water/beer if it the batter seems too thick. Let the consistency of the final better be your guide.


In response to a question about batter sticking to the bottom of the deep fryer basket, I've added this note. Thanks to Rob for reminding me to add this tip. 


I use the same trick they use in the fish and chips shops. Don’t just drop the fish immediately into the oil, take a few seconds with each piece. Get a good grasp on one corner of the piece and almost submerge it up to the point where the tongs or your fingers are hold in the piece of fish. Being very careful not to burn yourself, sway the fish back and forth in the oil for about 5-10 seconds before dropping it completely into the il. This gives it a few seconds for the outside crust to set and it wont be able to seep into the metal grating that forms the basket.