How To Make a Classic Fish And Chips From Scratch

It’s national fish and chips day! We’re celebrating with a plate of homemade fish and chips, using Jolly’s oak smoked haddock fillets. We’re sticking with the classic fish and chips today, but check out our other recipe for oatcake crumble fish and chips if you’re in the mood for something a little different.


For the fish:

  • Pair of oak smoked haddock fillets
  • 7 tablespoons (55 grams) all-purpose flour, divided
  • 7 tablespoons (55 grams) cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup dark beer, cold
  • 1/3 cup sparkling water, cold
  • (to taste) Sea salt
  • (to taste) 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper

For the Chips:

  • 2 pounds potatoes, peeled
  • 1 quart (1 litre) vegetable oil, or lard, for frying


  1. Set aside two tablespoons of flour for coating the fish later, and then add the rest into a large mixing bowl. Mix in the cornstarch and baking powder. With a tiny pinch of salt and pepper, season lightly.
  2. Add the beer and the sparkling water to the flour mixture, using a fork to mix continuously. Keep going until you have a batter that is thick and smooth. Then, place the batter in the fridge for between 30 minutes and an hour for the best results.
  3. In the meantime, you can move into the chips. Slice the potatoes into 1/2-inch-thick slices, then slice these into 1/2-inch-wide chips. Once cut, move the chips into a colander and run them under cold water.
  4. Starting with the water in the pot cold, drop in the chips and bring them to a gentle boil and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. Once done, move the chips back into the colander and then dry thoroughly with paper towels. Taking the time to dry potatoes will help with the crispness later on.
  6. Time to prep the fish! Lay the haddock fillets on a paper towel and pat dry.
  7. Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer or large, deep saucepan to 180c. Cook the chips a few handfuls at a time in the fat for about 2 minutes, but be careful not to brown them. We are only wanting to slightly cook them at this point. Once done, remove them from the oil and put to the side.
  8. Place the flour you reserved from the batter into a shallow bowl and coat the haddock fillets.
  9. Once the haddock is coated, get the batter from the fridge and dip the fillets into it. It’s key to move from the batter to the oil quickly (but carefully!) to get the crisp covering.
  10. Ensure the oil is still at 180c and then carefully lower each fillet into the hot oil. You should fry for around 8 minutes, or until the batter is golden and crisp. Turn the fillets from time to time with a large slotted spoon.
  11. After 8 minutes, or when you’re happy with the colour, remove the fish and drain on a paper towel. It’s key to keep your fish hot, so cover them with greaseproof paper.
  12. Heat the oil up to 200c for the chips. Cook for around 5 minutes or until they are golden brown. Remove from the oil and drain, season with salt and serve!

Enjoy your homemade classic fish and chips hot with your condiment of choice.

Top tips for the recipe

  • Swap out the sparkling water and dark beer for Coke or Pepsi for a no-alcohol version.
  • Be sure to use the freshest fish you can for the best taste.
  • Use floury potatoes for the chips, such as King Edward or Maris Pipers for the chips.
  • To avoid soggy chips, ensure your potatoes are totally dry before frying and that your oil is at the right temperature. Too cool and the chips will need to cook longer, allowing more time for them to soak up the oil.
  • Serve with a wedge of lemon for that restaurant touch.
May 27, 2022
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