For batter or worse

Your best recipes for fish and chip batter please.

I use this one

Yes, my one is almost identical except for the flour. Iuse french cake mix with the yeast already added. I also add a pinch of pepper.

Beer seems a popular addition, I just wondered if anyone had any other little tips

The temperature of the beer seems important.

Don’t use Guinness or stout! Someone gave us some which they found in Noz, and we don’t drink it so decided to try it in batter. Not a good idea!

Salt - pepper - flour - tumeric. Mix - use to flour the fish or whatever.

Put fish to side. Add beer or sparkling water - mix to batter.

Thanks for the beers warning Jane.

Yes Chris, turmeric (with the pepper) sounds ok.

I suppose the temperature of the oil/chip pan etc is also vital to a good result, a bit like Yorkie Puddings ?

I tried turmeric, and maybe the oil got too hot as tasted very bitter and not nice (and I like turmeric).

180C - or the old fashioned way bloody hot. Oh you can complicate it by worrying about flour type and bicarb/baking powder - makes no real difference - I add bicarb if I remember but again a pinch. 6 minutes.

Batter should be quite thick - runny you’ll get tempura which ain’t fish and chips. But play - you’ll find your own preference.

Obviously you’ve made the mushy peas overnight and shipped in the malt vinegar. Do not let sauce anywhere near the plate either - that’s why god gave us mushy peas.

Obviously spoon batter into the oil once the fish is going so you have scraps - if you make enough batter it justifies onion rings, steak and chips the next day.

Jane - the tumeric is a pinch - you shouldn’t taste it in itself - just a bit of depth of flavour in the batter. Its a later addition when I got posh- don’t think my mum or the chippy knew what tumeric was

I think the turmeric is for a bit of colour in the batter - it’s what they use to colour smoked haddock!

Where can I find mushy peas or equivalent in France ?

Grow them…

Someone will tell you the French equivalent - I bulk purchased dried marrowfat peas and imported them when they were on offer. Proper vinegar - brown sauce and marrowfat peas I place in the essential category.

Dried peas work - not quiet the same - but bicarb overnight - rinse well - boil for 20 minute’s ish - they start to form proper mushy peas after about 15 minutes - reduce heat and stir constantly or they’ll burn. They freeze well - but ideally freeze when they still need another 5 minutes cooking - otherwise its nearly impossible to heat them without burning.

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Actually haddock is dyed with E104 Quinoline yellow. Much better without in my view.

Finally (thanks to Jane Williamson) we found a place to get proper undyed smoked haddock.

Unfortunately it’s over 100km from us, so rarely in the neighbourhood. Instead we’ve worked out how to cold smoke haddock using our kettle barbecue and ot tastes great…

Sadly, some suppliers do; but a good traditional smokehouse - and there are quite a few of them - will still use turmeric.

125 g plain flour
1 sachet of levure chiminique (11 g baking powder)
Pinch salt
100 ml Water

Sieve flour and baking powder.
Add a little water and mix to a medium batter

Pass fish through seasoned flour and dip into batter

Fry fish in deep fat fried at 180 C

So how do they avoid flavouring the fish if they use Turmeric. It has quite a marked flavour don’t you think?

Same as any other flavourful ingredient, I should think: don’t overdo it! Bear in mind that the way it’s done here (I live close to Eyemouth and one of the UK’s major fish distributors), the end result is a faint colouring rather than a Hi-Viz finish - if that was what was wanted, you probably would taste it if turmeric were used, hence the flavourless E104.

I add vodka to the batter mix, vodka helps fried foods become crispy in a couple of different ways. Vodka is more volatile than water, it evaporates more quickly, which dries out the batter faster and more violently. That creates larger bubbles and even more surface area, in turn resulting in a much crispier crust.
Vodka also actively inhibits the production of gluten. By limiting gluten development, vodka gives a batter that can be mixed and subsequently used for far longer than a traditional batter, which will become doughier and heavier the longer it sits. I still prefer them from the local chippy.
Edited to add

  1. the alcohol burns off during cooking.
  2. I only use 2 or 3 tablespoons per batch.

Blimey, I can’t wait for the fish n’chip supper !