For Noah’s birthday last month, I faced my fear of hot oil and made some fish ‘n chips. It turned out really well, except we didn’t have any relish so my tartar sauce came out a bit weird. But, otherwise, yum! I decided to avoid the hassle of making homemade fries, so I just used frozen and fried ’em up in a pot.

fish ‘n chips


  • 3 qt safflower or peanut oil (or some other oil that can withstand high heat)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 (12-oz) bottle cold beer (preferably ale)
  • 1 1/2 lb haddock or cod fillets, skinned, pin bones removed, and fish cut diagonally into 1-inch-wide strips (5 to 6 inches long)
  • Special equipment: a deep-fat thermometer
  • Accompaniment: malt vinegar or tartar sauce


Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 250°F.

Sift 1 1/2 cups flour into a bowl, then whisk in beer gently until just combined. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Pat fish dry. Sprinkle fish on both sides with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, then dredge in remaining 1/2 cup flour, shaking off excess

Heat oil over moderately high heat until it registers 375°F.

Coat 4 pieces of fish in batter, 1 at a time, and slide into oil as coated. Fry coated fish, turning over frequently, until deep golden and cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet and keep warm in lower third of oven, then fry remaining fish in batches of 4, returning oil to 375°F between batches.

Season fish and chips with salt.

*The tartar sauce I made was a mixture of mayo, lemon juice, chopped onion, salt, pepper and if I had had some, relish. You can also just eat your fish with malt vinegar or some other condiment instead, too.