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how to make perfect fish and chips

The Scallop Shell in Bath was named Independent Fish & Chip Restaurant of the Year at the National Fish & Chip Awards in January. Here chef-owner Garry Rosser reveals the secrets behind the quintessential British takeaway

The perfect potato to chip is the Agria. In its raw state it has a lovely golden colour and when it’s cooked it goes a light golden brown.

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The chunkier the chip better. We have the biggest chip block you can buy but thicker chips will take longer to cook, so it depends how long you want to wait for your food!

If you’re frying chips at home, treat them like roast potatoes. Instead of double frying them as we do, you should blanch them in salted water, drain in a colander and allow them to steam dry thoroughly, then fry in hot oil at 175C. They’ll be lovely every time.

Fry the chips in what you like the taste of. Good-quality oil is everything: don’t take the cheap option! Good vegetable oil, corn oil, nut oil, rapeseed oil are all good. You can even mix and match oils to get the perfect
flavour combination you want. I’d love to fry in dripping but we have a lot of vegetarians in the restaurant so in reality it wouldn’t be fair!

When it comes to the fish, fresh is best, and I mean fresh. It should have no fishy aroma. Good-quality, frozen-at-sea fish from MSC-certified vessels are also very good.

Batter doesn’t like time, warmth, or being over-whisked. After mixing, we leave our batter in the fridge for 20 minutes to let the gluten relax. More bubbles mean a lighter batter: beer, cider and carbonated water work well. When you hold up the whisk from the batter it should fall like a thread of single cream. thescallopshell.co.uk

Our trick for healthier fish and chips

Shallow frying the fish and baking rather than frying the chips makes our skinny fish and chips lighter so you can enjoy this delicious British takeaway classic without feeling too guilty. An easy, healthier way to enjoy a taste of British seaside!

Find our recipe for healthier fish and chips here


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