I cannot remember a time when Fish & Chips were not on our family menu. My Mum and Dad bought a piece of land on the beachfront in Australia right after they were married, so as children we would spend many a weekend at the beach. Dad would always take us out fishing, where we would catch dinner most nights. Moving to America, I have been lucky to live in the Northwest, where we also have access to fresh fish – although not quite as fresh as back home.
This recipe is how Mum always prepared our fish. Dad would be responsible for cleaning and filleting the fish, then Mum would take over the preparations. We would start out with three bowls. One with flour, seasoned with salt and pepper. The next with an egg and milk mixture. The last with breadcrumbs. These days we use rice flour and gluten free breadcrumbs with the same delicious results.
Mum uses this breaded recipe for all types of fish. Typically, they would catch whiting and flathead. I can’t buy those types of fish here in America, so I lean towards cod. Cod is commonly found in the fish and chips shops, which line the popular beaches in Australia, so it’s pretty close to an authentic fish & chip shop experience. But I’ve also made this with tilapia and rock fish.
First, you take a fillet of fish and dip it into the flour mixture. I like to flour all my fillets at once, as the next step gets pretty messy. It saves a few hand washes!
Next, the fish is dipped into the egg and milk mixture. Lift the fish out and dip it into the breadcrumbs. Place the breaded fish onto a clean plate. You can prepare the fish an hour or two before you cook the fish. Just cover the breaded fish fillets and place them in the refrigerator until you are ready to pan fry the fish.
While you are preparing the fish, you can also start preparing the fries. Peel and cut 4 russet potatoes into thin strips. Put the cut chips into a bowl and cover with cold water for at least 30 minutes, or up to 3 hours. The chips are going to take longer than the fish to cook, so you’ll need to start baking them at least 30 minutes before you cook the fish. Alternatively, you can deep fry the chips! I prefer oven baked chips.
To cook the fish, heat enough oil to cover the base of a large frying pan. The oil needs to be very hot, so you need an oil which can withstand high temperatures. I use canola oil. If you drop some breadcrumbs into the hot oil, you will know it’s hot enough when it sizzles. Cooking the fish takes only a few minutes, so make sure the rest of your meal is ready for serving.
Place 2-3 fillets into the frying pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until the bottom is a golden brown color. Flip the fish, and fry for another 1-2 minutes. Remove from the frying pan and place the fish on a plate with paper toweling, to absorb some of the fat. Continue cooking until all of the fish is cooked.
We typically serve fish & chips with lemon wedges and tartar sauce (known as tartare sauce in Australia). I also remember getting salt & vinegar at some fish shops in Australia, so it’s another thing you might like to try.
- 4 large cod fillets, cut in half
- 1/2 cup flour or rice flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 eggs
- 4 tablespoons milk
- 1-2 cups breadcrumbs
- oil for frying
- 4 large russet potatoes
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- salt for seasoning
- Lay out 3 bowls. In one bowl, combine the flour, salt and pepper. In the second bowl, beat the egg with the milk. In the third bowl, add the breadcrumbs.
- Take one cod fillet and coat it in the flour mixture. Dip the floured cod in the egg mixture then coat the cod in the breadcrumbs. Place on a plate and repeat until all fillets are covered with flour, egg and breadcrumbs.
- Over high heat, heat enough oil to cover the base of a large frying pan. Allow the oil to get very hot - if you drop a breadcrumb in the oil, it will sizzle.
- Place 2-3 cod fillets in the oil and cook for 1-3 minutes. Flip, and cook for a further 1-2 minutes.
- Remove from the frying pan, and place on paper toweling.
- Peel the russet potatoes and cut into long thin strips.
- Place the cut potato into a large bowl and cover with water for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 400 and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper with cooking spray.
- Drain the water. Add the oil and salt to the bowl and toss until the potatoes are covered.
- Layer the chips on the parchment paper in a single layer. If desired, lightly salt the chips again.
- Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until golden.