Dripping or oil, for frying 400g
plain flour, put in the freezer for 15 minutes before using
3tsp baking powder
550ml very cold beer
4 pieces of sustainable white fish (I used Pollock)
- Heat the fat in a deep-fat fryer or chip pan to 185C. Whisk the baking powder into the chilled flour, along with ½ tsp salt, and then quickly whisk in the cold beer until you have a thick paste and your vinegar. This needs to be done just before you cook the fish.
- Position the bowl next to the fryer or pan. Have a plate lined with kitchen paper ready. Dip your fish into the batter and then carefully lower it into the hot fat, and agitate the frying basket to prevent the fish sticking to it. This will also give the batter a more interesting texture. Do these one or two pieces at a time: don’t overcrowd the fryer.
- Cook the fish for about 4–6 minutes, depending on size, keeping a watchful eye on it; it should be crisp and golden. Lift out of the fat and drain on kitchen paper then serve immediately.
Is battered fish an art best left to the professionals, or can you beat the efforts of your local chippie? Which recipe do you use, and what fish do you honor with it? And can anyone suggest a good recipe for proper mushy peas?