Chances are, if you're anything like us, you probably gave up on trying to recreate that unbeatable fish and chips taste at home a long while back. After those limp chips and that burnt fish, you probably took solace at your local chippy and haven't regained the courage since.
Well chin up, we've spoken to Luke Robinson, executive chef at London-based seaside restaurant Bonnie Gull, who has shared his guide to making the perfect fish and chips right in your kitchen. Read and learn and save some for us.
In order to deep fry at home you can either buy a cheap home fryer, or use a thick based pan and thermometer. Never leave a chip pan unattended and don't over fill the oil as it will bubble up to twice the height when you add food.
2 large Maris Piper potatoes per person
Peel and cut the potatoes into chips with the dimensions of your thumb about 1-1/2 cm wide on each side.
Boil the potatoes in clean cold water until cooked and starting to crack and fall apart, drain and leave to steam in a large colander.
Now fry the chips for 10 minutes at 140°C in rapeseed oil. Drain the chips in a large colander.
The chips require cooking at 180 °C for about 4/5mins in order to crisp up. We do this in beef dripping at the restaurant.
Beer 275 ml (use a lager such as Meantime London lager)
Plain Flour, 170g
Fresh yeast, 27g
1 x 6-8oz haddock fillet per person, de-boned
Rapeseed oil, 4 litres
Whisk the yeast into the beer in a large metal bowl, now slowly whisk in the flour until the batter reaches a consistency that coats your fingers but drips off at the same time. You may need a little more flour - it's all about the consistency.
Now in the deepest cooking pot that you have, preferably with a solid thick base, place 4 litres of rapeseed oil. You want to get the oil to 180 °C so use a digital thermometer, or if you don't have one you can test the oil by dripping in a little batter and once it fries and browns off you are ready to go.
Season and flour the haddock, dip it in the batter to get a good coating. If the yeast has activated and the batter is very thick and not running off, give it a whisk and let it down with a splash of water.
Now carefully place the large end of the fish in the oil and jiggle the fish around to agitate the batter this will help with making a very crispy batter, once the thicker end starts to float up, drop the tail end into the oil. The fish should take about 4 minutes to cook.
Once cooked drain thoroughly in a sieve and season with sea salt.
This will give you a very crispy light batter delicious, it's also worth sieving out the scraps of batter and serving these on top of the fish for extra crunchiness.
225g of marrow fat peas soaked in plenty of cold water over night with 2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
A few drops of green food colouring
Bring the marrow fat peas to the boil in enough water to cover, simmer for 30mins with the green colouring. Once the peas are soft and mushy, season with salt and pepper and stir in the butter.
Good quality mayonnaise. 250g
Lilliput capers. 2 tbsp
Cornichon. 2 tbsp. finely chopped
2 banana shallots. peeled and finely chopped
1 bunch of parsley. chopped
1 bunch of chervil. chopped
A few blades of tarragon. chopped
The juice and zest of half a lemon
2 eggs boiled, peeled and chopped
Mix everything together and adjust the seasoning if required
Bonnie Gull Seafood Cafe is open seven days a week, for lunch and six days a week for dinner. Brunch is served at weekends. It's based at 55-57 Exmouth Market, London EC1R 4QL.