Perfect Fish and Chips

When I was working in London and touring England as a principal dancer with English National Ballet, we used to love to tour to Bradford, not only for the beauty of the place but for the BEST fish and chips take away place (apparently in the whole of England!) I cannot for the life of me remember what the name of this place was named, unfortunately, but the Fish and chips were FANTASTIC!

Ever since then I have been wanting to find the best way of making the batters they have so fantastically accomplished in England over the years and the recipe below is pretty close in my opinion. I am definitely making this again, so hope you enjoy it everyone.



  • 1 1/2 pounds sole fillet, skinned
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt and white pepper
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Oil for frying


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 3/4 cup beer
  • 1 egg white
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pinch granulated sugar
  • 4 large russet potatoes


  1. Fish: Wash fish filets in lemon and water.
  2. Season with salt and pepper. Chill while you prepare the batter.
  3. Batter: Sprinkle yeast over warm water. Let stand until dissolved.
  4. Place flour in a bowl with the salt and sugar and make a well in the center. Add the dissolved yeast, oil and 2/3 of the beer and stir with a wooden spoon just to combine. Stir in remaining beer.
  5. Let the batter stand, covered, in a warm place 30 to 35 minutes, until it has thickened and becomes frothy.
  6. Dry fish with paper towels and cut each fillet diagonally in 2 pieces.
  7. Slice the potatoes with the skin on. Place in a large bowl with cold water.
  8. Heat the oven to warm.
  9. Stir together remaining flour, pepper and salt in a plate. Heat the oil.
  10. Whip egg white until it forms soft peaks and fold it into the batter.
  11. Coat fish with seasoned flour, patting so they are evenly coated. Shake off excess flour.
  12. Using a 2 pronged fork dip the fish in the batter. Lift it out and hold it over the bowl 5 seconds to drip off excess batter.
  13. Carefully lower the piece of fish into the hot oil and deep fry, turning once until golden brown and crisp.
  14. Fry 1 or 2 pieces at a time, transferring to paper towels as you go.
  15. Keep warm in the oven until all fish is done, or until you finish frying the potatoes.
  16. Drain potatoes thoroughly, removing any excess water. When oil reaches 320 degrees F, submerge the potatoes in the oil. Working in small batches, fry for 2 to 3 minutes until they are pale and floppy.
  17. Remove from oil, drain, and cool to room temperature.
  18. Increase the temperature of the oil to 375 degrees F.
  19. Re-immerse fries and cook until crisp and golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  20. Remove and drain on roasting rack.
  21. Season with kosher salt and serve with fish, lemons and tartar sauce immediately.

From the kitchen of Martin James, Copenhagen, Denmark