Fish & Chips // 1920s

Updated: May 10, 2020


Fish & chips. Is there really anything better? Fish & chips as we know it was introduced to Britain as a 'takeaway' food in the 1800's. By the 1930's there were over 35,000 fish and chip shops across the UK. And the rest, as they say, is history.
So why not try at frying your own fish & chips from the comfort of your own kitchen? Trust us, these 1920s recipes for 'potato chips' and 'fried fish in batter' will give your local chippie a run for their money!
Original Recipes: 'Potato Chips' & 'Fish Fried in Batter' (Book 4, 1928)
Speed: 40 mins. | Serves: 2-3

INGREDIENTS


For the batter

  • 1 small egg

  • 85g flour, plus around 8 tbsp extra

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 106ml warm water

  • Salt & pepper


For the fish

  • 450g plaice fillets (cod or haddock can be used as substitute)

  • 2 cups of flour

  • Salt & pepper


For the chips

  • 6 Large Maris Piper potatoes

  • Table salt & malt vinegar for the chips


To fry

  • 'Fat for frying' (we used vegetable oil); enough to cover your chips and battered fillets


Optional Extras

  • Gherkins

  • Pickled peppers and onions

  • Buttered Roll

METHOD


To make the batter


If possible, make the batter the night before you intend to use it and let stand overnight for better texture.


1. Put the flour, salt and pepper in a basin. Make a hollow in the centre of this and add the oil and egg, and two tablespoonfuls of the tepid water.


2. Stir in a little flour to form a paste and gradually add a little more water, continuing until all of the water is added. If you add the water all at once, the batter will be lumpy.


3. The batter is thick enough if it coats the back of a spoon.


To make the chips


4. Wash, peel and dry potatoes. Then, cut these into slices a quarter of an inch thick and cut each slice into strips of the same thickness, then lay them in a cloth.

5. Heat some deep frying fat (we used vegetable oil).


6. Put in half of the chips using a frying basket, if possible. If too many chips are put in at once the fat will be cooled and the chips will be soft and greasy. Fry quickly for about 10 minutes until a golden brown.


While they fry, prepare the fish - but keep your eye on these!


7. Turn onto a tin covered with kitchen roll to absorb the grease and keep these hot while frying the second batch.


8. Finally, sprinkle with salt and serve.


To prepare the fish


9. Mix together the four, salt and pepper in a basin.


10. Wash and dry the fillets of fish and then dip each one of them into the seasoned flour.


11. Then, dip the floured fillets into the batter, lifting them up and out with a skewer or fork and allow some of the batter to run off.


12. Heat the oil (if not already done so) to a high heat, and then drop the battered fillets gently into this. Fry for about 5 minutes on each side, or until a golden brown.


13. Drain on kitchen paper before serving with the chips.


'Serve in a hot dish on lace paper. Fillets of cod, haddock or huss may also be cooked in this way, or slices of skate or conger eel.'

Original Recipes for ‘Potato Chips' and 'Fried Fish In Batter'


'BOOK 4': Bestway Cookery Gift Book, 3rd Book (1928)

By: Best Way

Publisher: Offices of The “Best Way” Series (Fleetway House, Farringdon Street, London, E.C.4, England, U.K.)

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