Fish & Chips are one of the things I grew up eating in Singapore, and one of my favourite guilty pleasures. Cod is my all time favourite fish for fish & chips, although it is seldom that one gets that luxury, therefore I am using Halibut fillets instead. Halibut, although a lean, white fleshed fish, has a nice gentle flavour.
In this particular recipe, I had actually trimmed the two ends of a whole fillet of Halibut, and used those two trimmings to make the fish & chips. The trimmed fillet, I used to make this pan-seared dish below, but I felt it looked too ugly, and so I will redo the plating before sharing the recipe.
Easy Light & Crispy Beer Battered Fish & Chips Recipe
150g pieces of halibut fillet
1 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tbsp corn starch
1/2 tsp salt
a couple of turns of pepper
1 medium sized potato
- Pat halibut fillet(s) dry with kitchen napkins, and leave them to rest on 2 layers of new dry kitchen napkins.
- Trim off the round ends of the potato, and then cut up into evenly sized fries.
- Place potatoes on a tray, and bake at 180deg for 30mins. Watch the heat, be careful not to char the potatoes. We want them to be gently cooked through and dehydrated in the process.
- Set baked fries aside to cool.
Mix the batter ingredients together in a bowl and stir until batter is mostly smooth. The consistency should be like a creamy chowder soup.
Most deep-fried battered recipes require you to dust the ingredient before dipping into the batter. This helps the wet batter to stick onto the ingredient. However, if you dry the surface ingredient enough, the dusting step is not required. The result is a thinner crust.
Place the halibut fillets into the batter and coat both sides. Let them rest in the batter for now.
This is where the show begins. From this point on, everything will happen quickly, and be very time and temperature sensitive. There is little room for error. Focus.
Heat vegetable oil in a small pan/wok, it should be at least 2-3cm deep. Being able to submerge the ingredient completely is ideal, but not required.
When you start to see the oil giving off smoke, it’s time. Turn the heat down to low immediately.
Immediately, flip the halibut fillets in the batter again to coat one last time before placing them gently into the oil. You should see large vigorous bubbles.
If you’re shallow frying, the surface of the halibut should be exposed. This is optional, but for extra crispy crust, spoon and drizzle some of the batter over the exposed surface. This is a trick that the Japanese use in Tempura frying.
After about 30 seconds, increase heat back to high, and flip over the fillets to fry the other side. The color of the crust should be light golden at this stage.
30 seconds later, drop heat back to medium-low, flip the fillets again, this time we want to finish the crust with a little bit of browning and also ensure that the fish is cooked through. Fry for another 30 seconds or so.
Remove fish and place on kitchen napkins.
You can relax now.
We’ll fry the chips now, they will take just a minute. Turn up heat back to medium, and let the oil heat up for 10 seconds.
Take pale-looking baked fries, and gently fry them in the oil. You should observe medium-sized, more gentle bubbles.
Fry until the fries look golden brown, be careful not to burn them. This should take no more than a minute.
Remove fries and place them together with the fish, plate and serve with tartar sauce / mayonnaise.