Fish and chips


Preparation time

Cooking time
1 to 2 hours

Serves 4

By John Molnar
From Saturday Kitchen


For the mushy peas

  • 250g/9oz marrowfat peas
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • good pinch salt
  • small pinch ground white pepper
  • 50g/1¾oz butter
  • good splash malt vinegar

For the fish

  • 4 x 200g/7oz–225g/8oz boneless hake fillets
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • sunflower oil, for deep-frying

For the chips

  • 2kg/4lb 8oz Markies potatoes (or other floury potato, such as Maris Piper), peeled and cut into even-sized chips, rinsed and dried
  • salt and malt vinegar, to taste

For the tartare sauce

  • 200g/7oz good quality mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped baby capers
  • 2 large gherkins, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve

  • thick cut bread and butter
  • malt vinegar
  • salt


  1. To make the mushy peas, place the marrowfat peas in a large bowl and cover with cold water that goes at least 2 inches above the peas. Leave to soak for 24 hours.

  2. Rinse the peas well, then transfer to a saucepan with enough water to just cover. Add the bicarbonate of soda and bring to the boil over a medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 1–1½ hours, or until completely softened. Stir regularly and skim off any foam that rises to the surface.

  3. Season the mushy peas with salt and white pepper to taste, then add the butter and malt vinegar and keep warm.

  4. To make the fish, fill a deep-fat fryer or a large, deep, heavy-bottomed pan two-thirds full with the oil. Heat to 180C. CAUTION: Hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.

  5. Mix together the flour, salt and baking powder with enough water to make a batter the consistency of double cream. Dip the hake fillets into the batter, then fry for 4–6 minutes, until cooked through. Drain on kitchen paper.

  6. To make the chips, turn the deep-fat fryer down to 150C. Blanch the chips in the oil until soft but with minimal colour, then remove using a slotted spoon. You may need to do this in batches.

  7. Increase the heat of the oil to 180C and fry the chips again for 3 minutes, to colour and crisp. Drain on kitchen paper and season with malt vinegar and salt to taste.

  8. To make the tartare sauce, mix everything together in a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.

  9. Serve the fish, sprinkled with malt vinegar and salt, alongside the chips, tartare sauce and mushy peas.

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