Crispy Fish and Chips

For years we’ve been drooling over the photo in the Barefoot Contessa cookbook for fish and chips.  We’ve tried it a few times, but its never come out crispy.  Finally, my fish chef turned to the ultimate culinary authority, Youtube, for some guidance.  It turns out its the simplest recipe ever, but a very special technique for getting very crispy fried fish.  In fact, it was still fairly crispy the next day, perfect for yummy leftovers.

First, for the batter, combine approximately 3 cups of flour to 1 and a half bottles of beer (you may need less of both, this made fish for probably 6 people, or 2 people who didn’t feel great the next day…, not because of the beer but because we don’t normally ingest that much fried food in one sitting).  If you don’t have or want to use beer, apparently seltzer water has the same effect.  Make sure the batter is nice and thick, these measurements were not exact so just pour in the beer or seltzer until you get a good thick batter, but not too thick!  Put in your hot oil (we used olive).  I’m sure technically there’s a temperature this should be at, but the food should sizzle a bit when you put it in…  another tip I say is to put in the butt of a wooden spoon into the oil and the oil should bubble a bit around the wood.

Now here is the special technique- before you flip the fish, take a large serving spoon and fill with the hot oil and pour over the fish.  Apparently this is what gets it crispy, to start frying that side before you flip it.

For the chips, we julienned some sweet potatoes with the mandolin and fried those up plain, but we’d probably just baked them in the oven next time.

Into the batter went the green beans as well!

Good luck!

Crispy Fish and Chips - Crispy Fried Fish Recipe

Another tip, which we didn’t use here, is to crumble the paper towels into balls so the oil drains but doesn’t get the food soggy, which wasn’t really a problem with this recipe. 

Fried Green Beans
The batter works equally well with green beans, which my fish chef normally doesn’t like (crazy!) – they all disappeared.