Best Fish for Fish and Chips Recipe

Being Irish, I have tasted, what I thought was Ireland’s National treat a few times then found out it was actually Great Britain’s claim to fame, but the fish was always another mystery to me and others worldwide that enjoyed it. What is the best fish for fish and chips recipe?

  • Traditionally Great Britain uses cold-water white fish from the North Atlantic mostly
  • cod, haddock, & rock salmon
  • Ireland- white fish like pollock, hake or coley, plaice, skate, & ray
  • US- depending on the region, flounder, tilapia, cod, catfish, & salmon
  • India-pomfret
  • Australia-rock cod, shark, snapper


On the way home from the Pub just stop at a food truck or an establishment that sells traditional Fish n Chips- the vendor lays pages of newspaper out in front of you. They dump a scoop of chips in the center. Top the mound with a crisply battered piece of white fish like haddock or battered piece of cod as is more usual. Shake a large dose of salt over it. Then they will drench in malt vinegar.

The History of Fish and Chips


There is the various opinion on who developed the first Fish & Chip meal. Some people say that businessman whose name was John Lees. As early as 1863, it is believed he was selling fish and chips out of a wooden hut at the Mossley market in industrial Lancashire which is known as the birthplace of Great Britain’s Industrial Revolution.  The first Fish & Chip shop in the North of England is thought to have opened in Mossley, near Oldham, Lancashire, around 1863.

Mr. Lees sold fish and chips from a wooden hut in the market and later he transferred the business to a permanent shop across the road which had the following inscription in the window, that his shop was the very first “This is the first fish and chip shop in the world”.

Another opinion said a Jewish immigrant, Joseph Malin, opened the first recorded combined fish-and-chip shop in London in 1860. He pioneered the concept in the North of England, in Mossley, in 1863. Fish and Chips became hugely popular as people open the front of their homes and sold the treat during the Industrial Revolution the worker’s fast became the favorite and a staple of the diet of Great Britain.


What are Fish and Chips


Fish and chips are a meal served hot consisting of fried fish in batter served with chips. The dish originated although developed in England spread fast through Great Britain. It is an example of culinary fusion, as its two main components were introduced by immigrants.

Using fish from the North Atlantic was carried by Steam Trawlers and delivered fresh throughout the country with the help of the newly developed Steam Railways. With the new inventions, fish could be brought to ports as far as Iceland and Greenland and delivered to the ports of England, and loaded onto the railway system reaching all parts of Great Britain.

Fish in the traditional recipe, cold-water fish found in the North Atlantic like cod, haddock, and sometimes flounder are used to make fish and chips. Of these, cod is by far the most popular. Other fish with white meat can be used as well, for example, whiting or plaice. Many places that serve fish and chips use more than one kind of fish. British call French fries just fries, and thicker-cut fries that come from a chip shop are called chips.

The Batter is made from milk or beer. The type of beer can alter the taste. Traditional frying uses beef dripping or lard; however, vegetable oils, such as palm peanut oil now predominate. A minority of vendors in the North of England and Scotland, and the majority of vendors in Northern Ireland, still use dripping or lard,

Salt or Vinegar, Tarter Sauce, and Lemon Wedge can be added.


This video is Gordon Ramsey 10 minute special recipe for Fish and Chips



National competitions are held throughout the Country to determine the very best of the nation’s Fish n Chip recipe and a crowned King or Queen whose recipe is judged by the Independent Newspaper in England

Cod or haddock? Salt? Vinegar? However you like it, fish and chips fans everywhere take note: one British chippie is soon to be crowned the king of the nation’s proudest culinary combo.

Spanning entrants nationwide, 60 of the UK’s top fish and chip shops are ‘battering’ it out to claim the title of Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year, part of a recent National Fish & Chips Awards organized by Seafish.  A public body that supports the seafood industry in the UK. Find out more about who we are, what we do, and how we are funded.

On the golden question of quality, judges are looking for fish that is “firm and flaky, succulent, free of bones, not too oily and white in color”, whilst chips are to be “crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside and cooked right through”. The best batter is “crispy, even-colored, covering the whole fish, not too greasy and free of any carbon particles”. (According to the British newspaper Independent)


British Fish and Chips


In Britain and Ireland, cod and haddock appear most commonly as the fish used for fish and chips, but vendors also sell many other kinds of fish, especially other white fish, such as pollock, hake or coley, plaice, skate, and ray (particularly popular in Ireland); and huss or rock salmon all very sustainable in the area.

The fish fillets are dipped in a flour batter that includes both dark beer and sparkling water, and the carbonation ensures a light, crispy fried fish. The “chips” are simply freshly cut fried potatoes. Salt and Vinegar are added and the whole meal is wrapped in newspaper shaped like a cone. This was done so that the patron could eat the meal on the go.


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Irish Fish and Chips


Fish and Chips now is considered a universal dish and are popular worldwide. In Ireland, the first fish and chips were sold by an Italian immigrant, Giuseppe Cervi, who mistakenly stepped off a North American-bound ship at Queenstown in County Cork in the 1880s and walked all the way to Dublin. He started by selling fish and chips outside Dublin pubs from a handcart. He then found a permanent spot on Great Brunswick Street.

In Britain and Ireland, fish and chip shops traditionally use a simple water and flour batter, adding a little sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and a little vinegar to create lightness, as they react to create bubbles in the batter. The Batter can be made from beer or milk that substitutes for water but the fish are normally the same as the British use. The fish used is also from the cold water of the North Atlantic, particularly whiting, skate, ray,  Pollack,  haddock, and cod.

  • In the United States -the type of fish used depends on availability in a given region. Some common types are cod, halibut, flounder, tilapia, or, in New England, Atlantic cod or haddock. Salmon on the West Coast and Catfish in the South.
  • In Australia- Reef, and Rock Cod
  • India– the dish is usually based on pomfret fish and uses chili paste

I’ve had Fish and Chips in fine Irish and British restaurants in the States and was told that unlike street vendors and lower-class establishments Haddock is the fish that most chefs prefer for fish and chips. The texture isn’t as flaky or tender as cod but the meat of Haddock has more flavor. Haddock has a slight sweetness that stands up well with the buttery flavor of a well-made batter.


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   JimGalloway Author/Editor

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