Fish & chips is a very popular take away food prepared with breaded fish and potato chips. This dish is quite famous in restaurants in United Kingdom. Fish chips is a dish that is well-liked in almost all ethnicities with some or no variations.
The deep-fried slabs of potato chips and fish fillets are served together to make a great take away food that is also called ‘fish chips’. This food is immensely popular in UK that even competitions are organized to award the ‘best fish and chips shop’.
The tradition and culture of the Roman Catholics also influence the consumption of fish chips largely. Roman Catholics, usually don’t eat meat on Fridays and especially on the occasion of ‘Lent’. During that time fish is substituted with the meat and this leads to the increased consumption of fish & chips on Fridays.
History and Origin of Fish Chips
Fish & chips is closely associated with UK and Ireland and UK is considered the place of origin of this popular dish. During World War II, the Fish chips recipe became quite popular in ‘Faroe Island’ and it was in the year 1940. The first shop for fish chips was opened in 1860 in the city of London that was owned by a Jewish person.
Samuel Issac was the man who first introduced the ‘fish restaurant’ 1896 and use to sell ‘fish & chips’ in his restaurant along with tea and bread.
Ingredients Prescribed by Fish Chips Recipe
Fish is evidently the main component of fish & chips. Usually, Cod fish is used in the Fish chips recipe, but often haddock, snapper and plaice may be used. Chips are made with the potatoes. The thickness of the potato varies between different recipes. Few recipes include French fries, whereas some recipes contain thick slabs of fried potato.
Crispiness is provided to the fish fillet with the help of batter and breadcrumbs. Batter is usually prepared with water and flour. In few variations, water is substituted with beer or milk. These liquids provide a light texture to the batter. Either ‘Lager’ or ‘Stout’ beer may be used. Beer batter is lighter due to the presence of carbon-di oxide. In the batter prepared with water, little vinegar and baking soda is added to offer bubbles and lightness.
Vegetable oil or beef dripping is commonly used for frying purpose in fish chips recipe.
Various accompaniments are also served along with fish & chips that include usually vinegar, chili peppers and garlic.
Method of Preparation of Fish Chips
Fish & chips is essentially prepared with deep-frying method. Conventionally, beef-drippings are used to fry the fish & chips, but in modern methods peanut oil is used due to high smoking point.
Potatoes are cut either into slabs or in the shape of fries. Potato slabs are the actual chips that are traditionally served with fish and takes lesser time in cooking than fries.
Fish & chips require a batter that is used to coat the fish fillets. The batter is prepared by mixing the ingredients with perfect combination of water or beer with flour. Batter dipped fish is then coated with breadcrumbs and deep-fried in oil.
Serving and Eating of Fish & Chips
Fish & chips are largely sold as take away food. It can also be prepared easily at home and served as snacks or leisure food. In UK, fish chips vendors sprinkle some salt and vinegar over the fish and the chips while serving the dish. The dish often includes mushy peas as an accompaniment.
The one most commonly served accompaniment for fish & chips is the “scrumps”. Scrumps are the crispy pieces of batter that comes out from the fish while frying. Another companion for the dish is “sottensauce”. It is a combination of salt and sauce that is typically served in Edinburgh. Tartar sauce and tomato sauce are the other two main sauces served with fish & chips. These two sauces are usually packed in loose plastic bags and sold with the take away food. In some parts of the world, lemon wedges are also served in the dish.
Health Facts Related to Fish Chips Recipe
Though fish and potatoes are healthy foods, but deep-fried versions are not suitable for everyday consumption. The deep-frying absorbs all the essential nutrients present in these two vital components. Even the accompaniments served along with fish chips are not quite healthy. Excess salt and vinegar are not beneficial for people having heart problems. With all these negative health facts associated with it, the dish should be consumed leisurely, but in moderation.