The ultimate makeover: Fish & chips

The ultimate makeover: Fish & chips

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(63 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 40 mins


Serves 4
Angela Nilsen takes the British favourite and gives it a lighter, healthier, and modern twist

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal649
  • fat27g
  • saturates4g
  • carbs64g
  • sugars4g
  • fibre7g
  • protein41g
  • salt0.87g
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    For the chips

    • 800g unpeeled, even-size Maris Piper or King Edward potato
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
      olive oil

      Olive oil

      ol-iv oyl

      Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

    For the peas

    • 300g frozen garden pea



      A type of legume, peas grow inside long, plump pods. As is the case with all types of legume,…

    • 1 tbsp olive oil
      olive oil

      Olive oil

      ol-iv oyl

      Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

    • 2 tsp lemon juice

    For the fish

    • 650g (approx) skinless haddock, hake or cod fillet from a sustainable source, cut into 4 equal-size pieces



      A white-fleshed salt water fish often compared with cod in flavour and texture. Found on the…

    • 50g self-raising flour, plus 1 tbsp
    • 50g cornflour
    • 1 egg white
    • 125ml ice-cold sparkling water
    • 1 lemon, cut into wedges



      Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

    • 600ml sunflower oil, for frying
      Sunflower oil

      Sunflower oil

      Sunflower oil is made from pressing sunflower seeds and extracting the oil. It's usually…


    1. Scrub the potatoes, cut into 1.5cm thick lengthways slices, then cut each slice into 1.5cm thick chips. Tip the chips into a large saucepan, pour in enough water to just cover, bring to the boil, then lower the heat and gently simmer for 4 mins only. Drain, tip onto a clean tea towel, pat dry, then leave to cool. Can be done 1-2 hrs ahead. Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Put a large shallow non-stick roasting tray in the oven with 1 tbsp olive oil and heat for 10 mins.

    2. Transfer the chips to a bowl and toss in the remaining oil using your hands. Tip out in a single layer onto the hot roasting tin. Bake for 10 mins, then turn them over. Bake 5 more mins, then turn again. Bake for a final 5-8 mins until crisp. Drain on paper towels.

    3. While the chips are in the oven, cook the peas in boiling water for 4 mins. Drain, then tip into the pan and lightly crush with the back of a fork. Mix in the oil, lemon juice and freshly grated pepper. Cover and set aside.

    4. The fish can also be cooked while the chips are in the oven. Pat the fillets dry with paper towels. Put the 1 tbsp of flour on a plate and use to coat each fillet, patting off the excess. Pour the oil for frying into a heavy, medium non-stick wok or wokshaped pan. Heat to 200C (use a thermometer so you can check the oil stays at that temperature). Mix 50g flour, cornflour, a pinch of salt and some pepper. Lightly whisk the egg white with a balloon whisk until frothy and bubbly, but not too stiff. Pour the water into the flour mix, gently and briefly whisking as you go. The batter shouldn’t be completely smooth. Add the egg white, then lightly whisk in just to mix. Try and keep as many bubbles as you can so the batter stays light. Cooking two pieces of fish at a time, dip them in the batter to coat, let some of it drip off, then lower into the hot oil using a slotted spoon. Fry for 5-6 mins, making sure the oil stays at 200C and turning the fish over halfway through so it is golden all over. Lift out with a slotted spoon, drain on kitchen paper. Check the oil is back up to 200C, then repeat with remaining fish. Reheat the peas and serve with the fish, chips and lemon wedges.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    10th Jun, 2020
    Really love this recipe - the batter is great, nice and light yet crisp. Bit of extra pepper in there goes a long way and having the sparkling water as cold as possible also really helps. The thought of oily peas doesn't really float my boat, so generally avoid them (blitzed with some butter and seasoning is all you need!)
    Tina Duffy Kerr's picture
    Tina Duffy Kerr
    18th Apr, 2020
    Lightly battered crispy fish, made even more delicious with homemade tartar sauce. If using defrosted frozen fish make sure that it is patted very dry before dusting with flour. The batter was very quick to make, and crisped beautifully. Will definitely be added to the Friday Night Dinner repertoire!
    26th May, 2017
    I can honestly say I found the batter dreadful. Long winded process for a mediocre batter. I have done many of her recipes and always been impressed but this one not so
    24th Oct, 2015
    The fish is amazing, the batter is better than any i've ever had in a restaurant. Didn't make the peas, a lot of faff I think when garden peas are fine as they are. Cooked the chips on gas mark 8, and also made sure to put them on the upper most shelf.
    29th Sep, 2015
    This recipe was great. I used sainsbury's basic's sustainable Pollock (which is just called white fish fillets. It's not as thick as other cuts but ridiculously cheap - £1.70 for around 6 portions), defrosted and add just a touch of lime juice and salt and pepper before battering to add a little more flavour. I put some lime rind into the batter too which gave it a subtle edge I think. I also used the batter recipe to batter halloumi - which is a great vegetarian alternative too. I didn't bother doing the peas in this recipe as I prefer mine with a tiny bit of butter, salt, pepper and mint. This recipe is really nice with home made tartar sauce. I like to make mine by following Delia's mayo recipe then to a tablespoon of this adding chopped capers, gherkins, dill and a squeeze of lemon - lush! This recipe is surprisingly good for freezing too! I mainly cook for myself so I like to freeze individual portions of food so that during the week after work I can shove something in the oven for 30 mins and chill (minimal effort and washing up)! I waited for the food to cool before portioning the chips and fish onto sheets of foil, wrapped it in individual parcels and put in the freezer. When you want to have it heat the oven to 200, take out of the freezer, place the foil parcel on a baking tray, with the top open - cook for about 30 mins (turning the fish and the chips once or twice) and your done.
    Crazypig129 Gaming's picture
    Crazypig129 Gaming
    10th Jan, 2018
    Thanks for the tip! Tried everything you said you did and it turned out great, better than the original version!
    22nd Jul, 2015
    I used this as a good recipe for chips. The hungry men in my family wanted 800g potatoes between 3. And the chips needed slightly longer cooking in my oven. The end results were excellent. I look forward to doing the battered fish.
    29th Nov, 2014
    Made this twice now, both times the fish and chips have been great, the light batter is delicious. Both times the peas have let the dish down. Will definitely do this again but with different peas.
    27th Jan, 2014
    I wasn't shure about making this recipe, as I thought it was quite ambitious, but it turned out a lot easier than I thought, I staged it out through the day by making my batter and boiling the chips in the morning, then I simply just put the chips in the oven and freid the fish, ready in half an hour if you get everything ready.
    30th Dec, 2013
    Perfect, the fish and batter were delicious and the peas were amazing. Only recommendation is to either marinade the fish for 30mins/1 hr before with some wine, garlic and chili flakes, or just salt and pepper it to give it added flavour. The chips were nice and crunchy, chopped some rosemary and added them on and it was perfect!


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    2nd Oct, 2013
    Don't be fooled Basa Fillets are the same as River Cobbler - they come mostly from rivers in Asia which are heavily polluted and the fish can contain mercury lead and other toxic elements. Great idea to avoid cod but go for sustainable sea fish or locally farmed Great Batter by the way - James Martin's tonic and yeast is equally good but harder to perfect
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