1 1/2 poundsfirm white fishcod, pollock, haddock, or halibut. Cut into strips.
1 teaspoonkosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoonbaking powder
1/2 cup cornstarch
3quartscanola or peanut oilfor frying
For The Chips
2large russet potatoes
Cut potatoes into fries move into a large bowl filled with cold water.
Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and cayenne in a medium-sized bowl. Slowly whisk in the beer, mixing until no lumps remain and the batter is smooth. Place in the fridge for at least 15 minutes, but no longer than an hour.
Heat the oil in a large dutch oven of heavy-bottomed pan over high heat. Use a deep-fry thermometer and watch the oil temperature carefully.
Drain the potatoes from the water and use a salad spinner or paper towels to dry the potatoes as much as possible.
When the oil reaches 320 degrees, cook the potatoes in batches for 2-3 minutes or until they are pale and floppy. Remove them from the oil and place on a baking sheet lined with paper towels.
Increase the oil temperature to 350 degrees.
While the oil is heating, dip the fish strips into the corn starch and tap and brush off as much of the excess as you can.
When the oil is 350 degrees, dip the fish into the batter and slowly lower it into the oil. Cook only 3-4 pieces of fish at a time, as to not crowd the pan. When the batter is set on one side, turn the fish over and cook on the other side until golden brown. Repeat until all the fish is cooked and keep the fish hot in a 200-degree oven, on a baking sheet lined with a baking rack, while preparing the fries.
Increase the oil temperature to 375 degrees. When the oil reaches temperature, refry the potatoes in batches until they are golden brown. Drain on paper towels, season with salt and serve the fish and chips with fresh lemon juice, malt vinegar, and tartar sauce.
Use Russet Potatoes for the Fries. Russets are the starchiest and densest of all the potato varieties and have the least amount of moisture. This golden combination makes for some super crispy fries!
Use a Deep Fry Thermometer. Keeping an eye on and knowing the temperature of the oil is crucial in having good results with this recipe. They are fairly inexpensive and you can also use them for making candy or jelly, so you'll be able to get good use out of it if you don't already have one. This one is similar to the thermometer I use.
Use COLD Beer. Cold beer holds its bubbles (C02) better than it does warm, so this will make your batter lighter.
Dry the Potatoes WELL. Use a salad spinner to dry the potatoes if you have one. If not, you can use paper towels to really dry them. Not only does this step create crispy fries, but it will also prevent oil splatters and keep your kitchen cleaner (and safer).
Dredge don't Drown. Dredge or coat the fish in corn starch and then tap off as much of the excess cornstarch as you can. You want it to be as thin as possible so that it can adhere to the batter and the fish at the same time. If there's too much starch, the batter will slide right off of the fish.
Don't Overcrowd the Pan. When frying it's important to not cook too much at once. Putting cold food into hot oil reduces the oil temperature and the more food you put in, the harder it is for the oil to get back to the temperature it needs to be to cook properly. I suggest frying the potatoes in 3-4 batches and cooking no more than 3-4 pieces of fish at a time.