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If you thought that hake and chips is the meal of the Brits, think again. South Africans absolutely love their “vis en tjips” and it’s been that way for many years. While fish and chips have never been a staple in South Africa, every SA home has a great battered fish recipe tucked away for those “vis en tjips” kind of days. Nowadays, fish and chips franchises seem to be spreading across the country and for good reason; everyone wants the fried fish fix!

Fish and chips: perfect for a quick take-away meal night or a sunny afternoon around the pool (or in the garden) with family and friends. Succulent battered fish and crispy fried chips… is there any occasion where this wouldn’t be the perfect accompanying treat?

If you want to whip up some fish and chips at home, just like the ones you would get at the corner vis en tjips shop, it’s time to get your hands on a good fish and chips recipe. It’s actually easier than you think!

Fried Fish Recipe

– Just Add Crispy Fried Chips!

If your tummy is already grumbling and your mouth is watering, it’s time to jump right into making this easy-peasy battered fish recipe. The result: British style fish and chips and a whole lot of hmm-hmm-hmm enjoyment! Let’s get right to making some drool-worthy beer battered hake.

What you need for the fish:

  • 400g of fillet hake, halved
  • Oil for frying (sunflower oil is a great choice)
  • 75ml of sparkling water (this is truly the secret ingredient)
  • 75ml of your choice of lager beer
  • 50g of plain flour
  • 50g of corn flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of turmeric

What you need for the chips:

  • 750g of potatoes, peeled and sliced into thick chips
  • 2 tablespoons of plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil

What to do:

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (200 degrees Celsius if you are using a fan oven).
  • In a bowl, carefully combine the flour, corn flour, baking powder and turmeric in a large bowl. You can also add some salt to taste, if you wish.
  • Using a tablespoon measure, take one spoon out and place it on a plate. Set this aside.
  • Now, pour the beer and sparkling water into the bowl very slowly, while stirring slowly with a wooden spoon. The sparking water is your secret ingredient, because it makes sure the fish steams to moist/succulent perfection.
  • When the mixture is smooth (there should be no lumps present), set it aside to rest. It should rest for around 30 minutes, during which time you can prepare the chips.

For the chips:

  • Choose a large pan and fill it up to half with water. When the water is boiling, add the sliced potato pieces.
  • Boil the potatoes for around 2-3 minutes on high heat. The outer sides of the chips should start to go tender, but should not go soft during this stage.
  • Drain the chips thoroughly (you don’t want excess water around) and then spread them out on a baking try with the flour (the 1 spoon of flour mix you set one side earlier), oil and a bit of salt to taste.
  • Using your hands, toss the chips into the oil and flour mixture, making sure that each chip is coated well and contains no dry flour dust. Work gently so as not to break the chips up.
  • Place the baking tray of chips into the oven and let them roast for approximately 30 minutes. You will need to turn them occasionally to ensure that they cook evenly and don’t burn. They are ready when the chips are starting to brown and are crispy.

Back to the fish:

  • It is now time to cook the hake. Start by heating a generous amount of oil in a deep saucepan. The oil is only hot enough to use when a small drop of batter dropped into the pan sizzles up and goes crispy right away.
  • While the oil is heating, pat the fish fillets dry with a paper kitchen towel.
  • Toss the fish pieces in any leftover turmeric flour mixture and shake off the excess.
  • Now, dip the pieces of fish carefully into the batter, which should have thickened on standing.
  • Once the fish fillet is coated in batter, lower it very gently into the hot oil and fry for around 6 or 7 minutes. The thicker the fish fillet, the longer it will need to fry.
  • Remove the fish fillet when it is golden and crispy. Make sure that you use a spatula or a slotted spoon so that you don’t take excess oil out of the pan with the fish pieces.
  • Place the cooked fish pieces on a paper kitchen towel or piece of newspaper.

All that is left to do is sprinkle the fish and chips with salt and pepper, and serve!

Some people enjoy eating fish and chips with coleslaw, which is a rather simple salad to make. Simply grate some green cabbage and carrot into a bowl. Mix them up thoroughly, throw a handful of raisins in and add mayonnaise. Add salt and pepper to taste and you have the perfect accompaniment for crispy fish and chips!

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