Fried fish - finger food or fork food?

angelaidAugust 29, 2012

As in Fish and Chips? I use a fork. I dip one bite in tartar and the next bite in malt vinegar. Do the same with my fries. DH uses his fingers. Tartar sauce only.

(Can you tell I'm making Arthur Treacher's Fish and Chips for dinner tonight? LOL)

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And this is about cooking??

Unless it very small pieces, fried fish is fork food.

Now why not redeem yourself and post the recipe for how you make your fish and chips?

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 3:42PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Could you get anymore snarky, Linda?
Go have some premade coleslaw from the deli with that, angelaid! Enjoy!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 3:50PM
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Would love a "block" feature on this board sometimes. LOL

DH laughs at me for using a knife and fork for fish. Made me think of this post. Sorry it's not up to your snarkiness's cooking standards.

Arthur Treacher's Fish Recipe #17040

45 min : 15 min prep

SERVES 10 -12

* 3 lbs fish fillets
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 3 cups pancake mix
* 3 cups club soda
* 1 tablespoon onion powder
* 1 tablespoon seasoning salt
* oil (for deep frying)

  1. Dip moistened fish pieces evenly but lightly in the flour.
  2. Dust off any excess flour and allow pieces to air dry on waxed paper, about 5 minutes.
  3. Whip the pancake mix with the club soda to the consistency of buttermilk-- pourable, but not too thin and not too thick.
  4. Beat in the onion powder and seasoned salt.
  5. Dip floured fillets into batter and drop into 425F oil in heavy saucepan using meat thermometer.
  6. Brown about 4 minutes per side.
  7. Arrange on cookie sheet in 325F oven until all pieces have been fried.
    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 4:02PM
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I don't know who Arthur Treacher is, but I make fried fish with a beer batter that is beer plus seasoned flour. I often eat some of the fish while I am still cooking, and so I eat that with my fingers, but at the table I always use a fork. If I have leftover batter, I add cornmeal, egg, and minced onion & jalapeno to it and make hush puppies. I generally eat those with my fingers.

What type of fish are you using? I often make tempura vegetables with the fish, and turnip is my favorite vegetable for this.


    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 4:02PM
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Fish and Chips are definitely finger food around here.I'm pretty sure most places oceanside don't even offer forks. They are also best eaten on a driftwood log, toes digging into the sand.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 4:56PM
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I love these regional differences. Fish/Chips are eaten here with a fork. The batter is thin and delicate. They would fall apart if you tried to pick them up.

I don't eat mayo so no tartar sauce but do use malt vinegar.


    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 5:15PM
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I think that's going to make way more batter than you will need for three pounds of fish, and so you might want to consider making some tempura vegetables with the leftover batter, or you could make hush puppies, which is a Southern tradition. This is also the first recipe I've seen that calls for 425 degree oil - be sure to check the smoke point of the oil you will be using - many will smoke before that point. I use grapeseed oil, but I never deep fry at higher than 375, partly because that's as high as my deep fryer will go.


    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 5:26PM
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Yup, like Jane, we eat our fish and chips with our fingers. AND fish and chips have to be made with Halibut. No other fish will do.


    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 5:27PM
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I make them a lot. Part of the batter is used for zuchinni!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 5:47PM
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Triciae - maybe it is a regional thing! There is no way would sit at a table and eat fish and chips with my fingers....but then again, you are right about the delicate batter that I am used to. It would totally fall apart.

And it is really nice to see a recipe posted - we seem to be wandering further from a Cooking Forum and more towards a general food discussion forum. People! If it is a great dish then share the recipe! Maybe I want to make it too!


    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 5:49PM
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Here I'd eat the fish with a fork and the fries with my fingers, so I get the best of both worlds. I don't eat trtar sauce or vinegar, I like just salt and pepper on my fish and chips.

I like a very light crispy batter on fish, so I can still taste the fish instead of a big layer of batter.

Ann T, I'll use cod or lake perch or walleye for fish and chips but I gotta agree with you, halibut is my favorite.


    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 5:51PM
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Arthur Treacher's Fish and Chips!!! I have forgotten about Arthur Treacher's Fish and Chips.

I am not sure if there is a branch near by. I have to make some myself soon. One of my favorite snack foods.

I use a fork. I always put them in my convection toaster oven on high heat first to crispy up, so it is too hot for fingers.

Thanks for posting. Also Lars� idea of tempura vegetables is great.


    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 5:59PM
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I find batters made with pancake mix or Bisquick way to heavy for my taste. My favourite batter is Gardenguru's recipe. A light and crisp delicate batter. Not doughy.

Home Cookin Chapter: Recipes From Thibeault's Table

Fish and Chips
Gardenguru's Tempura Batter (minus the sugar)
1 cup flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup Club soda or Beer As cold as possible), more as needed
Oil for deep-frying (I used canola Oil)

Mix flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking powder.
Add soda water gradually, stirring with a fork, first to create a paste and then until mixture is like a thick pancake batter.
Heat oil for frying to 375 F - 400 F.
Dry Fish well. Dip into batter letting excess drip off before carefully slipping into hot oil.

Do not crowd pan.

Drain on paper towels.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 6:38PM
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If I'm at a restaurant, I'd eat it with a fork, but at home, or if I went to a take out....I'd eat with my fingers. I put malt vinegar and tartar sauce on it, and if I have waffle fries....malt vinegar and ketchup on it.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 7:37PM
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I was taught to pity the person who demeaned others instead of anger towards them.

With that said, I also like my Fish & Chips along the line of what Ann T posted...light and airy with great fresh fish inside and we eat it either w/fork or by hand dunking in vinegar. Either way it is all good!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 8:59PM
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What are you people trying to do to me????

I've had a fish and chips craving for weeks and there is no place around here that does it properly. Guess I'll have to take out a loan and buy some proper fish for a fry up. I have a good recipe saved from years back.


    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 9:17PM
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Another one here who likes thin crispy batter, over the thick heavy stuff. If I'm sitting down to eat my F&C, I'll use a fork, please. But if it's street food wrapped in paper, I'll use my fingies, and hope I have enough napkins handy. I don't mind slightly greasy fingers, but since I don't like ketchup, vinegar, or other condiments, I'm unlikely to have anything stickier with which to contend.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 11:40PM
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225g flour, plus extra for dusting
� 285ml pint good cold beer
� 3 heaped teaspoons baking powder
Whisk all together until nice and shiny. Jamie Oliver recipe. light and crisp.
In England, when you get fish and chips from a chippie, it's street food so you eat it with your fingers, but if you take it home, you have to crisp it up in the oven so it's more a forky job.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 3:15AM
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I use Gardenguru's recipe; works perfectly for me and I wouldn't want anything doughier. I do however think it's a misnomer to call it a tempura batter.

Fork, please, for the fish AND the chips. For me with rare exception that's true of everything that leaves traces of grease, sauce, or otherwise on my hands. Finger-lickin' good? Just typing that made me cringe!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 7:54AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I miss gardenguru, his blueberry crisp is my absolute favorite.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 8:27AM
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FOAS, if you want it more like a tempura batter you just have to add a little more soda water. It isn't doughy at all.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 9:40AM
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Ann - no, it's not doughy, but somehow it's not what I'm looking for in a tempura. Perhaps more soda water would do the trick. But I'm very happy with Cook's Illustrated's version so that's what I've stuck with - for tempura. Gardenguru for fried fish. :-)

BB - I miss Joe, too. Nice guy, and he developed some really good recipes.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 10:17AM
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That fish really looks good, and I thought I'd never say that...since I have eaten so much fish in the past several months!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 11:25AM
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I guess it depends on how it's served. On a plate with other fork foods - I use a fork. Wrapped with fries (or chips) then it's a finger food. Much as I enjoy it, I can only eat it about once a year now.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 11:50AM
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I don't fry foods at home but that blueberry crisp recipe is calling to me. Care to share?


    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 12:17PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I'll try and post it tomorrow, Eileen.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 1:55PM
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Lately I have been making fried fish using an egg wash then seasoned panko crumbs, i.e. no flour. It is crisp and light, well, "light" for a deep fried dish anyway. Fork food.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 2:21PM
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Mystic will soon be rolling up the sidewalks for off-season. Our favorite clam shack, Sea Swirl, is just a couple blocks from home and this thread made me hungry for fish/chips. So, dinner last night was a shared order of fish/chips plus a side of shrimp that we also shared. Sooo good! I don't fry at home and there's no need with Sea Swirl 30 seconds away.

It's served in a recycled paper rectangular tray and we used forks.


Here is a link that might be useful: Sea Swirl

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 2:49PM
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I made fish and chips on Sunday, and I used a recipe similar to Ann's, except that it has egg in it, and I dredged the fish in seasoned flour before dipping it into the batter. It probably came out too thick for Ann's taste, but Kevin and I liked it. When making the chips, I cut the potatoes into 1/2" (or slightly smaller) strips and stored them in ice water for a couple of hours. Then I deep fried them at 350 degrees for 3-4 minutes, drained them on paper towels, and left them to cool while I prepared the fish. After I was finished cooking the fish, I refried the potatoes at 375 degrees for about 7 minutes, and they came out better than any other fried potatoes I had ever made before. I had been aware of the twice cooked method for years but had never gotten around to frying any myself because I feel like I get enough fried potatoes when I go out. However, these were so much better than what I get in restaurants that I will make them again fairly soon. Also, I was suprised at how much cheaper russet potatoes were than the potatoes I usually buy.

I ate the potatoes with a fork, as I did the fish, which was some kind of "rock" fish from Canada. I also made tartar sauce and a soy/mirin dipping sauce for tempura turnips that I did not get around to cooking. I plan to cook the turnips tonight and also make some crab hush puppies, which will be a new experiment for me.


    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 6:54PM
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Another who uses Gardenguru's recipe, must be halibut and fingers only.

Annie, I love perch and Pickerel but to me it should be panfried, not deep fried, and served with mashed potatoes not fries.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 8:10PM
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Sharon, I'll eat fish any ole' way and I'd never pass up any kind of potato either!

Halibut is often $15.00 a pound here, though, so it's a splurge when I can get walleye/pickerel or lake perch or even whitefish for less than $10 a pound.

Thanks a lot, BTW, now I want fish and chips! elery and I had baked cod a couple of nights ago, it just wasn't the same, although it was good.


    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 10:29PM
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