Perfect match: fish and chips with wheat beer


  • Serves 4 people

  • 4 large potatoes such as sebago, scrubbed, cut into 1.5cm-thick chips, soaked in cold water for 30 minutes
  • 150 gm (1 cup) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 285 ml wheat beer such as Murray’s Whale Ale
  • For deep-frying: vegetable oil
  • 600 gm skinless flathead fillets (about 6), cut into 5cm pieces
  • To serve: lemon wedges and tartare sauce
  • Malt-vinegar salt
  • 80 ml (1/3 cup) malt vinegar
  • 60 gm sea salt flakes
01   Cook potato in a saucepan of simmering salted water over medium heat until just tender (6-8 minutes; do not overcook), drain and transfer to an oven tray lined with absorbent paper. Set aside to cool, then refrigerate to dry (4-5 hours).
02   Meanwhile, for malt-vinegar salt, preheat oven to 180C. Stir vinegar and salt in a bowl to combine, spread on an oven tray lined with baking paper and cook until vinegar has evaporated (10-12 minutes). Set aside to cool.
03   Place flour in a large bowl, make a well, gradually whisk in beer until combined, then whisk in yolk, season to taste, and set aside to rest (30 minutes). Whisk eggwhite and a pinch of salt in a separate bowl until soft peaks form, fold into flour mixture (take care not to over-mix it) and set aside.
04   Preheat oil in a deep-fryer or deep saucepan to 180C. Deep-fry potato in batches until golden and crisp (5-6 minutes; be careful, hot oil will spit). Transfer to an oven tray lined with absorbent paper, scatter with malt-vinegar salt, set aside and keep warm.
05   Dust fish in flour, dip in batter, shaking to remove excess, and deep-fry in batches, turning occasionally, until golden and just cooked through (5-6 minutes; be careful, hot oil will spit). Drain on absorbent paper, season with malt-vinegar salt and serve hot with chips, lemon wedges and tartare sauce.
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