Book Bites: British Invasion

I recently realized that I have read waaaaay too many books and written too many posts that have something to do with England!  Check it out:

Honestly, and all of these posts happened within a month!  Totally by accident as well!

But it did give me some inspiration. . . I decided to try to make the famous British pub meal of fish and chips.  I used this recipe, but have altered it to fit my needs (and what I could find at the grocery store!!!).

Prep: 25 min
Inactive: 30 min
Cook: 10 min
Yield: 4 servings (I made it for 2 instead)


  • Vegetable oil, for deep frying
  • 4 large russet potatoes (I used 2 since there were 2 of us only)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 (12-ounce) can soda water (I used beer instead)
  • 1/2 cup rice flour, for dredging (Couldn’t find it! So I used regular flour)
  • 2 (8-ounce) cod or haddock fillets, cut in 1/2 on an angle (Waaaah, could only find tilapia in Denver)
  • Malt vinegar, for serving
  • Tartar Sauce

Tartar Sauce:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon chopped capers
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cornichons
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • Dash hot sauce

In a small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Chill before serving to let the flavors marry. Yields about 1 1/4 cups

Tartar sauce ingredients

Directions (I altered these to fit what I actually did!)

The first thing I did was make the tartar sauce.

The original recipe had me frying my potatoes, but I baked mine to make them just a little healthier.  I cut them into thick, fry-like chunks, put some olive oil, salt, and pepper on them, and baked them in the oven at 375 for 40 minutes.

The rest of my ingredients

Heat 3-inches of the oil in a deep fryer to 375 degrees F. Alternately, heat 3-inches of oil in a deep pot. (This is what I did since I don’t have a fryer)

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and egg. Pour in the soda water and whisk to a smooth batter. Spread the rice flour on a plate. Dredge the fish pieces in the rice flour and then dip them into the batter, letting the excess drip off.

Put the chips in the bottom of the fryer basket and carefully submerge in the hot oil. Carefully wave the battered fish into the bubbling oil before dropping them in on top of the chips. Fry the fish and chips for 4 to 5 minutes until crispy and brown. Remove the basket and drain the fish and chips on paper towels; season lightly with salt.

The finished product!

The meal was a success!  Quoting my husband, he said “This was even better than the fish and chips we had in London!”

The fries were baked perfectly, and were a little healthier since they weren’t fried.  The tartar sauce was good (although I’d add a little bit more hot sauce next time).  And the fish, oh my goodness, it melted in your mouth!  In general, I’m a crappy chef, but I can confidently say that this meal was delicious!

What foreign dish have you made that was a success?

Thanks for reading,



11 thoughts on “Book Bites: British Invasion

  1. We made this recipe this past Sunday and it was DELICIOUS! The only thing that I would change next time around is putting the fish on a cooling rack as soon as it’s done cooking. We will definitely be making this again!

    Thanks for the recipe! xx


    • While the recipe for tartar sauce was amazing, I do think that unless you’re making it for a bunch of people or you like the pickles, it might be more worthwhile to just buy it. We ended up with a ton of leftover pickles! 😀


  2. Pingback: Literature Inspired Valentine's - Love at First Book

  3. I’m not very fond of fish but have been trying to eat it more often. This recipe sounds good, so I think I’ll give it a try, and I’ll bake my potatoes too!

    Everyone loves my chili, taco salad and meatloaf.


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