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Name of fish most commonly used in real English Fish & Chips

post #1 of 38
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Is it cod fish?  AND I AIN'T TALKING FISH STICKS, EITHER!

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post #2 of 38
i usually see "Plaice" recommended in recipes, but i don't know what it is or if it's really traditional. 
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post #3 of 38
Traditionally, cod was the fish of choice. But as cod stocks declined others have been subtituted. Pollock, for instance, is often used nowadays, as is haddock.

Siduri: Plaice is a large flatfish, related to sole. It's a white, flaky fish, and there's no reason it shouldn't work as fish & chips, especially as it's often less expensive than the others.
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #4 of 38
I don't know the answer, but I like using Halibut. 
post #5 of 38
I like using Halibut as well but I have used Haddock and Basa with equal success.
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post #6 of 38
Leeniek, you don't find Basa too fatty for deep frying?
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #7 of 38
I think we covered the four most common "traditional" choices (per the OP):  Cod (of several sorts); Haddock; Halibut; and Plaice.  Cod and haddock are both roundfish, while halibut and plaice are flatfish.  Interesting, no?

In the spirit of ecumenicism, there are a lot of fish which fry very well and go with fries, not to mention hush puppies.  But, I wouldn't call basa (a Vietnamese catfish) or any other catfish one of the "traditional English fish and chips" choices.  Basa is not too fatty for frying, IMO.  But that's just an opinion; not one I'm trying to sell; and strictly a matter of taste.

BDL
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post #8 of 38
HALIBUT!...Cod Fritters are nice too with Remoulade
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post #9 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post
Siduri: Plaice is a large flatfish, related to sole. It's a white, flaky fish, and there's no reason it shouldn't work as fish & chips, especially as it's often less expensive than the others.
 
thanks ky. 
I always wondered what they meant by it. 
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #10 of 38
I don't think you can really say any one of the big four is hugely superior to the other, the big difference is texture; other differences are more subtle.  Cod is probably the most tender, and breaks into the biggest flakes, but the most fish-like; while halibut is the firmest and sweetest.  Haddock is more like cod than halibut.  Plaice is more like halibut than cod, but perhaps the most bland. 

As a general rule, it's probably fair to say that whatever's freshest is best.

BTW, and FWIW, here's a link to my recipe

Has anyone tried brining the fish as a first step? 

BDL
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post #11 of 38
heh, brining? When I was working in fish and chips we were just happy it was defrosted. Always behind or have too much on our hands. Course brining now seems like it might have been the perfect answer to keep the fish fresher for the next day. The owner down to the dishwasher didn't like the look of next day fish and the longer white fish sits in it's juices in water the worse it looks. The texture gets bad too. I wonder if a salt bath would be a good answer...?
Also, I agree with 98% of what was said above, thus leaving such little room for argument I feel I would be nitpicking.
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post #12 of 38
Pollock has a mushy texture that I don't care for. I don't think it would be a good choice for fish and chips.
post #13 of 38
Worked for a British couple and they always used cod, but if it is firm and flaky and fresh thats your best choice... Nobodys talked about the batter tho and that is a big factor... Beer or not????   
 Sharon
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 Sharon
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post #14 of 38
~In general it's cod.  It has a white, flaky, very creamy taste and texure.We have to be Carefull in the UK as sources are declining at a scary rate. And we use carefully sourced cod that is not endangered.

Haddock is the main alternative. Just as good IMO But cod is the real deal.

halibut is expensive, and you wont find it in your local chippie.

Pollock is to be found in frozen processed fish dishes. TV chefs are trying to push it, but it's tastless and the cynic in me thinks that someones paying them a lot of money to push it to us.

In Charleston last year we went to Bubba Gumps and OH had fried battered fish. I cant remember what it was, but so close to haddock???
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post #15 of 38
 Still nobody talks about the crust...
 Sharon
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 Sharon
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post #16 of 38
Originally Posted by SharonM View Post
 Still nobody talks about the crust...

Not so dear lady, not so.

BDL
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post #17 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by SharonM View Post

Worked for a British couple and they always used cod, but if it is firm and flaky and fresh thats your best choice... Nobodys talked about the batter tho and that is a big factor... Beer or not????   
beer...the darker the better. we got spoiled cause we would get the blowoff from all the taps at renaisance fairs. heh, the managers got a free lunch we got free flat beer.  Doesn't matter if the beer is flat it's the flavor your going for.
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post #18 of 38
Deep frying in itself is fatty, and the only thing I noticed with the basa was that it was moister (from all of its own fat I presume) than haddock or halibut would have been.  It was still good, and honestly it was the beer batter that everyone liked! 
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post #19 of 38
      In many parts of the U.S. it's so difficult to get any form of quality fish.  I often hear so many people talk poorly about cod and other fish, yet they form that opinion about the fish after eating (or cooking) those pathetic frozen fillets.  If there's a place that gets several deliveries of fresh fish a week (or daily) the drive is worth the effort for the quality you'll get.  
 
     I actually like cod a lot for a wide range of preparations, which include fish and chips.  But I like most fish...if it's prepared somewhere other than the oven.


   A question about basa.  I'm not familiar with the fish at all, but I had seen someone compare it to catfish.  I've noticed that our catfish are best eaten when they're a bit a the smaller size (1 1/4lb to 2 1/2lb).  Anything larger starts getting a bit of a gamy taste and has a ton of that yellow fat.  (to me) it really eats like a completely different fish.  

  Could the basa be the same way?


  dan
post #20 of 38
Basa is a catfish, Dan, originally from Viet Nam. Near as I know, most of it still comes from there.

In my experience, even smaller basa have those fat deposits, which is why I questioned their suitability for deep frying.

I disagree with your opinion of frozen fish, though. For those not near coastlines, FAS fish actually is higher quality than so-called fresh---which is often four or five days old before your fishmonger even sees it. FAS fish is caught, cleaned, packaged, and flash frozen within two hours.

More often than not, when there's a loss of quality with FAS fish it's because it was defrosted improperly.

What I object to is the way some companies package it. The fish is in an opaque bag, with only the weight shown on the package. You open it up and there are, for instance, five irregularly shaped and sized pieces. Makes for difficult portion control.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #21 of 38
I hate getting the blocks of frozen fish fillets because I have no idea what's waiting for me when I defrost the brick.  I much prefer seeing the filets  in the bag so I know what I'm buying.
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post #22 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

BTW, and FWIW, here's a link to my recipe

Has anyone tried brining the fish as a first step? 

BDL
 
Aren't ocean fish already brined?

re: a comment in your recipe ... how about curried fish 'n'chips?
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post #23 of 38
Name of fish most commomnly used in real English Fish and Chips

As bughut has already said it is cod. In England when you ask for fish and chips you expect to get cod, although there are many alternatives they are usually ordered by their name, plaice, haddock, rock salmon, skate and others. Ling and pollock are sometimes unscrupulously passed off as cod. Halibut is just way too expensive over here.

In a "real" chippie you will find steak and kidney pies, saveloys, fishcakes (cod roe), battered sausages pickled eggs, onions and gherkins.

 
post #24 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bazza View Post

Name of fish most commomnly used in real English Fish and Chips

As bughut has already said it is cod. In England when you ask for fish and chips you expect to get cod, although there are many alternatives they are usually ordered by their name, plaice, haddock, rock salmon, skate and others. Ling and pollock are sometimes unscrupulously passed off as cod. Halibut is just way too expensive over here.

In a "real" chippie you will find steak and kidney pies, saveloys, fishcakes (cod roe), battered sausages pickled eggs, onions and gherkins.

 
 
Oh I didn't know Halibut was so pricey in the U.K. ....Our Cod industry is overfished on are eastern seaboards ....down here in Ontario the local Pubs have Halibut on the menu when it comes to Fish &Chips....Don't even get me started on Steak & Kidney Pies, Scotch Meat Pies,Cornish Pasties, Ploughman's Lunch ,Chutneys,Finn & Haddie,Scotch Eggs ,Liver & Onions with Bacon, Bangers & Mash with fried Eggs and Beans  top it off with a grilled tomato and finish with a Jam Butty!
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post #25 of 38
I like flake (shark) for battering and deep frying. No chance of any bones, and its nice n chunky.  Whiting does pretty well too, same with barramundi and perch (much the same fish).

A bit of turmeric in the batter goes very well, and gives a lovely colour.  Just a touch of it, otherwise it overpowers the fish.
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post #26 of 38
I haven't tried deep fried shark. What shark I have made I didn't much like. Always felt like it had a sandy texture and since the flavor is kind of mild in comparison to some fish i would just get something else.  I will try deep frying next time I acquire some.




P.S. What's a Finn & Haddie? it's the only thing in that list I have never heard of or tried already.
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post #27 of 38
Gunnar - its the most common fish used here as far as I can tell.  Some people (not many) balk at the idea of eating it, but I can't say I've ever found a sandy texture.  Can get rid of the blandness by seasoning your flour and batter with whatever spices tickle your fancy - good luck when you do try.  I really  enjoy it.  Plus once you get rid of those gnasty gnashing teeth  - there are no bones - they have only cartilage.
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post #28 of 38
Gunnar - I think that the poster is actually referring to Finnan Haddie, a smoked haddock (haddie) named after the place that claims the origins of smoking in that particular style, Findon in Aberdeenshire!

Still, Finn & Haddie is an interesting twist!
post #29 of 38
Originally Posted by Ishbel View Post
Still, Finn & Haddie is an interesting twist!

Ah, the McCouls.  A nice Irish couple.

BDL
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post #30 of 38


Heheheeeeee!
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