Fish and chips with tartare sauce

Rachel Allen recommends using lemon sole or plaice in her take on take-away family favourite
By Rachel Allen
Fish and chips with tartare sauce
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 250 g plain flour
  • 500 ml milk or water
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • sunflower oil, for deep frying
  • 900 g potatoes
  • 4 x 150 g fillets of flat fish, such as plaice or lemon sole

For the tartare sauce

  • 125 ml mayonnaise
  • 1 hard-boiled egg, cold and finely chopped
  • 3 tsp capers, rinsed and chopped
  • 25 g gherkins, chopped
  • 2 tsp chopped chives or spring onions
  • 2 tsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 squeeze lemon juice


1. Sift the flour into a large bowl and gradually whisk in the milk or water to give a smooth, thin batter. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer to 140°C. Alternatively, pour the oil into a large saucepan to a depth of 2cm and bring to the same temperature on the hob- checking with a sugar thermometer.

3. For the chips peel the potatoes (or leave unpeeled) and cut into square-sided chips each about 2cm thick. Wash and dry really well and then place in the fryer or saucepan, a few handfuls at a time, and cook for 810 minutes or until soft but not browned.

4. Remove, drain well and set aside. The chips can be cooled and placed in the fridge at this point, for up to 24 hours, until needed.

5. Increase the temperature of the oil in the deep-fat fryer or saucepan to 180°C and remove the basket from the fryer. Dip a fillet of fish in the batter to coat evenly and carefully lower in to the oil and fry for 34 minutes until crisp, golden and cooked through, turning halfway through cooking. Drain well on kitchen paper and deep-fry the remaining pieces of fish in the same way. Keep the cooked fish warm in a preheated low oven.

6. To finish the chips, deep-fry them for 68 minutes, again working in batches, until crisp and golden. Drain again and season lightly with salt and pepper. Keep the cooked chips warm in the oven with the fish, but dont cover them or they will go soggy.

7. For the tartare sauce Spoon the mayonnaise into a bowl and stir in the egg, capers, gherkins, chives or spring onions, parsley and mustard. Season with salt and pepper and add a little lemon juice to the sauce if necessary.

8.Place the crisp battered fish on warm plates and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Serve with the golden chunky chips, vinegar and a small bowl of tartare sauce for sharing.

Apdapted from Rachel Allen Home Cooking (Collins)

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