…the healthy(er) version.
I love fish and chips, but there’s nothing worse than getting a plate full of soggy, greasy fish piled on top of soggy fries. But, when it’s done right, this classic British dish can be mouth watering. I think one of the most important components to good fish and chips is the breading. If it’s not crispy and crunchy, it’s just not right. But that crispy, crunchy flavor comes at a cost: deep fried unhealthiness. In an effort to make a healthier plate of fish and chips, we turned to cornmeal as the breading in hopes that it would be lighter, yet still have a great crisp texture. No deep frying here!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 2 cod (or any other white fish) fillets, about 4 oz. each
- 1 cup flour
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 cup corn meal
- salt and pepper
- vegetable oil
- 1 large russet potato
- 1 large sweet potato
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Set up a breading station for the fish — first the flour in a shallow bowl, then the eggs and water (beat gently together), and finally the cornmeal in a shallow bowl. Season each with salt, pepper and paprika.
The fish will only take a few minutes to cook, so you want to get your fries going before hand so they have plenty of time to cook though. Cut them into the desired shape/size/thickness (we use one of these) and toss with oil and salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet in a single layer and cook in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until mostly cooked through. Once the fries are nice a tender, turn the heat up to 425 or 450 to let them get nice and brown and crispy, this should only take about 10 or 15 minutes.
After turning the heat up for the fries, begin breading your fish and heating the oil (the timing from this point on should be perfect). In a large, non-stick saucepan, heat about an inch of oil over medium to medium-high heat. While the oil is heating, coat the fish in flour, then dip in the egg mixture, then dredge nicely in the cornmeal. Test the oil with a bit of cornmeal, it’s hot enough if the cornmeal dances around.
Gently place each fish fillet in the hot oil and let cook for two to three minutes, or until it begins to brown. Do not mess with the fish once you’ve laid it in the oil…you want it to cook and brown evenly. Once you have a nice brown crust, gently flip the fish and cook for another two to three minutes. After about six total minutes, the fish should be nice and crisp and brown on both sides and completely cooked through on the inside. Remove from the pan onto a paper towel to let it drain, and season with more salt while it’s still hot. Serve the hot fish on a heaping pile of fries with tarter sauce and ketchup.
Healthy(er) Fish and Chips
This was definitely not your typical restaurant (or pub) style fish and chips, but it sure was delicious! The fish was so flakey and tender with a nice crispy, crunchy outside. The cornmeal breading was completely different than any breading I’ve had on a fish fillet before, but it worked really well. The fish wasn’t greasy at all, but it still had that great fried fish taste.
The fries were perfectly cooked — crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside. And talk about healthy, no frying here! Avoiding deep frying really gives the fries a whole new taste, you actually taste the potato instead of the oil they were cooked in. The texture is also really nice.
Overall, I thought this was a great alternative to the typical greasy fish and chips. That’s not to say that I’ll never indulge in the real deal again, but this was a great way to enjoy something that is typically really unhealthy without feeling guilty. Plus, less grease and fat meant more room for ice cream for dessert!