Scotland’s top young fish frier gives us her tips for creating the perfect fish and chips

For UK Seafood Week we asked Scotland’s top young fish frier Magda Ganea from The Real Food Café, in Tyndrum for her secret to creating the perfect fish and chips.

Published 11th Oct 2017
Updated 9 th Aug 2023

Magda is the only Scottish finalist in the UK wide Drywhite Young Fish Frier of the Year 2018 and one of only five fish friers (under 25) in the UK to make the final which will be held early next year.

Picture: The Real Food Café

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Magda's tips for creating the perfect fish and chips

1. Buy your fish fresh from a fishmonger and look for the blue and white tick to show that it has been sustainably caught.

Cod and haddock are the most popular fish in the UK, but this has caused some waters to be overfished so consider using hake or pollock as an alternative.

2. For a crispy batter use carbonated water when preparing it.

The carbon dioxide in the water creates bubbles when it hits the heat of the oil giving you a nice crispy finish.

You can achieve the same effect using beer or even cider if you want to add this flavour to the fish.

3. Lightly flour your fish fillet with rice flour beforehand.

This will remove any excess moisture, allowing the batter to coat the fish evenly and giving you a nice juicy fillet.

4. Make sure your oil is hot enough, between 180C – 190C, so that your batter goes a crispy golden colour.

You can gauge it with a cube of bread which should brown in around 12 seconds at this temperature; or invest in a thermometer.

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5. Use a floury potato (Maris Piper is best) cut into large thick slices, and dry the chips thoroughly before frying.

6. For the best chips twice cook, as we do at The Real Food Café. Quickly blanch in cooler oil (150C) for a minute.

Dry and cook for a second time at 180C.

You will know the chips are ready when they float to the surface of the oil.

7. Serve with freshly milled salt, malt vinegar and a large wedge of lemon.

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Fish and Chips

Picture: The Real Food Café

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.
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