When Only Fish and Chips Will Suffice

What do you do on a Friday night when your heart is saying ‘Only Fish and Chips will suffice’ but your head is saying ‘cut the calories’?

It’s a tough task to reproduce the magnificence of a northern ‘Chippy’, but with many of them using beef dripping to enhance the excellence in flavour it’s important for the waistline that the indulgence is limited to the odd occasion.

Thankfully some simple alterations can make all the difference in terms of calories but at the same time deliver great flavour.

Firstly lets tackle the batter, as nice as crispy light batter is, replacing it with Panko breadcrumbs provides the crispy edge to the fish and reduces the need to deep fry your fish.

Best of all, what was once only available in Chinese markets, Panko breadcrumbs are now becoming more popular in everyday supermarkets. Simply dust some fish strips in flour, dip them in egg and coat with Panko breadcrumbs and they are ready to lightly fry.

In recently purchasing a mandolin, I’ve found it to be one of the most useful gadgets that’s blessed my kitchen.

Opting for a multi vertical and horizontal cutting tool made it even more impressive; simply sliding a potato up and down it’s smooth surface provides a mass of the most perfect French fries. Finish by spraying them with a light olive oil and putting them in the oven for 20 minutes to deliver a chip that most chefs would be proud of!

However it’s my tartare sauce recipe that leaves me most proud, which combines two recipes; my ever so simple recipe for mayonnaise and my newly identified recipe for tartare sauce. The tartare delivers such a punch of flavour that I am convinced the next time your heart says fish and chips, you’ll be more tempted by the kitchen than the village Chippy!


Ingredients for mayonnaise

  • 2 free-range egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. ready-prepared English mustard
  • 285ml / ½ pint groundnut oil
  • Pinch of sea salt and white pepper

Ingredients for tartare sauce

  • 200ml of your homemade mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp. capers, drained and finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp. cocktail gherkins, drained and finely chopped
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Place the egg yolks into a mixing bowl; add the mustard, salt and pepper. Mix all of these together well.
  2. Gradually begin to add the oil a trickle at a time, I use a Kitchen aid mixer with the whisk attachment whilst drizzling in the oil.
  3. Ensure each drop of oil is thoroughly whisked before adding the next drop.
  4. When all the oil has been added taste and add more salt and pepper if it needs it.
  5. Mix together 200ml of your mayonnaise together with all tartare sauce ingredients, serve immediately with the fish coated in bread crumbs.

Ingredients for the Fish and Chips (serves 2)

  • 2 Pieces of Haddock fillet, Skinned and Boned
  • 400g Maris Piper Potatoes peeled and washed


  1. Preheat the oven to 200c
  2. Chip the potatoes into 1/2 cm wedges
  3. Coat or spray with light olive and bake for 20 minutes
  4. In the meantime cut each piece haddock lengthways and then across to give you 4 pieces of fish per fillet
  5. Coat firstly in seasoned flour then in beaten egg and finally in Panko breadcrumbs
  6. Shallow fry the coasted fish for 3-4 mins each side or until golden
  7. Serve with the French Fries and a large dollop of Tartare Sauce