Wednesday, August 11, 2021

No-Fuss Fish 'n Chips #recipe by @Leslie Karst

Ever since living in England for two years in my youth, I’ve had a love affair with fish ’n chips—that gloriously indulgent meal of batter-fried plaice or cod served with thick-cut fried potatoes, then doused in tart and flavorful malt vinegar. Fish ’n chips shops (“chippies,” in British lingo) first appeared in England in the 1860s—the tradition having been brought to the country by Sephardic Jews from Holland—and by 1910 there were over 25,000 of them! So I’m not alone in my love for the gut-sticking dish.

Preparing fish ’n chips at home, however, is messy and difficult, as is the case with all things deep-fried. I’ve therefore come up with a short-cut that involves no deep-frying. In this version, you bake the chips and pan fry the fish, so not only is it much less messy with no vat of oil to deal with afterwards, but it’s also easier on your waistline. And still mighty delicious!

No-Fuss Fish ’n Chips

(amounts are per person)


1 large russet potato

1 fillet of cod, plaice, or whatever fish you desire (I used salmon)

flour for dredging the fish

3 tablespoons neutral oil

salt and pepper

malt vinegar

baby spinach for garnish, if desired


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Cut the potato in half lengthwise, then slice into wedges—four to six per half, depending on the size.

Toss the potato wedges in 1 tablespoon of the oil and salt and pepper to taste, then spread out on a baking sheet (I used 2 small potatoes, as you can see from the photos).

Roast potatoes until golden brown on the bottom (about 20 minutes), then flip over and roast until brown on other side (10 minutes more).

When the potatoes are nearly done, heat the other 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Dredge the fish in flour seasoned with salt and pepper.

When the oil is hot (a tiny drop of water dropped into it will sizzle), carefully lay the fish in the pan and fry till golden brown on the bottom.

Carefully flip the fish over and continue frying until it starts to brown on the bottom. I like my fish still very moist inside, but feel free to cook it to your desired doneness.

Arrange the chips on a plate with the fish. (I made a bed of baby spinach underneath, which was delicious, as it soaked up that luscious oil and vinegar and fish juices.) Then sprinkle to taste with more salt and pepper and malt vinegar. (See photo at top.)

🐟 🌿 🐟


The daughter of a law professor and a potter, Leslie Karst learned early, during family dinner conversations, the value of both careful analysis and the arts—ideal ingredients for a mystery story. Putting this early education to good use, she now writes the Lefty Award-nominated Sally Solari Mysteries, a culinary series set in Santa Cruz, California. 
An ex-lawyer like her sleuth, Leslie also has degrees in English literature and the culinary arts. She and her wife and their Jack Russell mix split their time between Santa Cruz and Hilo, Hawai‘i.

Leslie’s website
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Such a deal! The first three books in the Lefty Award-nominated Sally Solari series are a Kindle Deal of the Week, for only $1.99 each through Aug. 15! 

Praise for Leslie's most recent Sally Solari mystery, the Lefty Award-nominated MURDER FROM SCRATCH:

“Karst seasons her writing with an accurate insider’s view of restaurant operation, as well as a tenderness in the way she treats family, death and Sally’s reactions to Evelyn’s blindness.”

Ellery Queen Magazine (featured pick)

All four Sally Solari Mysteries are available through AmazonBarnes and Noble, and Bookshop.


Dying for a TasteA Measure of Murder, and Murder from Scratch are also available as AUDIOBOOKS from Audible!


  1. How did you know I've been craving fish and chips, Leslie?! I hate (and am honestly a little afraid of) deep frying, but this looks very doable. I'll have to give it a shot.

    1. Doesn't everyone crave fish 'n chips? Yes, do give it a try, Mia--it's delish!

  2. That looks delicious, Leslie! I've tried making fish 'n chips before, but I could never get the batter right. Your version looks great. (As an aside: have you tried an air fryer?)

    1. Using only flour makes it a lot easier (but they're not as crunchy without the batter, alas). And no, I don't have an air fryer, but I've heard they're great!

  3. Your picture of the finished product is an example of great plating! Very artistic.

    1. Thank you, Libby! And did you notice I even placed the flatware like the Brits do it, lol?

    2. Yes, that hadn't escaped me!

  4. I love fish and chips and never do it at home. Thanks for the tip on how to. Yum.