Fish & Chips

  • Downhome Magazine
  • Posted: Nov 30, -0001 12:00 AM
Friday January 28, 2011

Of all the things I miss about not living in Newfoundland anymore, one of the most missed are Fridays in St. John's. To me, the city gets a whole "working for the weekend" vibe to it as people get excited for a night out on the town and one, maybe two good feeds of fish and chips - or as the townies say, "fee and chee." Chicago and New York may be famous for pizza and hot dogs, and Montreal may have its smoked meat, but St. John's is the place for the best fish and chips. The fish is always cod (best if it's fresh, of course), and the chips are always hand cut and fried to perfection. Traditionally, fish and chips is served with malt vinegar, and unlike across the pond where mushy peas is an accompaniment, here dressing (buttery stuffing with minced onion and dried savoury) and gravy are standard fare. A few peas and some good tartar sauce never seem to go astray, either. Wash it down with a cold brew or a can of pineapple soda and you're in fried heaven.

ForImage some, their fee and chee fix comes early, with an oversized lunch at Ches's, The Big R or Scampers; for others it comes in the happy hour variety with a few pints down at the Duke (The Duke of Duckworth has arguably the best fish and chips in St. John's) or take out from Leo's (also outstanding). Finally, many get their fix after making their way home in the early hours of Saturday morning after a night on George Street. Luckily, places like Ches's and Buddy's are open late, and deliver.

If you aren't fortunate enough to live in Newfoundland and have a hankering for some fee and chee, don't despair as making it at home is not all that hard. It's easier if you have a deep fryer, but if not, an oil-filled wok or pot works, too (you'll have to be very careful). Here's my recipe for a beer-battered fish and chips, whereby I use a dark, flavourful Quid Vidi 1892 Traditional Ale. Just season your portions of fish with a little salt and pepper, dredge in some flour (will help the batter stick to the fish) and coast in the batter, and cook until golden brown in 375 degree oil.

Beer Battered Fish and Chips
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup beer
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp baking powder
Pinch of salt

Whisk all ingredients together until smooth. I like a thin batter; to get the desired consistency I dip my fingers in the batter and let it drip off. I do a count on how long it takes to see my skin through the batter. I'm looking for a count between 1 and 2 seconds.

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About Me...The Wicked Newfoundlander
I'm originally from Newfoundland, Canada, and very proud of it! I moved to upstate New York in 2007, and I spend much of my time working and playing throughout New England. Besides my wife, our dog and hockey, I'm passionate about food. I love to cook and create great tasting food. I also love tasting and critiquing food, and comparing regional cuisine (notably Newfoundland and New England dishes).