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Best fish for Fish n'Chips??

After a satisfying Good Friday of haddock n'chips...I was curious if I made the right choice....haddock, cod or halibut??? I'm not sure of the difference and what would make the ultimate fish n'chips?

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  1. Honestly all 3 would be fine fried up they are pretty equal in taste and texture. The next time you cook it up let me know I'll be there in a jiffy :)

    1. Halibut is so wonderful, it's practically a sin to fry it and use it in fish and chips, IMO. My uncle (owns a fish market out on Long Island) says that hake, pollock and haddock make the best fried fish...:)

      3 Replies
      1. re: QSheba

        I've used cod. pollock haddock, halibut( I can think of better ways to use it though) Mostly it's been cod cause it just easier to get and generally cheaper althought with the exception of the halibut they're all fairly cheap. A few times I have used monkfish especially when I was able to find it very fresh. It's a pain in the a$$ to clean and to get all that nasty membrane off But everyone who tasted was was totally surprised by the taste and texture which is almost lobster like.

        1. re: tastelikechicken

          I agreed with monkfish! It is very different from the rest of the fish mentioned. The flesh was much more meaty and firm compared to the flaky flesh of cod or halibut. I had tried both monkfish (fillet) fish and chips and fish nuggests using monkfish cheeks. The latter was a bit stringy to me.

          Flounder is also great in taste when fried, but it doesn't give you the thickness like other types of fish.

          My favorite is actually wild grouper. It was one expensive fish and chips, but it was so worth it! It was sooo good!

          1. re: kobetobiko

            I think people would be very surprised with monkfish. Only problem I see is availablity outside of the East Coast.

      2. I really don't think they are similar in taste; I have always disliked cod. I am apathetic about haddock. But I love halibut. If I'm going to eat fish and chips, it'll be halibut. If I'm going to cook the halibut myself, it will not be deep fried.

        In BC, we have salmon offered at some Fish and Chip places. I've never tried it because I only like salmon rare, and I don't know exactly how much control the have over that when they're deep-frying. I think they use sockeye.

        And really thinking about it, my rule for fish and chips is the same as my rule for fish in general: whatever's fresh. (And living on the Pacific, I CAN be picky.)

        3 Replies
        1. re: miss_bennet

          I used to work in a fish and chip place in Victoria BC and we served Halibut, cod and salmon.
          IMHO the salmon looks weird in Fish n Chips because the colour of the flesh would show through the batter, alsways looked kinda creepy to me, and also it oily anough to begin with, do you have to deep fry it too?
          Cod is classic and I love it.
          Halibut rocks too, but again I can think of better things to do with my halibut than deep fry it :)

          1. re: starlady

            Which one in Victoria? If you lived there many years ago do you remember when what is now 'Value Village' used to be like an indoor farmers market? I used to sell my fish to the guys who had a fresh local fish stall there.
            Yeah deep fried salmon is just wrong. Fresh halibut IMO is too nice a fish to fry in batter. For me the all time very best fish for deep frying is the 'Black rockfish'. Nice fat fillets. White flesh. Sweet tasting like no other fish. BC fish are the only ones I have eatin but I hear sea bass is excellent. It sort or looks like Black rock cod. Maybe closely related.http://www.mondragonphoto.com/stock/d...
            Just looked at a photo of one. They look identical.

          2. I would go for cod, haddock and if available in America, plaice (it's a flat fish and fries quickly). Sole or lemon sole is also terrific. Whiting also works well. In Britain it is rare to find halibut in a fish n chip shop because of the price but it can be ordered in advance. Also you will find skate. My favourite is plaice but I haven't seen it in the States.

            1 Reply
            1. re: smartie

              I had forgotten about plaice!!! YUM! Yeah, don't find it in N America...

            2. Skate is first, then cod/haddock. Halibut is too gorgeous to waste on frying.

              1. If you're looking for British style fish & chips then it would only be cod or haddock.

                Cod is more favoured in southern England. Haddock in the rest of the UK.

                1. cod, bottom line. But i qualify that by adding cod from the right area and climate, and fresh as can be. I did however have flounder and chips once and it was very good. Haddock makes an acceptable substitute at times....but there really is nothing like cod.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: im_nomad

                    My favorite when I do this myself has always been cod; the meaty, flaky leanness of the fish is the perfect compliment to the deep-fried richness of the egg batter I use. I'd never thought of using whiting, but especially with cod on the On-The-Brink list I might need to try it. It's a nice fish I haven't had in a long time, and as plentiful and cheap as cod used to be.

                    1. re: Will Owen

                      I use whiting at home, also flounder and pollack. My kids will eat fried fish as often as I can be bothered to make it (about twice a month).

                  2. Don't waste money on Halibut. The classical english use Haddock. Polock is very good as well as Whitting

                    1. I think the decision is based on whether you're making it yourself at home or going out to eat.
                      I agree with most of the others that it's sort of a shame to use halibut when you can do so much other wonderful things with it. (or almost nothing at all, YUM!) but if I'm going to a fish-n-chips place, I always order Halibut because it's still pretty amazing.

                      Pass on the Salmon though, it just doesn't work.

                      1. I was forgetting the last lunch we had on Kauai last year, at the Barbecue Inn in Lihue (highly recommended, as is Hamura's Saimin across the street). My dish wasn't called "fish & chips" on the menu, but it amounted to the same thing, and the fish was panko-breaded mahi-mahi. Very fresh, of course, and probably the best fried fish I've ever tasted. If and when I do some more deep-frying I may have to try that, too.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Will Owen

                          That I'd like to see. Mahi is not a thick filet or a fatty fish and tend to dry out if not cooked right I think it would take some skill to get it righ as fried fish & chips.

                          1. re: tastelikechicken

                            I had a chunk of mahi last night that was a good inch+ thick, and that was in a package (fresh, not frozen) at Trader Joe's. I'd think that at a good fish market you could get the necessary thickness without too much trouble, and on Kauai it would be a walk in the park...

                            Leanness is NOT a problem with F&C, oiliness is (as note the comments about the salmon). Cod, hake and the other fish typically used are if anything leaner than mahi.

                        2. Out on the left coast, I go for rex sole.

                          1. I would say cod is got to be the favorite, but on occasion I have used orange roughy which works okay. Also on occasion use Basa which actually texture wise is great, only use it as a last resort but it does work pretty good.

                            1. Shark. A local Ventura place uses Thresher Shark, and I dig it.

                              1. Cod or haddock are traditional in England and definitely better than pollock, which can be mushy. But pollock is sustainable--so you might choose that if the environmental issues are of concern. Personally, I think you should go with whichever fish is fresher and better value where you are. You might also think about which oil to use--vegetable or lard? Lard is delicious!

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: katielp

                                  Lard is traditional in Britain and is still a mark of the best fish and chip shops, IMO.

                                  Unfortunately fewer and fewer shops use it these days - partly due to growing concerns about saturated fats; partly so they can cater to veggies; partly because vegetable oil is cheaper and easier to manage.

                                  But cod/haddock and chips fried like this and eaten straight from the paper (with lots of vinegar) whilst walking home from the chippy is a thing of joy. Trying to eat the mushy peas like this is not generally recommended.

                                  1. re: Harters

                                    oh for the days of fish n chips in newspaper!

                                    Don't forget the pickled egg, the wally, and a piece of fried cod's roe.

                                2. A local restaurant near me boasted of their deep fried salmon they serve on Fridays. Tried it and do NOT recommend it! WAY too strong of a fish taste to be any good. Fried Walleye is common here in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota, but again, too strong for my liking. I have sucessfully fried cod and pollock. VERY tasty!!!

                                  1. Haddock or cod, for certain, are the best choices, with halibut a close third (but only because it's really better when it's not fried). I've tried all of them, and orange roughy and tilapia are just OK, the rest are only sub-par at best.

                                    1. As an avid catfish lover, I have now switched all my fish eating over to Tialipa. Best fish ever and fries up beautifully for fish & chips. No one ever knows I had fish for supper if they come over either.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: thecountryrose

                                        Isn't dogfish the traditional fish of choice? Which I guess would mean that the person who said shark was closest to the orginal.

                                        1. re: jumpingmonk

                                          This has become intriguing and so I had to look it all up. On Wikipedia, they say that the Austrialians use lemonfish which is known as shark and they call it shark 'n' taties. Dogfish is tradition in England. Here is the states, southern new england use cod, minnesotians use walleye, pacific nw use halibut, down south catfish, bluegill or crappie and loads of hushpuppies.

                                          1. re: thecountryrose

                                            "Dogfish is tradition in England" .

                                            No it isn't. See my earlier post re cod & haddock.....

                                            ...and this link to a page on the website of our national fryers association (the part about the use of cod & haddock is towards the end)


                                      2. When I read this, my first thought was "well, cod, of course! Is there anything else?" But I'm from (near) Cape Cod. :)

                                        1. I would choose Cod...

                                          Maybe what I'm having tonight.

                                          1. Reading through all the replies, I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the Queensland classic, barramundi. Fresh from a Greek owned fish and chip shop with the crunchy fries, it comes as close to food heaven as I can imagine. However, being in Canada now, I can only remember the experience fondly after thirty some odd years. So I now cook haddock, and order halibut when I'm eating out.

                                            1. I have a fried fish sandwich almost every Friday, and the fish I get is always cod.

                                              1. Haddock is the classic choice. Or spend 50% more for halibut if you don't like fish much.

                                                1. There is a microbrewery specialist in my area of Tokyo and they serve a very good Fish 'n Chips made with Cod, of course, but after battering it they put on thinly sliced almonds, and this adds even extra richness to the coating which, as Will Owen wisely pointed out above, is needed with such a lean, clean fish like cod. The almonds also add a pleasant crunch with pleasant aromas.

                                                  1. Cod is tops for it with me - whether in a restaurant or making it myself.

                                                    1. Both are good choices as they are firm fishes. I meant haddock and halibut. I prefer cod in creamed or au gratin dishes, love cod au gratin, which I have eaten in Newfoundland years ago and still remember how good it was.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: Ruthie789

                                                        A friend of mine from Newfoundland once told me that the expression "It's either Cod or God" is a popular one in the region.

                                                        1. re: Tripeler

                                                          That may be, confusion reigns especially in a place where there have a ceremony where you kiss a fish, drink some rum and get screeched in. Very fun place to be and love the pub food there.