The Best of British Takeaways reveals secrets to a killer fish and chips on BBC2

Ben Travis
British classic: fish and chips is one of the nation's most iconic takeaway dishes: LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty

Warning: if you’re going to sit and watch The Best of British Takeaways on BBC Two, you’ll want to nip to your local chippie first.

That’s because the first episode is all about the iconic British (or, as we learn, not-so-British) fast food staple.

The show explores three very different acclaimed fish and chip shops from across the country to find out how they make their fried food just so good.

There are some important tips along the way. Tom Kerridge visits Papa’s in Hull where worker Deano won at the National Fish & Chip Awards.

Papa’s use beef dripping to give a ‘great Yorkshire taste' to their fish, and use a careful technique to keep their haddock from falling apart.

The fish is always placed gently into the fryer skin-side down, giving a protective barrier to the meat and stopping it from crumbling.

The batter itself makes a difference too, of course. Krispies in Devon don’t just fry their fish in batter, but their chips too, requiring different mixes designed to complement each ingredient.

Their chip batter is made to a secret recipe resulting in an orangey colour. The potatoes are thoroughly coated in the stuff being going into the fryer.

The chips are double-fried too, with a lower heat keeping the potato light and fluffy inside, and a higher temperature giving them a crispy finish.

A more maverick take on the traditional dish comes from Hook in Camden, bringing ‘new-school’ gourmet fish and chips.

Rather than opting for batter, they fry their fish in breadcrumbs and add layers of international spices to bring something new to the table.

The presentation is important too – experimental chef Simon serves his fish in a cardboard box instead of the usual newspaper, stopping it from ‘sweating’ and going mushy.

Viewers will also get a history lesson, where they’ll learn that fish and chips is actually an import to our fair country, and the three establishments are challenged in a cooking competition.

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