fried fish

The Jewish history of fish + chips

Fish and chips are a beloved British classic, but few people know the Jewish contribution to this favourite national dish.

While chips have their origins in France and Belgium, it was Jewish-Portuguese refugees who first brought fried battered fish to the UK in the 16th century. The fish was a Shabbat dish, which was battered with egg and breadcrumbs, fried in olive oil on Friday and eaten cold on the Saturday. The batter - so central to today’s fish and chips - was essential in keeping the fish from spoiling, and led to this style of cooking fish being known as fish ‘in the Jewish manner’.

While fish and chips existed as separate entities for a long time, they weren’t served together for a long time, though fried fish was sold as a street food on its own. The first person to serve them together was probably an Ashkenazi Jewish immigrant, Joseph Malin, who opened up the first fish and chip shop in London in 1860.

Nowadays fish and chips are one of the most popular British takeaways: one with an unexpected history!

Recipe: Fried Calamari

Description: It’s so chewy.

Game ingredients: Squid, Wheat Flour, Oil

This recipe restores 80 energy and 32 health. It can be obtained from Jodi after reaching 3 hearts and sells for 150g. 

Difficulty: Easy, 30 minutes. Makes 4 servings. 

This is the 100th post. Nice. 

-1lb (450g) uncooked calamari, thawed. 
-Frying oil
-1 cup flour
-1 teaspoon of each: black pepper, salt, paprika, dried parsley
-2 cups breadcrumbs
-2 or 3 eggs (or 1 egg and some milk if you’re like me and forgot you don’t have enough eggs)
Tartar sauce:
-2 cups mayonnaise
-¼ cup green relish
-1 tablespoon lemon juice
-2 pickled sweet onions, finely chopped (optional, can be substituted with 1 tablespoon vinegar)
-1 teaspoon dill

Combine the flour, black pepper, salt, paprika, and dried parsley on to a plate. Put the breadcrumbs on another plate, and crack the eggs into a bowl. Beat the eggs well with a fork. 

Fill a frying pan or wok with oil til it’s about ¼ inch high. Alternatively, you can use a deep fryer. Heat on medium high.

Roll the calamari in the flour, dunk in the eggs and shake to remove excess, and then coat them in the breadcrumbs. Once the oil in the pan is hot, dump the calamari in. Cook until the breading is golden brown and crispy. You may have to flip them over so they cook evenly. 

Transfer the calamari to a plate lined with paper towel to absorb excess oil. Once all the calamari has been made (you’ll probably need to do it in batches), prepare the tartar sauce as it cools. 

In a bowl, mix together the mayo, lemon juice, relish, chopped pickled onions, and the dill. Use for dipping.

Fried calamari is delicious, crunchy, and chewy, and the tartness of the sauce contributes a lot of flavour.