Food&Drink Writer Halima Ahad explains why Fish and Chips is the cultural and culinary symbol of the UK

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Images by Halima Ahad

Fish and Chips is a hot dish consisting of fish fried in a crispy batter served with chips. This is eaten across the United Kingdom, mainly England. 

When I think of fish and chips, I think of family, home comforts and being together. It is my ultimate comfort food and it beats nothing on a Friday night after a long week of university. It is the undisputed national dish of Great Britain – a cultural and culinary symbol for the world to see. 

It is the undisputed national dish of Great Britain – a cultural and culinary symbol for the world to see

There have been many national dishes of Great Britain, but nothing tops Fish and Chips itself. According to the Staff Canteen, the dish accounted for £1.2 billion of the economy in 2020. It can be made with many different forms of fish, including salmon and haddock. It can also be made vegetarian and vegan friendly through substituting to alternative ingredients, for example substituting potatoes for sweet potatoes as a healthy alternative. 

My favourite twist on this national dish has to be ‘Masala Fish and Chips’ from my local takeaway shop. Instead of the beer batter coating you would find on the usual Fish and Chips, this consists of a coating of tasty masala and it is most likely served with chips. 

In order to achieve this, you will need the following ingredients.


For the marinade

  • 15g of fresh ginger finely chopped
  • 15g of fresh garlic finely chopped
  • 50g of Pataks Tikka Masala paste
  • 5 sprigs of dill
  • 2g of black pepper
  • 10ml of lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 trout fillets
  • 1 tbsp of oil. 


For the batter

  • 75g of flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 45ml of water. 



1. Firstly, mix all of the ingredients together except the trout fillets to make the marinade. 

2. Add the trout fillets to the marinade and keep it in the fridge for 20 minutes.

3. Combine all the batter ingredients to make a batter of paste consistency.

4. Heat the oil in a wok. 

5. Then, coat the marinated trout fillets with the batter and deep fry until the fish is cooked and the batter is crispy. 

6. Finally, serve with Masala chips and chutney. 


I would recommend Fish and Chips to anyone. If you’re looking for a late night fix or something to look forward to for a Friday night takeaway, then this is the dish for you. 

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