Gin and tonic fish and chips with a chilli and cucumber jam

Ingredients (serves four)

  • Four fillets of cod (skinless works best)
  • 250g plain flour
  • 50 ml of gin
  • 250 ml of tonic (you can use 300ml of cider or beer if you don’t want to use gin and tonic)
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • chips (to serve/these are optional)
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 2 chillis
  • Half a cucumber (with the seeds scraped out of the middle)
  • 100ml white wine vinegar
  • 100ml water
  • A small bunch of fresh mint and coriander
  • Chilli flakes (optional)


  • I usually make the dipping sauce/jam first so that it can cool a little before I serve it with the fish.
  • Chop the chillis and cucumber into even sized cubes.
  • Heat the sugar, vinegar and water in a saucepan until boiling. You can add more sugar if you’d like it a bit thicker, I normally do this just by judging the texture of the sauce on the spoon but don’t forget it will thicken as it cools.
  • Add the chillis and the cucumber and cook for around a minute. At this point you can add 1/2 teaspoons of chilli flakes if you’d like the dipping sauce to be spicier (I do this but I like really hot food!)
  • Chop the fresh herbs and stir in at the end, season to taste.
  • This makes quite a lot of sauce but it does keep in the fridge for about a week, it’s yummy served with grilled halloumi!
  • Fill a deep fryer with the oil. I don’t have a deep fryer at home so I use a Wok and fill it about a third of the way up to shallow fry the fish rather than deep frying it. Heat the oil up until it gets hot enough to fry (to check this drop a bit of your batter in and if it sizzles it is hot enough).
  • To make the batter mix the flour with the gin and tonic (or your other fizzy alcohol/soda water if non-alcoholic) until combined and season with salt. The batter will be quite thick, it sticks to the fish better this way.
  • Dip the fish into the batter and make sure that all of it is coated fully, this can get quite messy!
  • Fry the fish (in batches if the pan is quite small) until golden brown. Turn the fish over after around 5 minutes if using a Wok.
  • Drain the excess oil using kitchen paper.
  • Serve with the dipping sauce, chips and peas! (I serve mine with crushed chilli and mint peas but I’ll put this recipe up soon!)

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