For any British person who isn’t allergic to seafood or fun, fish and chips are the ultimate comfort food. Lots of snooty people have laughed at our cooking over the years, occasionally with good reason. But I defy anyone who has ever eaten a proper chippy tea to tell me that battered cod and vinegar-soaked potato don’t deserve to be held in the same light as pizza or fried chicken. It is delicious.
Depending on where you’ve been brought up, your fish and chip preferences will vary dramatically. Generally though, there are a few hard and fast rules that everyone should obey. Fish should be white, flakey and inconveniently large. Potatoes should be chunky. Anyone ordering French fries should be publicly shamed. These are just a few of the sacred oaths a genuine chip shop must uphold. But, beyond these, there is another, almost unspoken vow that all chippies take - namely, don’t put chillies on your food.
However, in the dark depths of Yorkshire, one enterprising restaurant is intent on rewriting the fish and chip rulebook. Millers Fish and Chips, a family run institution in the small village of Haxby, outside York, know a thing or two about what makes the ultimate fish and chips. In 2018, the restaurant was named the best fish and chip shop in the UK at the annual National Fish & Chip Awards. Now, the team have decided to up the ante, throw down the gauntlet and create what they believe to be the spiciest fish and chips on the planet. Rules were made to be broken.
The recipe, created by father and son team David and Nick Miller, took over a month to develop before it was finally ready to be unleashed on an unsuspecting public. Coated in a special batter made from 10 fiery ingredients, the dish is so hot that anyone who wants to try it must sign a waiver declaring that the restaurant are not responsible for any ill-effects.
Speaking to the Metro newspaper, Nick said that, “It’s important to offer something a bit different now and again. We’ve ended up with a battered fillet which tastes incredible but is ridiculously spicy. I’m slightly scared to see what happens once customers start ordering it. We’ve already tried it out with a few customers who said they were lovers of spicy food and they were blown away by the heat.” He also added that, “Despite being incredibly spicy, the flavours are actually really nice, so I’m hoping some people might actually enjoy it.”
The key to the dish’s fiery flavour is in its combustible ingredients list. A mixture of chilli powder, dried chilli, cayenne pepper, paprika, chilli flakes and hot sauce make up what is an angry red coating for the fish, while the entire plate also gets a dousing of chilli peppers and further flakes. It is clearly not a plate to be taken lightly.
It would be easy to dismiss the new addition as a gimmick, but as David explains, there’s more to the dish than a publicity stunt. ‘This isn’t quite traditional but I think it’s important to move with the times,” he revealed to The Metro. “‘It’s exciting to try out new things and different recipes. I think what we’ve come up with is actually delicious, as long as you like a bit of spice.” Tradition might be important, but it’s always worth experimenting with something new.