Tim Korinth and his wife Helen have lived in the U.S. for 17 years, but they still crave cuisine from their native England. In particular, when they couldn’t find authentic British fish and chips here, they decided to take things into their own hands. A year ago, they participated in their first pop-up for their company Scrumptious Fish and Chips, at the Food Lounge. These days, you can find them once a month at Steel Bonnet brewery in Scotts Valley. The next time they’ll be there is Friday, Jan. 26. Tim talked to us about what makes their fish and chips authentic.
What makes fish and chips authentically British?
TIM KORINTH: Obviously starting with the right product. From the fish perspective, in the U.K., most fish and chips will either be cod or haddock. I use Pacific cod. It’s a nice, moist, flaky fish that contrasts really well with a crispy batter. The chips make a significant difference. It’s not just a matter of cutting a potato and frying it. There’s a whole process that goes into a proper chip, which is thicker, a fluffier interior, a golden, crunchy exterior that’s seasoned. A French fry is typically about a quarter of an inch in thickness, whereas a chip is about half an inch. It’s like a steak-cut fry. But the process is you have to remove some of the excess starch and you have to twice fry it to get the right texture. The techniques and recipes I use are all authentic. Everything we do, we make it from scratch.
You serve a tartar sauce and curry ketchup?
I was actually born in Germany and I grew up in England. So we get the curry ketchup from my German heritage. The German version of fish and chips is Currywurst and chips, which is a bratwurst made with this curry ketchup. It’s one of those sauces that I just love. It goes really well with the chips. Even though the curry ketchup is not a traditional English item, it’s just something that I brought with me based on my background, because of my heritage. Everyone seems to love it. Everyone keeps asking, what is in this? Where did you get this from? This is amazing stuff. The tartar sauce is very traditional. It’s lemon-based mayonnaise, lots of capers, shallots and gherkins. It’s got that creamy, acidic, slightly sour taste that really complements the creaminess of the fish. The American sauce would be more of a relish put in with mayonnaise. A bit more bitter with more citrus from the lemons and the capers.