Pol-Lockdown! Chef Rachel Green Gives Fish & Chips a Makeover

We Brits have had a love affair with fish and chips for well over a century now. It’s a trusted dish that has remained a constant throughout two World Wars, so it’s no surprise that the consumption of fish and chips has soared during this pandemic. 

Who can resist digging into piping hot, beer battered fish and chips? Certainly not me.  

The classic British dish brings back wholesome family memories of eating this with greasy fingers at the seaside or as a Friday night takeaway when nobody could be bothered to cook. It is a beloved classic for a reason and, occasionally, a plate of the most comforting food in the world (however guilty it makes you feel afterwards), hits the spot like nothing else would.  

So, as we continue to rustle up our favourite dishes at home during lockdown, it seemed like a great time to experiment with Friday’s favourite and I decided to give it a makeover. I don’t know about you, but over these last few months I've become even more health conscious. I’ve never eaten particularly badly but I’ve been making swaps where I felt like I could ‘healthify’ a meal.  

So, stepping up the plate was the mighty Alaska pollock fillet. Smaller in stature but a powerful protein, it has a subtle flavour and lower oil content. It flakes beautifully when cooked and for those more eco-conscious diners, it is one of the healthiest, most sustainable, natural foods in the world.  

And like the deep-fried battered fish and chip recipes you find in your local, my baked version turned out just as golden and crispy on the outside, and moist and tender on the inside as desired.  

CHIPS...Now, you can’t have fish without the chips. But rather than deep frying mine, I chose to oven-roast, swapping Maris Pipers for root vegetables and sweet potatoes. They were really, really good and will leave less grease on your plate.  

So here it is, my Guilt-Free Fish and Chips.  


  • 4 large carrots, peeled, and cut into chips 

  • 4 parsnips, peeled, cored, and cut into chips 

  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chips 

  • A sprig of fresh rosemary 

  • Sea salt flakes 

  • Freshly ground black pepper 

  • Olive oil 

  • 4 Alaska pollock fillets, cut in half  

*I used frozen Alaska pollock fillets, defrost the pollock and pat dry with kitchen towel before you start the recipe 

  • A small handful of fresh basil, chives, and parsley, chopped 

  • 50g Panko breadcrumbs 

  • 50g fresh breadcrumbs 

  • 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese 

  • 2 tbsp seasoned flour 

  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten 


1) Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas mark 6. 

2) Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper. 

3) Put the carrot, parsnip and sweet potato chips into a bowl. Break the rosemary leaves into the bowl, season with some salt and pepper and drizzle with a little olive oil, tossing to coat evenly. Tip the chips onto a prepared baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until cooked through. 

4) Whilst the chips are cooking, make the crumb. Mix the chopped herbs, breadcrumbs and parmesan together in a bowl. 

5) Pat the pollock fillets dry and season with a little pepper. Dip the fillets first in the seasoned flour, then in the beaten egg and finally toss them in the crumb mixture to coat. Place the fillets on a baking tray, drizzle with a little olive oil and cook in the oven for about 8 minutes until the crumb is golden brown and crispy. 

6) Remove the fish and chips from the oven and serve with mushy peas. 

Let’s face it, the accompaniments are also part of the treat. No fish and chip dish is complete without the proper sides: salt and vinegar, mushy peas, bread and butter, tartare sauce and even curry sauce and gravy. I love homemade mushy peas and have included a recipe below for a healthier option, using frozen peas – it’s delicious!  For other healthy sides, you can have pickled onions and gherkins, as well as pickled chillies. But for me, it’s mushy peas and Tommy K all the way. 

Healthier Mushy Peas 


  • 250g frozen peas, cooked for 3-4 minutes in boiling salted water, drained 

  • Olive oil 

  • A small handful of fresh basil leaves 

  • Sea salt flakes  

  • Freshly ground black pepper 


To make the mushy peas, place the peas, a dash of olive oil, the basil and some salt and pepper in a bowl and blitz with a stick blender to a chunky purée.