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Icelandic Fishmas and making the best homemade fish and chips

Icelandic Fishmas and making the best homemade fish and chips

Have yourself a merry little Fishmas…

Hang on, that’s not right. Or is it?

Today I want to tell you about Fishmas and my posh, homemade fish and chips which is approximately eight billion times better than the fish and chips you’ll find at your local chippy! 

Sam and I had it last night for my birthday dinner and it was absolutely delicious so I had to share the recipe. It’s one of those recipes that is so simple but takes a bit of time to prep so it’s a nice one for a Friday evening. You can do it slowly with a glass of wine while catching up on the week (or, in our case, while running up and down the stairs trying to get various children back into their beds – why do they always fight bedtime on the evenings you really want them to go to bed!)

Anyway… if you haven’t got much time to cook and you want a speedy supper, you can prep everything and pop it in the fridge and whip it up quickly after work.

This recipe and the ingredients were sent to me by the guys behind The Icelandic Fishmas, a cheeky new ‘tradition’ bringing awareness to Icelandic seafood. If you’re a fish eater and you’ve been to Iceland then I’m sure you will have tasted for yourself how incredible their fish is!

Is Fishmas new national festival for Iceland?

The concept is that a wide variety of national festivals and holidays are celebrated around the world, embracing what each nation represents and take pride in. Germans celebrate beer, the French celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau and Swedes have one of the biggest furniture exhibitions in the world. As a nation, those in Iceland are fishermen, and in a way they owe a great deal to their fishing industry. With that in mind, they want to celebrate their fish, by creating a new Icelandic tradition called The Icelandic Fishmas. 

Completely fabricated, the Icelandic Fishmas is a festival dedicated to Icelandic fish. It’s an Icelandic tradition where they tell people all about the fun festival; why they feel the need to celebrate fish, as well as all the playful traditions and everything else included. Essentially, they want to teach the world to celebrate Fishmas, at least twice a week. To give you a more of an idea about the concept, there is a video which tells the story of Fishmas (by Father Fishmas himself, which is definitely worth a watch.) 

Icelandic cod

I’m not sure I’ve ever cooked with Icelandic fish before. The piece I was sent from Waitrose was a chunky hunk of cod and it was delicious.

Here’s the recipe and ingredients list for homemade fish and chips. I recommend screen-shotting this! (Give it a second if it takes 3-4 seconds to load!)


For the chips you can use your regular frozen chips – but I live in a house full of gannets and they’d eaten the chips before I realised so I made homemade baked chips.

1 x large potato per person chopped into thin wedges

Drizzle with oil and salt, pepper and bake in the oven for 45 minutes on 200c.

Get all your ingredients together…

Make sure you’ve got a delicious Icelandic cod loin!

Start by cutting your cod (I chose to chop it into small pieces so we got more batter!) and add some salt and lemon zest then pop it in the fridge for 15 minutes. You’ll need to rinse the lemon zest off with cold water before you add the fish to the batter.

Make the spice blend with flour and paprika

Chop your pickles and try not to eat half the jar. They’re surprisingly moreish.

Combine your mayo, chopped pickles, shallots and lemon juice to make a delicious homemade tartar sauce. This is so good, you’ll never go back to store-bought jars again!

Add it to the fridge with your fish

Now it’s time to make your batter using flour, beer, vodka, baking soda and salt.

Try not to drink all the vodka

But keep a little beer back, it would be rude not to.

Add the beer last and slowly stir it in.

Rinse off your fish in cold water then roll it in the spice mix and then dunk it in the batter.

Then deep fry for a couple of minutes on each side. Try not to make as much of a mess as I did. Unless it’s your birthday and then you definitely won’t be cleaning the kitchen so go for it 😉

And viola! The most delicious homemade beer battered Icelandic cod.

Serve with homemade chips, a slice of lemon and a generous bowl of your homemade tartar sauce.

And enjoy!

Do check out the Fishmas video as it is really cute! Massive thanks to Iceland and to Waitrose for providing us with such a delicious birthday dinner. The items we received were gifted.