Forget the batter — sides are what make fried fish taste all the better.
When it comes to frying fish, people tend to belong to one of two camps. The first has a knack for flipping battered fillets over the skillet reeeal quick for a no-fuss (but often fantastic) meal. That's that. The second draws a clear line between fried fish and fish fries. This camp considers frying fish an event, ordained to gather people together. Cold drinks and warm conversation are a must. But whether you're feeding one person or the multitudes, the sides still matter. Read on for some of the best.
Related: 10 Best Fish Fry Recipes.
French fries may be the most obvious fried fish pairing, but this pro tip from Chef John isn't as obvious: Fries should be doused in hot oil twice. Twice! Who knew?
2. Mashed Peas
In the British Isles, peas and fish and chips go together like peas and carrots. But who wouldn't choose fish and chips over carrots, right?
Potatoes, peas, and mint join forces as the ultimate battered fish side.
Because restaurants all over the United States serve fried fish with coleslaw, we forget we actually have to make slaw ourselves (or at least grab a container at the deli) if we want to eat it at home come fried fish night. Home cooks rave about this recipe.
All the creaminess and tang of traditional coleslaw but cooler -- thanks to the cucumber's water content, not the recipe's name. (Sorry, dads everywhere.)
Crispy fried fish meets its match in uber-indulgent cheese and bacon potato rounds. Top these babies with sour cream and chopped chives.
Fresh jalapeno kicks this succotash up a notch, while corn, tomatoes, red peppers, and yellow onions lend a subtle sweetness.
Coated with ingredients like lime zest, rice vinegar, and sweet chili sauce, this zippy slaw gives beer-battered fish life. Add tortillas, and you've got fish tacos.
Hush puppies and Southern fried catfish share a few key ingredients, making them a natural combo. Home cooks make these 'pups their own with ingredients like garlic powder, jalapeno, or chili powder for an extra kick.
Let's cap this list with a classic. Malt vinegar is the condiment to end all other condiments when it comes to fried cod and chips. Here, it brings some acid to salty, savory baked potato chips.