Vodka And Tonic Battered Hake With Chips And Tomato Ketchup

Straight up, with soda, on the rocks … there are many ways to drink vodka. But where’s your spirit of adventure with this spirit? Cooking with vodka gives depth to recipes without adding the extra flavours that wine or other liquors would. Here’s a vodka-based fish and chips recipe bound to get your wheels spinning.


For the hake and chips

  • 1litre vegetable oil
  • 400g potatoes, peeled, cut into chips
  • 15g fresh yeast
  • pinch salt
  • pinch sugar
  • 175ml tonic water
  • 200g plain flour
  • 25ml vodka
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • 4 x 175g hake fillets

For the tomato ketchup

  • 250ml red wine vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 75g light soft brown sugar
  • 2 cans of chopped tinned tomatoes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp English mustard powder
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • Tabasco sauce
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1-2 tbsp cornflour


  1. For the cod, heat the vegetable oil in a deep fat fryer to 170C.
  2. Fry the chipped potatoes in the oil for 2-3 minutes, or until tender, but not coloured.
  3. Drain the potatoes onto kitchen paper and increase the oil temperature in the pan or deep fat fryer to 190C.
  4. Meanwhile, mix the yeast, salt and sugar in a bowl until well combined.
  5. Pour the tonic water into the yeast mixture and whisk in the flour, vodka and vinegar.
  6. Leave to the mixture to ferment – it is ready to use when the mixture starts to bubble.
  7. Coat the hake fillets in the batter and fry in the oil for 3-4 minutes, or until golden-brown and crisp.
  8. Remove the battered hake with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
  9. Fry the semi-cooked chips in the oil for a second time for 2-3 minutes, or until golden-brown and crisp.

For the tomato ketchup

  1. Heat the vinegar, spices and sugar in a heavy-based pan until simmering.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to the boil and stir to prevent the mixture from sticking to the side of the pan.
  3. Once the mixture has reached boiling point, reduce the temperature to a simmer and cook for a further 30minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Blend the mixture in a blender until smooth, then push the ketchup through a sieve.
  5. Serve the hake alongside the chips with a good dollop of tomato ketchup.