How many calories are in battered fish from chip shop?

Fish and chips is a classic British dish that has been popular for generations. It typically consists of battered, deep fried white fish, most commonly cod, haddock or plaice, served with thick cut chips (fries). This tasty but indulgent meal is a staple of chip shops and takeaways across the UK.

But how many calories are actually in a serving of battered fish from your local chippy? With obesity and health concerns on the rise, many people are becoming more calorie conscious and want to know the calorie count of their favorite foods. This article will provide a detailed breakdown of the typical calorie content in battered fish from chip shops.

Calories in batter

The batter coating is one of the main contributors of calories in fish and chips. Batter recipes vary between chip shops, but typically contain flour, beer or soda water, and sometimes egg. The specific ingredients and cooking method determine the calorie content of the batter.

On average, a light batter coating adds around 120-180 calories per 100g. Heavier beer batters or thicker coatings can add over 200 calories per 100g. So for a 150g piece of battered haddock, the batter alone could contribute 180 to 300 calories.

Calories in fried fish

The type of white fish and portion size also significantly affects the calorie content. Raw cod, haddock and plaice have relatively low calories with around 70-90 calories per 100g. However deep frying cooks the fish in oil which adds a lot of extra calories.

Fried fish typically absorbs around 20% of oil during cooking. So 150g of raw haddock at 90 calories per 100g becomes around 180 calories after deep frying without the batter. More oily fish like herring would absorb even more oil when fried.

Total calories in battered fish

Combining the calories in the batter and the fried fish gives an approximate calorie count for a piece of battered fish:

  • 150g battered cod – around 360 calories
  • 150g battered haddock – around 380 calories
  • 150g battered plaice – around 370 calories

These figures are based on a light beer batter. Thicker batters or heavier frying could add another 100-200 calories. For comparison, typical servings of battered fish range from 120g up to 220g. So a large 220g piece of battered haddock could contain over 600 calories.

Calories in thick cut chips

Chips also contribute a significant number of calories to fish and chips. Thick cut chips are sliced from whole potatoes then fried in hot oil until crispy on the outside and fluffy in the middle.

An average portion of chips is around 200-250g. Raw potato contains about 80 calories per 100g. After deep frying, this doubles to around 160 calories per 100g of chips.

So for a 220g portion of thick cut chips, that equates to over 350 calories just for the chips alone.

Calories in other components

In addition to the fish and chips, other items can add further calories:

  • Bread and butter – A slice of white bread with butter has around 100-150 calories
  • Mushy peas – Around 100-150 calories per 150g portion
  • Gravy – Thick chip shop gravy averages around 50-80 calories per 100ml
  • Fizzy drink – A 330ml can of coke has around 135 calories

Tartare sauce, curry sauce and pickled onions also contain calories, but relatively small amounts per serving. So accompanying items can easily add at least another 200+ calories to your fish supper.

Total calories in fish and chips

Putting this all together, here are some typical calorie counts for a fish and chips takeaway meal:

Fish and Chips Meal Total Calories
150g battered cod + 220g chips 710
150g battered haddock + 200g chips 730
220g battered cod + mushy peas + can of coke 980

As you can see, a classic fish, chips and mushy peas can easily contain over 1000 calories, even before accounting for bread, gravy or other extras.

Healthier options

If you’re trying to reduce the calories in your takeaway fish and chips, there are a few simple tweaks you can request:

  • Choose a smaller portion of fish – ask for 120-150g instead of a large piece
  • Go easy on the thick chips – stick to a 200g portion
  • Request light, thin batter instead of thick beer batter
  • Avoid the bread and butter
  • Swap the mushy peas or gravy for salad
  • Request grilled fish instead of battered and fried
  • Switch fizzy drinks for water or diet versions

You can also ask for the fish to be baked or poached instead of deep fried. Opting for grilled fish with a squeeze of lemon or white wine sauce can reduce the calories by 200-300 per serving.

Some modern chippies also offer oven baked chips fried in just a teaspoon of oil. These have around two thirds fewer calories than deep fried chips cooked in litres of oil.

Burning off the calories

Fish and chips is a high calorie meal, so working off those calories requires considerable physical activity. Here’s how long you’d need to exercise to burn off different serving sizes:

  • 60 min walk – 700 calories (150g fish + 220g chips)
  • 90 min walk – 1000 calories (220g fish + peas + drink)
  • 2 hour bike ride – 1300 calories (large fish + chips + extras)

To burn off a 1000 calorie fish supper, you’d need to play 90 minutes of football or swim laps for over 2 hours. So enjoy your fish and chips in moderation and counteract the calories with regular exercise.

Key takeaways

To summarise the typical calorie content in battered fish and chips:

  • Battered white fish averages 350-500 calories per serving
  • Chips add around 300-400 calories
  • Accompaniments like mushy peas, bread and fizzy drinks contribute 100-200 calories
  • A classic fish, chips and mushy peas dish contains around 1000-1300 calories
  • Healthier options with thinner batter, smaller fish and oven baked chips can reduce calories to 500-800
  • Burning off 1000 calories requires around 90-120 minutes of exercise


Fish and chips is undeniably a high calorie meal. But eaten occasionally and in moderation, it can still be part of a balanced diet and active lifestyle. Being mindful of portion sizes and making sensible swaps helps keep the calorie count in check. While the classic battered, fried fish supper certainly isn’t a diet meal, there are plenty of ways to indulge in this British favourite while paying attention to your daily calorie intake.

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