Not just fish and chips: Scotland's alternative chippy suppers

East Coast's fish supper with a pink pickled onion on topEast Coast's fish supper with a pink pickled onion on top
East Coast's fish supper with a pink pickled onion on top
Sick of haddock? Try these other goodies

As we approach National Fish and Chip Day on June 6, spare a thought for other under-counter goodies in your local chippy.

They’re neglected, without a special day to celebrate their charms.

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Although most places no longer serve the Eighties speciality that was chicken and chips, and even the common or garden smoked sausage seems to have become something of a rarity, there are other batter-clad miscellany and regional specialities to peruse.

We’re talking pies, scampi, macaroni pie, pizza crunches and burgers, all sweating under the hot plate lights like Ray Winstone on his sun lounger in the film Sexy Beast.

All must be served as a supper, not a single, and with a pickled onion on the side.

Try not to weep when you discover that that onion, once just 10p extra, is now £1.50. We’re also too scared to enquire about the price of a gherkin these days.

Here are a few other suggestions of Scottish fish alternatives.

Haggis Fritter

This is what happens when a sonsie face gets deep-fried. Not so sonsie any longer, are you? It’s a chip shop classic, though can sit rather heavily in your stomach, like a naval mine on the seafloor. We say hold the vinegar with this one, but yes please to adding lashes of Edinburgh’s favourite ‘salt and sauce’ condiment. Burns might not agree, but we think battered haggis and east coast sauciness are a match made in heaven, though some upmarket chippies will throw in sweet chilli for some reason or other. No thanks. Talking of sauces, those who prefer the tomato variety on their fish suppers are Philistines.

Potato Fritter

These are more of a West Coast of Scotland thing, and work well in a morning roll. That’s mainly because it’d be a bit weird to also order chips. Still, we’re not totally averse to double (or triple, for that matter) tatties. In England, they call this chip shop item ‘potato scallops’ which makes them sound a lot fancier than they are.

King Rib

This is a rather ugly looking sweetened pork meat patty that’s served in Scotland and Northern England. Have it as a supper, or, if you’re a true devotee, in a heavily-buttered roll. It’s a bit like the red squirrel of the chip shop world, as people talk about them an awful lot if they’ve actually spotted one, but they can be very elusive. However, we recently tried a sit-in version at Thirty Knots in South Queensferry, and there are reports of it appearing in Fife chippies. Eating a whole one is a woman vs food challenge.


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If you don’t live in Orkney, then don’t get hooked on these, as you probably won’t find them anywhere else in Scotland. They are, essentially, battered mince, tatties and onions, in a puck-like contraption.


Fish not fancy enough for you? Then head to, say, The Lobster Shack in North Berwick, where they offer this upmarket treat. The lobster is slathered in garlic butter or chimichurri though, rather than being battered. That’d be common as muck. Also see the Tailend in Dundee and St Andrews, where they offer a very civilised Arbroath Smokie and chips.

Deep-fried Mars Bar

These get talked about a lot, as if every Scot is eating them three times a week, and they’ve become a shorthand for our supposedly unhealthy diets. In reality, these, along with Irn-Bru, seem to have become something for tourists to tick off their holiday list, so the joke is on them. John Davie of The Haven Chip Bar (now The Carron) in Stonehaven claims to have invented this treat in 1992, so they’ve been around for a while now. Since the Nineties, chippies have gone wild and deep-fried every chocolate bar going. We’ve seen Creme Eggs, Snickers and Wispa Golds being sizzled within an inch of their lives.

Mock Chop

The Carron also serves this delight, which has nothing to do with Lewis Carroll but is a battered lamb kebab. It’s similar to its beefy compatriot, the chip steak. The mock chop can also be found in Dundee chippies, or bought from butchers like Grants Butchers Dundee.

White Pudding

The white pudding is a black pudding except without the blood. Think pure suet, fat and oatmeal - like skirlie but wetter, with a sticky and unctous texture. According to fans, you’re best heading north of the central belt if you want to get a decent one. They’re just not right in Edinburgh or Glasgow - too dry, apparently, says an afficionado - though we don’t do too badly when it comes to black pudding.

Red Pudding

Head to Fife or the east of Scotland for this variation on the pudding theme. It features a medley of meat like beef, bacon and pork rind, but is becoming harder to track down. If you buy it in a Scottish butcher, rather than a chippy, you’ll get something entirely different and more sausage-y. Perhaps this will be the first chip shop item to go extinct. We know what we’ll be ordering this weekend, to rebalance the chip shop ecosystem.


Fooled you, these are actually an English thing, otherwise known as scratchings, bits, dubs or gribbles. They’re the crunchy and golden batter by-products of frying fish, and are served as a cheap (sometimes even free) accompaniment to chips. Our campaign to bring them over the border to Scotland starts right here.



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