When I was in Britain at the beginning of the year, I loved the way the Brits served fish and chips with a side of mushy peas. It is actually a great flavour combination with the crispy chips, the golden batter covered fish and the great taste and texture of ‘mooshy’ peas.
Back at home I decided to cook the delicious trinity of fish, chips and peas for my family, however, I wanted to lighten it up in texture and flavour but not stray too far from the original concept. In the following recipe, the batter on the fish is a light tempura batter, the chips are oven baked and the peas are a wonderfully light sauce of peas and mint.
1-2 fillets fish per person
Flour, for dusting
Tempura batter (recipe follows)
4 potatoes, washed
1 small packet of frozen baby peas
1 clove garlic, whole
6 (or so) mint leaves
cooking oil, for deep frying
(1) Preheat your oven to 200C/400F. Peel the potatoes and cut into chips, and then pat the chips dry using a clean tea towel.
(2) Place the chips in a lightly oiled shallow oven tray and spray or brush them with a little olive oil. Place the tray into the oven and cook, shaking the tray occasionally, until the chips are cooked.
(3) While the chips are cooking, prepare the Tempura batter.
1 cup cornflour
A generous pinch of baking powder
200ml iced water
1 egg, beaten
(4) In a medium bowl, combine the cornflour and baking powder. Add the beaten egg and about 3/4 of the iced water. Stir the batter until just combined, taking care not to over mix. Check the consistency of the batter and add a little more iced water if necessary.
(5) Heat the oil for deep-frying in a deep fryer or a very deep frypan. Test the temperature of the oil by dropping in a cube of bread. The bread should turn golden in about a minute. Adjust the temperature of the oil accordingly.
(6) Dust the fish fillets lightly with a little flour and dip into the tempura batter. Place the batter coated fish into the hot oil and cook until golden brown and cooked through.
(7) Remove the cooked fillets from the oil and drain well on some paper towels.
(8) To prepare the pea sauce, simply pour the frozen peas and the garlic clove into a saucepan of boiling water. Cook the peas until tender and then drain, retaining a tablespoon or two of the boiled water.
(9) Pour the cooked peas, garlic clove and the mint into a food processor or blender until they are of a sauce-like consistency.
(10) To serve, place the golden fish and crunchy chips onto individual serving plates with a generous serving of pea sauce.
The seafood in this recipe was supplied by Princess Charlotte Seafoods, phone (07) 3256 9175 or visit them at the Powerhouse, Blackwood Street or Rocklea fresh food markets.Reads: 1499