Best Fish and Chips

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Full meal – Fish and Chips with green peas

Fish and chips, a much loved take away meal of the working class in England, originally served wrapped in old newspapers, was indeed a nostalgic memory for those who have tasted it.

During the time, when the working-class diet was bleak and unvaried, fish and chips came as a tasty break from the norm and a pay-day treat.  Over the years, it has won the hearts of the rich and poor alike and now one of the most sorted dishes in upmarket restaurant chains too.

My several attempts to produce something reasonably closer to what the pubs in England serve,  turned out to be a mouthwatering success! I used sparkling water instead of beer to produce a beautiful bubbly batter for fish, keeping in mind that it must be kids friendly too.

For best results,  I recommend Codfish with its natural flavours and flaky texture.  Plaice or Haddock could also be used in place of Cod with considerably satisfying flavours. Also, make sure you store sparkling water in the fridge until needed as chilled water helps to bring out the best bubbly batter.

My Amazon picks:

Make sure you serve the fish straight out of the frying pan to keep its best taste, mouthwatering flavours and texture intact.

So, let’s Fish and Chips for dinner tonight.

You will need the following ingredients;

Cod/Haddock/Plaice4 fillets (defrosted or fresh)
Plain flour1 cup and 1/2 more to dust the fish
Salt1 tsp
Ground pepper powder1 tsp
Baking powder1/2 tsp
Sparkling water – chilled
(straight from the fridge)
 1 small bottle
Oil to deep fry 

Let’s make it:

Prepare the fish

  • Defrost fish, pat dry with a kitchen towel, sprinkle salt and pepper  and keep aside

Make the batter

  • Place the cup of plain flour in a bowl and add a little salt, pepper and baking powder
  • Then, gradually pour sparkling water onto it, while whisking the flour until it becomes a thick runny batter

Deep fry

  • Next, using tongs,  dip the flour-coated fish fillet in the batter and shake off the excess
  • Deep fry in hot oil, turning both sides under medium flame
  • Remove from oil when the fish turns into golden brown
  •  Place on a kitchen towel briefly to drip off the excess oil and serve immediately with ketchup, oven-baked chips and boiled green peas
  • Enjoy the best ever Fish and Chips!!
thilapia fillet

Pan-Fried Tilapia – with grilled cherry tomatoes on the side

panfried

These fleshy fish fillets, with a very appetizing crispy outer layer, is very flavourful, which could be served as a  main meal with lots of vegetables or grilled tomatoes on the side.  

This unique recipe was passed on to me by one of my Goan friends who is an expert in producing mouthwatering fish dishes in every mealtime.  Roll the fish fillets on semolina was her top tip as it gives such an addictive crunchiness and crispiness when they come out of the pan.

So, gather the necessary ingredients and let’s make it;

What you will need:

Fish fillets (Tilapia)4
Onion1 chopped finely
Whole coriander seeds2 tbsp
Whole cumin seeds1 tbsp
Whole Kashmiri chilies3-4 deseeded
Garlic3 cloves
Tamarind pulp1 tbsp
Semolina1/2 cup
LemonJuice of 1/2 lemon
 Salt a few pinches

 Let’s make :

  • Wash, pat dry the fish fillets and season with salt and pepper
  • Grind chopped onion, deseeded Kashmiri chilli, salt, turmeric, garlic cloves, cumin seeds and coriander seeds to a paste, using a wet grinder or the hand blender
  • Add tamarind pulp and lemon. Lightly grind until all come together
  • Take the paste out, pat on one side of the fish fillets
  • Place semolina on a plate and wrap both sides.  Shake off the excess
  • Heat up 2-3 tbsp of olive oil in a wide pan and place fish fillets side by side
  • Pan fry under low flame
  • When one side is fried enough, carefully turn on to the other side.  Fry both sides until golden and crispy
  • If the oil runs out, sprinkle a bit more on top of the fillets
  • Serve hot.  Delicious with grilled tomatoes on the side
panfried

Grilled Tomatoes

cherry tom

 These beautiful, grilled, cherry tomatoes look and taste great as a side dish when you are serving baked/grilled fish or meat.  Also, without a doubt,  the burnt taste blended with light sourness and sweetness of the cherry tomatoes will enhance the taste of your main dish.

The grilling process is as follows:

  • Get the cheery tomatoes with the stem intact.  Prick each one lightly with a toothpick
  • Place on a baking tray lined up with a foil
  • Sprinkle salt and olive oil
  • Grill under 200 C oven
  • Serve warm with their juices braised on tomatoes

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Chinese Style Trout – Steamed and smoked in hot oil

This exotic dish, inspired by the Chinese culinary sense, is passed on to my husband by a chef friend who runs his own restaurant. All thanks to his genuine recipe, we have been enjoying this dish every since.  The soft, flaky trout fish and spring onions sizzled on smoky hot oil produce such a delicate oriental taste to relish and remember forever.

 The best news is that this is very easy to make and ready in just 20 minutes, goes well as a perfect healthy version of lunch or dinner. A piece of this fish on a dome of piping hot basmati rice, along with some greens and Chinese chilli paste on the side, will make a filling and satisfying meal for someone who is very hungry.

fish
Fresh Rainbow Trout Fish

You will need:

 Rainbow Trout – whole fish1
Spring onion  – Class Aa bunch
Root ginger and garlic5 slices each
Soy sauce2 tbsp
Sesame oil – Blended1 tbsp
Salt1/2 tbsp
Oil2 tbsp

1st Step: Prepare the fish

Clean and completely de-bone the fish, leaving only the main spinal bone.  You can do this with the aid of a pair of scissors.  Cut off the fins and scrape the scales off and place it on a plate. Cut the fish into two parts, if it is too long to fit on the plate. With a sharp knife, slash 2-4 deep crosses on the top of the fish and liberally sprinkle salt inside.

  • Cut out the spring onion bunch very finely
  • Slice up the ginger and garlic into thin pieces and place inside the deep cuts on the fish 
  • Sprinkle soy sauce all over
  • Spread spring onions on the top and inside the fish
Arrange the fish with spring onions, garlic and thinly sliced ginger

2nd step : Steam the fish

  • Cover and steam on very high flame for exactly 20 mins

Tips for steaming: Take a flat, wide pan and place a small side plate upside down.  Fill with water just below the brim.  Place the plate with fish on the small plate and cover the lid.  Steam the fish for 20 min all the way on high flame.  High flame help to boil water and emit steam in a steady flow.

chinese fish 2
chinese-fish-3-300x224
  • Exactly after 20 mins, open the lid, let the steam escape

3rd step : Smoke fish with hot oil

  • Now pour over 2 tbsps of cooking oil into a pan and heat up on high flame until it lets out smoke. This will take about 2 – 3 mins.   Immediately pour smoky, hot oil over the fish.  You will see the fish sizzling up and a mouth-watering aroma fills up in the kitchen
  • Done!!

Serve the fish along with spring onions over a dome of steamed rice, accompanied with Chinese chilli paste on the side.