Fish Fingers, Chips and Tartare Sauce

fish and Chips

Seaside towns like Aberystwyth are known for their good quality chip shops, and what could be better than sitting on the lovely promenade, watching the sun set, eating a fillet of freshly battered cod? As such, when I eat oven chips and frozen fish fingers I always feel a little empty because although what’s in front of me may be cheap, it isn’t particularly tasty.

These fish fingers are certainly a lot better than those one finds in supermarket freezer aisles – they taste better, they are more substantial and they are far better for you. Instead of using an overly thick and starchy batter underneath the breadcrumbs as many frozen fish fingers do, this recipe uses an incredibly thin layer of flour underneath a covering of beaten egg. Also, despite the fact the situation for the cod seems to be increasingly rosy it remains a fairly expensive fish – for one kilogram of cod one can expect to pay between £10-11. Yet there are a surprising number of very similar fish to the vastly popular cod. Whiting, Pollock and Coley, for instance, are all very similar to cod, yet they are far cheaper. Coley, the fish used in this recipe, can be bought for between £6-7 a kilogram – which means that in an ideal scenario using Coley instead of Cod nearly doubles the amount of fish you get for your money. If you add this to the fact that fish is fairly light compared to land dwelling meat, a surprising amount of good quality fresh fish can be bought for a mere £5 – which is what we spent on the fillet pictures below.

After making this dish I don’t think I’ll ever go back to frozen fish fingers, not even for the once obligatory post-night-out fish finger sandwich. It seems that once one starts making everything fresh, one can’t go back, and I have no regrets whatsoever.

Fish Fingers, Chips and Tartare Sauce {recipe}

Serves 4

Ingredients: Fish Fingers

• 500g white fish, Coley is good.

• Breadcrumbs of several slices of bread, roughly 150-200g

• Plain flour

• Zest of 1 lemon

• 1 tsp dried Thyme

• Seasoning

• 2 medium eggs, beaten

• Oil, for frying

Ingredients: Chips (technically wedges)

• 500g potatoes, into wedges

• Oil

• Seasoning

Ingredients: Tartare Sauce

• 6 tbsp mayonnaise

• 1 tsp chopped caper and gherkins

• Squeeze of lemon juice

• Seasoning

Method:

1. Heat the oven to 200C. Cover the wedges in oil, season well and bung in for roughly 30 minutes.

2. Prepare the fish, making sure it is deboned. If it isn’t use a pair of tweezers to pull them out. Cut them into fish finger sized portions, roughly 3-4 inches long and 1 inch thick. If you want to leave the skin on that’s up to you, I didn’t.

3. Coat each fish finger in flour, then egg, and then the bread crumb mixture which consists of the lemon zest, breadcrumbs, thyme and seasoning. Heat up a shallow pan of oil until hot enough to fry.

4. Fry the fish fingers a few at a time. They are ready when golden brown on each side. To keep them warm pop them either at the bottom of the oven, or an oven above the hot one.

5. To make the tartare sauce simply mix all of the ingredients, listed above, together.

Cost: This meal should cost no more than between £1.50 and £1.80 to produce, although the price really depends on how much the fish is on the day, and what fish is available. However, the cost will be far cheaper than in any fish and chip shop, and the taste far nicer.

4 thoughts on “Fish Fingers, Chips and Tartare Sauce

  1. Corina

    I definitely agree that once you start making things yourself you can’t go back to getting pre-packaged stuff. I don’t remember the last time I bought fish fingers. Well done on making such a good substitute

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