Fresh fish, freshly crumbed and fried is just as good as any battered fish, especially when served in white bread with a kick-ass tartare sauce. The jury is out on the addition of tomato ketchup. I think it’s crucial but Ais disagrees. We’ll leave you to decide for yourself.
Fish fingers (or fish sticks if you’re Stateside) have come a long way since their frozen cousins graced the family table over one hundred years ago.
- Vegetable oil, for deep-frying flour, for dredging
- 1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp milk
- Panko breadcrumbs, for crumbing
- 200 g flathead fillets or any firm white fish
- 4 slices white bread, cut 2.5 cm thick
- Tomato ketchup (optional)
- Small handful of rocket
- ¼ white onion, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp whole egg mayonnaise
- 2 dill pickles, finely chopped
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
To make the tartare sauce, place the onion in a small bowl of cold water and set aside for 15 minutes to remove the harshness of the onion flavour. Drain, then combine with the remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
Heat enough oil for deep-frying to 170°C or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil turns brown in 15 seconds.
Place the flour, egg and milk, and breadcrumbs in three separate shallow bowls.
Cut the fish fillets into fat fingers (we used two flathead fillets per sandwich). Working in batches, dredge the fish in
the flour, followed by the egg and milk mixture. Thoroughly coat in the breadcrumbs and set aside in the fridge for
10 minutes. If you like your fish fingers to be extra crunchy, double-crumb them by re-dipping in the egg and milk and breadcrumbs.
Deep-fry the fish fillets for approximately 4 minutes until golden brown all over. The timing will depend on how fat
your fillets are, so watch them carefully to ensure that they don’t overcook. Transfer to paper towel to drain.
Smear a generous amount of tartare sauce on the bread. Top two slices with the fish fingers and squeeze over some
tomato ketchup, if using. Pile on the rocket and top with the remaining bread slices.
This recipe is from In Bread (Smith Street Books).