All the way from the “yellow sea of Mazatlan”, courtesy of my friend, the writer, Cesar Ibarra, comes this amazing fried fish recipe. Mexican beer (Pacifica if you can get it) is the secret ingredient, as well as the freshness of the fish. For those who like it spicy, try it with a good habenero pepper sauce. You’ll never look back!
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 4 large pontiac potatoes, peeled, cut lengthways into 1cm-thick chips
- 185g plain orhanic spelt flour, plus extra to dust
- 330ml lager (preferably Pacifica or Corona)
- Organic sunflower or safflower oil, to deep-fry
- 800g fresh, skinless flathead or barramundi fillets, halved into long strips if necessary
- Serve with lemon and iceberg lettuce wedges and guacamole
- Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil over high heat. Add chips and return to the boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes or until just tender. Drain well and spread on paper towel to dry completely.
- Meanwhile, whisk flour, beer and 2 teaspoons salt in a bowl until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Half-fill a deep-fryer or large heavy-based saucepan with oil and heat to 160°C. Fry the chips, in batches, for 5-7 minutes until soft but still pale, then drain. Chips can be prepared to this stage ahead of time. Lay flat on a paper towel.
- Preheat oven to low. Increase oil to 190°C. When hot, fry chips again, in batches, for a further 2-3 minutes until crisp and golden. Drain on paper towel, place on a tray, in a single layer, and keep warm in the oven while you cook fish.
- Dust fish fillets in the flour. Dip into the batter, one at a time, allowing excess to drain off. Carefully place into the hot oil. Cook the fish, in batches if necessary, for 3-4 minutes until golden and crisp, then drain on paper towel.
- Remove chips from oven and sprinkle fish and chips with a little more sea salt. Serve immediately with lemon wedges and iceberg lettuce. And a side of guacamole!
- If you don’t have a deep-fryer, you need a kitchen thermometer for this recipe, available from kitchenware shops.