I don’t normally deep fry food but sometimes it makes a lovely change to have a proper homemade fried delight. Here is my version of this classic and delicious dish.
• 400g minced haddock (or any other firm white fish)
• 50g ground almonds
• 750g of vegetable oil (for frying)
• 50g of medium matzo meal (or plain flour)
• 1 large free range egg
• 1 tsp Fair Trade granulated sugar
1) Everything starts with good preparation! Make sure you have the kitchen to yourself for the next couple of hours as you do not want to be interrupted.
2) Put on old clothes and a 1970s scarf or old baseball cap on your hair, open the kitchen window and put the answer phone on! Frying fish is *ahem* a rather a stinky business – but so worth it!
3) Set up a couple of plates with layers of kitchen roll on to drain the fish balls on when cooked.
4) In a large bowl mix the minced fish, matzo meal, egg, and seasoning (about 1 tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper), and sugar. Now the key to making the fish stick together into ball shapes is not to over use the matzo
meal – you want to just keep mixing the fish and other ingredients for a good 10 minutes at least. This will release the natural isinglass which acts like a ‘glue’.
5) Make the fish up into ball shapes or patties (the patties will cook quicker as they are flatter), this is up to you.
6) In a large frying pan with deep sides (I like to use a wok frying pan) heat the oil. To test if the oil is hot put in a crust of bread. If bubbles form around the bread then the oil is hot enough.
7) Using a fish slice or slotted spoon carefully place about 4-5 fish balls into the hot oil. The oil will foam up a bit which is normal. After a couple of minutes turn the heat down to medium.
8) The fish balls will begin to brown and you want to carefully again turn them in the oil using the fish slice and a wooden spoon if need be. You will know when the fish are cooked when they ‘bounce’ back when gently pressed with the fish slice.
9) Remove the fish ball with a slotted spoon and put onto a plate with kitchen roll. Add another batch of fish balls and continue the process.
10) Safety points: remember hot oil can be dangerous, do NOT leave the frying fish or hot oil unattended at any time. Don’t answer the phone, go on Twitter, or whatever. And don’t chuck hot oil down the drain, you must allow the oil to cool completely before disposing of it correctly.
11) You can serve the fish straight away (once drained) with chips and a big dollop of ketchup, yum! Or you can allow the fish to cool and have later with a blob of chraine (horseradish and beetroot) and some new potatoes.
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