May 5, 2011

Beer battered fish with an edge


Almost every Friday Nic gets a text from me or a phone call which goes something like this-

"Do you feel like fish tonight? I think fish would be good...."

Where he replies...

"Do you want me to get some fish on the way home?...."

"Yes please!!!!" is what I usually type back, or if I've had a shitty day, I'd be a little more sarcastic and say something like......"seeing as you pass the fish shop on your way home then it would be a good idea....yes!"

(lucky for him I am usually the bubbly, stress free wife....Ha,haa)

Last Friday I was in need of some fish. I looked in the fridge and it wasn't a pretty sight. When I can see every shelf in the fridge I know I am in trouble. The vegetable crisper had a few scraggy veggies in it and some limp basil and coriander leaves. There was a possibility of turning that into a meal as I spotted some rice noodles in the cupboard, however, I needed something to really feel like we were sitting down to dinner not lunch.
The boys were not impressed when I said we were having fish for tea. Max has decided he really isn't a 'fish' eater anymore...
"I prefer some baby octopus or maybe some prawns.." (maybe I should of just gone with a couple of crayfish! that's lobster tails for my US readers).

I could feel the whining build and the fish hadn't even arrived yet, so I threw caution to the wind and PROMISED it would be yummy. This was a hard promise in my mind due to the lack of food I pulled from the fridge!

By the time Nic got home with the fish, I'd made a rice noodle salad out of all the leftover, end of week vegetables and herbs and I have to say it didn't look to bad. I'd decided I'd cut the fish into bite size pieces and cover them in beer batter for something different.
I hadn't made a beer batter in yonks and only recently had battered fish that was bloody awful, so I wanted to remember how yummy it really could be.

As I was putting the flour into a bowl I also grabbed a few spices to help jazz it up a bit. It wasn't until I started cooking the fish bites that the aroma hit our noses and my creation came to life. I have to say, it smelt so good that Max came over for a look and actually stopped screwing his nose up at the idea of fish for dinner.

After Max and I sampled a wee piece we were hooked and couldn't fry them fast enough! You see what I did was put a little bit of Chinese 5 spice, coriander and turmeric into the batter.

The crunch of the battered fish bites was a perfect match for the rice noodle salad that was laced with a lime and herb dressing.
 I have to say it, both Alex and Max asked for seconds of the salad and said I must make it again. Sadly I didn't really pay much attention to the salad, due to the lack of ingredients I had on hand so I'll have to have another play around with that one before I write up a recipe.
I can however, give you a fabulous beer batter recipe!

Spiced beer batter for fish
1 cup self raising flour
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice
salt and cracked pepper
about 1/2 bottle of draught beer (I used James Boags)

Place flour and spices into a bowl and add seasoning (about a teaspoon combined).
Grab a whisk and start whisking in your beer.
Pour in a good 1/2 cup first then check thickness of the batter. Keep adding until it is like clagg glue (do you remember this from school?).

Once you have your batter right, cut your fish into bite size pieces.
Fill your wok (or large frying pan) with canola or rice bran oil (my favourite) until it is half full.
Heat up your oil, test to see if it is hot enough by sticking a wooden skewer into the oil. It bubbles appear around the edges of the skewer then your good to go.

Drop your fish pieces into your batter, then gently remove excess batter and pop your bites into the oil.
Once browned, turn fish over and cook until all over colouring.
Drain on paper towel and repeat process. Sprinkle with a little sea salt for added yumminess 


Mal Streeter said...

This looks fantastic Milly, oh we can remember taking you to restaurants and saying to you before we entered " now don't. Ask for the LOBSTER!!" Some things never change do they

Camilla Baker said...

Well mum, history is repeating itself!!

They both tried an oyster while we were camping (I was shocked) Alex thought them horrid, but to my surprise Max liked them?

TKW said...

I allow myself fish and chips twice a year. This might be a reason to indulge at home--it looks amazing!

Bryan said...

Looks great Camilla! I just love battered fish. One question though... if you call lobster tail crayfish, what do you call crayfish?

Camilla Baker said...

Good question Bryan......I didn't realise you got crayfish I thought you only had clawfish and lobster hmm, maybe that is a problem with my deafness?