Friday, April 29, 2011

Vegetarian Beer Battered 'Fish' & Chips

With the Royal Wedding putting the UK into the spotlight as well as a reminder of our recent trip to New Zealand where fish and chips is a considered a national dish I thought I would have a go at a vegetarian version of this traditional dish. I used slices of Halloumi cheese as an alternative to fish although you could use tofu instead as a vegan/dairy free alternative and use vegan mayo for the aioli. I made halloumi fish for me and beer battered snapper for my OH so if you can eat fish feel free to use this recipe with any chunky white fish. You can also make a gluten free batter with sparkling water or a gluten free beer and substitute plain flour for a gluten free one. I have included variations of the recipe in italics next to the recipe where the recipe need changing to accommodate gluten free 

I served this dish with simple sweet potato chips, herby peas and lemon aioli -yummy. Just makes sure you leave enough space for this filling dish!

Beer Battered 'Fish' & Chips with Sweet Potato Chips, Herby Peas and Lemon Aioli (Serves 2)
Can be vegetarian, vegan, dairy free, meat version & gluten free 

Sweet Potato Chips
1 large sweet potato washed, skin on
2 tbsp Olive oil
a sprinkle of salt

Beer Batter
50g plain flour plus extra for dusting (substitute with gluten free flour)
50g cornflour
100ml lager/beer (use gluten free beer or sparkling water)
salt & pepper
1/2tsp turmeric
1/2tsp paprika
Vegetable oil for frying

For the 'Fish'
Pick one of these ingredients according to dietary requirements for gluten free, dairy free, meat or vegan options with tofu covering all of the above.
300g White fish or
200g Halloumi Cheese cut into thick slices or
250g Firm Tofu cut into thick slices

For Herby Peas
120g frozen peas
1 tsp dairy free margarine
1tbsp fresh finely chopped basil or mint

For Lemon Aioli
3tbsp Mayo (There are gluten free, dairy free and vegan mayos available so check packet)
1/2-1 tsp crushed garlic
1tsp lemon juice or to taste
sprinkle of black pepper

  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees/gas mark 5. Cut sweet potatoes into wedges. Put on a baking sheet skin side down, drizzle with oil and salt and bake until soft in the middle and crispy on the outside. This should take around 25-35 mins. 
  • Whilst the chips are baking make the batter adding the dry ingredient to a bowl and slowly add the wet ingredient, stirring all the time to ensure you have a smooth thick batter that will coat the back of a spoon. 
  • Now make the lemon aioli as tastes better if left to develop. In a small bowl add all the aioli ingredients and stir. Leave in the fridge until ready and taste before serving and add extra lemon or garlic as required. 
  • Boil the peas in water until cooked. Drain and return to the pan and add margarine and herbs. Reheat over a low heat before serving if required.
  • On a plate place a thin layer of flour and roll your chosen 'fish' in it until completely covered. Next dip each piece of your fish into the batter and ensure the whole surface is covered with batter.
  • Heat sufficient oil to cover your 'fish' in a pan. The oil is hot enough when a drop of batter, put into the oil, sizzles on contact. 
  • Once the oil is hot enough add the battered fish and cook until golden and crispy. The halloumi and tofu will only take 3-5 minutes where as the fish depending on the thickness will take around 8-12 mins.
  • Remove 'fish' from the oil with a slotted spoon onto kitchen paper and allow the excess oil to drain off.
  • Serve with the sweet potato chips, herby peas and lemon aoli.

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