Fried Plaice Tempura and Chips with Mushy
is an Ainsley Harriott recipe which has been published
as part of the National Fish & Chip Shop of the
Year Competition. The competition recognises and awards
fish and chip shops for producing the best fish &
chips in the UK in an excellent environment. Fish and
chip lovers help choose finalists by voting each summer
from the hundreds of entries and the competition reaches
its nail biting climax at a prestigious awards ceremony
competition, which is now in its nineteenth year is
run by industry body Seafish and sponsored by Heinz
SqueezMe!, Frozen at Sea Fillets Association (FASFA)
and Seafood Scotland.
ten winners are:
Anstruther Fish Bar, Fife
Fish & Chips, Newtownards
Fish Bar, Bridgend
of Bridlington, Bridlington
Fisheries, Thornton Cleveleys
Fish Bar, Swadlincote
& South East
of Wivenhoe, Colchester
& Starboard, St Columb
winning shops undergo another strict round of judging
in front of a panel of industry experts in January (2007).
The shops will be scored on their quality of product,
customer service, cleanliness and innovation. The UK
champion will then be announced at an awards ceremony
in London, hosted by celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott.
Gray, project manager for the competition commented:
Every year the judging process gets harder as
the standard of shops gets better. The judges have been
extremely impressed with customer service, quality of
product and staff development in all finalist shops.
Its going to be a really tough decision to decide
on the top title.
and chips are a British icon and the nations number
one take-away with more than 261 million meals sold
every year. According to research from co-sponsor Heinz
SqueezeMe!, 88% of people think good quality condiments
add to the enjoyment of fish and chips (Heinz Out
of Home Condiments Survey 2002). Tomato ketchup
is the most popular condiment served in fish and chip
shops, accompanying almost 10% of meals sold. (TNS 2006)
Toby Barty, senior brand manager for Heinz Foodservice,
said: Its important fish and chip shops
offer their customers a wide choice of condiments. They
enhance the meal and can be a good way to increase profit.
Heinz SqueezeMe! is an ideal accompaniment for fish
and chips and having just sold our 10 millionth pod,
customers are clearly enjoying it.
and chips are as English as Blackpool or Scarborough.
Not just a take-away, this dish can be made at home
without too much effort. Fierce battles rage over how
best to make the perfect fried fish, but I have to say
this particular batter is lovely and crisp - soggy fish
is horrid. Served Japanese-style and with the perfect
chips, this is perfect for any day of the week.
x 250 g (9 oz) plaice fillets
the mushy peas:
55 g (2 oz) unsalted butter
6 spring onions, finely sliced
170 g (6 oz) fresh podded or frozen peas
1 x 5ml spoon (1 teaspoon) golden caster sugar
300 ml (1/2 pint) vegetable stock
2 x 15ml spoon (2 tablespoons) chopped fresh mint
150 ml (¼ pint) double cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 litres (3½ pints) sunflower or vegetable
900 g (2 lb) floury potatoes, such as Desiree or King
the tempura batter:
115 g (4 oz) plain flour
115 g (4 oz) cornflour
350 ml (12 fl oz) iced sparkling water
malt vinegar, for seasoning
the oven to 150ºC / 300ºF / Gas Mark 2
make the mushy peas:
Heat a deep-sided frying pan. Add half of the butter
and leave to melt until hot and foaming. Tip in the
spring onions and cook for a few minutes until softened
but not coloured.
the peas to the frying pan with the caster sugar,
stock and remaining butter, stirring together until
combined. Place a circle of parchment paper on top
of the mixture and allow to sweat for 4-5 minutes
until the peas are completely tender.
the paper from the pea mixture, drain any remaining
stock and stir in the mint leaves and cream into the
peas. Cook for another minute or so until all of the
liquid has evaporated. Transfer to a food processor
or liquidizer and blend until almost smooth, leaving
some texture in the puree. Transfer to a pan, season
to taste and keep warm.
all the sunflower or vegetable oil into a deep-sided
pan, making sure it is only half full, and heat to
160ºC/325ºF. Cut the potatoes into chunky
chips and then place in a bowl of water - this helps
to remove the starch. Drain and then dry them as much
as possible in a clean tea towel before placing them
in a wire basket and lowering them into the heated
oil. Cook for 4 minutes until cooked through but not
coloured. Drain well on kitchen paper and set aside.
make the tempura batter:
Mix together the flour and cornflour in a bowl and
then whisk in the iced sparkling water. Do not worry
about lumps, as these will improve the texture of
the batter, which needs to be used straight away.
the plaice fillets into the batter and then quickly
lower into the heated oil and cook for 6 - 8 minutes
until crisp and golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper
and keep warm in the oven - this should only be for
a minute or two so the batter doesnt lose any
of its crispness.
the temperature of the oil to 190ºC / 375ºF.
Tip the blanched chips back into the wire basket and
then carefully lower into the heated oil. Cook for
a minute or two until crisp and golden brown. Drain
well on kitchen paper and serve immediately with the
fish on greaseproof paper and wrap, if you like in
with salt and vinegar and serve with the mushy peas
on the side.