Chunky fish fingers with cheat’s lemon aioli
When the people from Ocean Mile asked if they could send me one of their Pemba Bay Kob (Kabeljou), I thought “sure, why not?”. I mean, I love fish and I’m always interested in giving a shout-out to people who produce sustainable, ethically produced fish and meat. This is what I found most interesting :
“AquaPemba is a new venture in aquaculture – the world’s fastest growing food-producing industry. It is
a joint venture partnership which is pioneering the sea farming of Dusky Kob (Argyrosomus japonicus) –
also known as Kabeljou. The project is based in Pemba Bay, Mozambique and is the largest of its kind on
the East African coast.”
So then when a massive (and I mean MASSIVE) polystyrene box arrived at my doorstep on Tuesday morning, I was a both shocked and excited. Once opened, I was relieved that the fish wasn’t the size of the box (what the hell would I do with all that fish?), but I was met with a beautiful, plump and clearly fresher than fresh kob, which I quickly named. Bob the Kob. Of course. As I wanted to use Bob that very day, I had to decide quickly whether I would be roasting this beauty whole or whether I would fillet him. The issue with the latter is that I’ve never, ever filleted a fish before. The twins were very excited about this fish situation and demanded fish fingers. Filleting would be happening, whether I liked it or not.
Fear not, however, Google is your friend. I watched a few instructional videos and gained a bit of confidence. I sharpened my knife and got cracking. Aidan was standing right next to me when I took off the head and all he could say was “cooooooool”. I then proceeded to fillet the fish, which admittedly, was a bit of a hack job (I would so not make it through the next level of Masterchef), but I was left with two, whole, fillets. I kept telling myself that the slices into the fish would make for perfect ‘holders’ of crumbs when frying.
I sliced the fish into ‘fingers’ without taking the skin off because I love the way it looks when the skin peeps through the crumbs once fried (no, not because I was too scared to take the skin off…), and decided to use crackers (Cream Crackers) to crumb the fish in. The twins found this interesting as well and I had to explain to them why we first flour, then egg and then ‘bread’ the fish before frying.
Once fried, the fish was beautifully golden and insanely crunchy. As someone who loves crunch, I was very happy. The grown-up fish fingers were served with a cheat’s lemon aioli. Good quality store-bought mayo mixed with a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a small crushed garlic cloves. The verdict on the fish? Absolute, drop-dead delicious. Once cooked, the fish was succulent while keeping it’s shape and I reckon this is the perfect fish if you’d like to do fish and chips or fish fingers. They flesh is firm enough to handle the frying without drying out which is exactly what you want. All-in-all, a perfect piece of fish and a very educational afternoon for the Ryder’s.
- 500g firm, white fish (I used Pemba Bay kob (kabeljou)
- 1 cup flour seasoned with salt & pepper
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1.5 cups crumbs made from crackers (alternatively use bread crumbs), seasoned
- 1 cup mayo
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 small garlic clove, crushed
- salt & pepper
- Heat enough oil for deep frying in a medium saucepan.
- To make the fish fingers, slice the fish into 'fingers' approximately 3cm wide.
- Place the flour, eggs and crumbs in separate bowls.
- Dredge the fish first in flour, ensuring it's well covered then place into the egg and finally into the crumbs.
- When the oil is hot, fry the fish for 1-2 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
- Remove from the oil and drain.
- To make the lemon aioli, mix the mayo with the lemon juice, garlic and seasoning.
- Serve the fish fingers with the aioli and extra lemon wedges.